Gin isn't JUST for Grandpa

Alright, let’s talk about gin. You’ve probably heard it before, “Gin is an old man’s drink.” It's like the beverage equivalent of thinking only grandpas wear tweed jackets and smoke pipes. Well, it’s time to bust that myth wide open. Gin is not just for the old-timers – it’s for everyone!

First off, let’s get into why gin is so versatile. It’s made from juniper berries, and from there, the flavour possibilities are endless. You’ve got your classic London Dry, your floral Hendrick’s, and even exotic, fruity gins that taste like a summer holiday in a bottle. So, whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur or just someone who loves a refreshing G&T, there’s a gin out there with your name on it.

Now, think about it. Gin is the star of some of the most popular cocktails out there. Ever heard of a Negroni? How about a Martini? And let’s not forget the timeless Gin and Tonic. These aren’t drinks you’ll only find at a retirement party; these are go-to choices at any trendy bar. And the best part? You can mix gin with just about anything—tonic, soda, even fruit juices. It's like the chameleon of spirits, adapting to whatever vibe you’re going for.

So why should gin be reserved as a gift for grandpa? Spoiler alert: It shouldn’t. Gin makes a fabulous gift for anyone. It’s chic, sophisticated, and always a crowd-pleaser. Birthdays, anniversaries, housewarmings—there’s no occasion that a sleek bottle of gin won’t improve.

That’s why Tastebuds has got you covered with some seriously fancy gin hampers. We’re talking top-shelf bottles paired with gourmet treats, stylish glassware, and all the fixings for the perfect cocktail night. Whether it’s a classic gin lover or someone new to the scene, these gifts are designed to impress.

So next time you’re looking for a gift that’s a little bit special, remember: gin isn’t just for the grandpas of the world. It’s a spirited choice for anyone who loves to sip in style. And with Tastebuds’ fancy gin gifts, you’re sure to make someone’s day a whole lot brighter. Cheers to breaking old stereotypes and enjoying some fabulous gin!


The Art and Culture of Gin – From Distillation to Diversity


How Gin is Made

Gin’s journey begins with a neutral spirit, typically distilled from grains like barley, corn, or wheat. This base spirit is distilled to a high proof, around 96%, ensuring it is pure and devoid of strong flavours. The real magic of gin lies in its botanical infusion, with juniper berries being the star ingredient. These berries give gin its distinctive piney, resinous flavour.

To create gin, distillers add a blend of botanicals to the base spirit. Common botanicals include coriander seeds, angelica root, orris root, cardamom, citrus peels, and various herbs and spices. The specific blend varies by distiller and contributes to each gin’s unique flavour profile.


There are two main methods of infusing botanicals into the spirit –

Maceration and Distillation – Botanicals are soaked in the base spirit to release their flavours before the mixture is distilled. This method extracts a rich, complex array of flavours, creating a robust spirit.

Vapour Infusion – Botanicals are placed in a basket within the still. As the spirit is heated, its vapours pass through the botanicals, capturing their essence without the need for soaking. This technique results in a lighter, more aromatic gin.

After distillation, the gin is diluted with water to achieve the desired alcohol by volume (ABV), typically between 40% and 50%. Some gins may undergo additional ageing or flavour enhancements, but most are ready for consumption straight from the still.


Types of Gin

Gin’s versatility and the creativity of distillers have given rise to various types, each with unique characteristics:

London Dry Gin – Despite its name, this style can be produced anywhere in the world. Known for its crisp, juniper-forward profile, London Dry Gin contains little to no sweetness. All flavours must come from natural botanicals added during distillation. It’s perfect for classic cocktails like the Gin and Tonic or Martini.

Plymouth Gin – Exclusive to Plymouth, England, this gin is slightly sweeter and more earthy than London Dry, with a smoother finish. Its balanced flavour, with hints of citrus and spice, makes it versatile for various cocktails.

Old Tom Gin – A revival of an 18th and 19th-century style, Old Tom is slightly sweeter than modern gins, achieved by adding sugar or using naturally sweeter botanicals. Its richer flavour is ideal for vintage cocktails like the Tom Collins.

Genever – The ancestor of modern gin, Genever comes from the Netherlands and Belgium. Made from a malted grain mash, it has a malty, whisky-like character. Genever can be young (jonge) or old (oude), with the latter being more robust and aged. It’s often enjoyed neat or in classic cocktails like the Holland House.

New Western or Contemporary Gin – This style emphasises botanicals other than juniper. While juniper is still present, it plays a supporting role to other flavours like citrus, floral, or herbal notes. These gins offer a modern twist and are perfect for experimental cocktails.

Sloe Gin – Technically a liqueur, sloe gin is made by infusing gin with sloe berries (a type of wild plum) and adding sugar. The result is a sweet, fruity, and slightly tart drink, wonderful on its own or in cocktails like the Sloe Gin Fizz.


Cultural Significance of Gin

Benedictine Monk Distilling Gin

Benedictine Monks distilled Gin for medicinal purposes as early as the 11th Century.

Gin holds a unique place in cultural history, with deep roots and wide-reaching influence –

Dutch Origins – Gin’s precursor, Genever, originated in the Netherlands in the 16th century. It was initially used for medicinal purposes, believed to cure ailments like kidney problems and gout. The Dutch term “genever” means juniper, highlighting the essential botanical.

Gin Craze in England – In the 18th century, gin became wildly popular in England, leading to the infamous “Gin Craze.” Cheap and readily available, gin was consumed in large quantities, often to the detriment of public health and social stability. This period saw gin associated with both conviviality and vice.

Prohibition and the Jazz Age – During the Prohibition era in the United States (1920-1933), gin became a staple in speakeasies and clandestine bars. It was easier to produce illicitly than other spirits, and its use in cocktails masked the often poor quality of the homemade alcohol. This era cemented gin’s association with the glamour and rebellion of the Jazz Age.

Modern Revival – Today, gin is experiencing a renaissance. Craft distilleries are experimenting with innovative botanicals and production methods, leading to an explosion of new gin varieties. This revival is part of a broader trend towards artisanal and locally-produced spirits, reflecting a contemporary appreciation for quality and craftsmanship.

So, cheers to gin, a timeless spirit with a vibrant past and an exciting future!


03 Gorgeous Gin Gifts for Anyone


Gin Tales Hamper

The Gin Tales Hamper is a delightful journey through the world of premium gin. Featuring artisan dry gin from Untold Story, this hamper is perfect for those who appreciate the finer things in life. This specially distilled gin offers a unique flavour profile, from the classic juniper-forward notes to more experimental botanical blends. Accompanied by gourmet snacks and mixers, this hamper allows the recipient to craft their perfect gin cocktails. It's an ideal gift for gin enthusiasts who love to explore and savour new tastes.

Gin Tales Hamper


An Aviation Gin Hamper

An Aviation Gin Hamper brings the smooth and refined taste of Aviation Gin, famously co-owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, right to your door. Known for its balanced blend of botanicals, Aviation Gin offers a fresh and floral experience with hints of cardamom, lavender, and sarsaparilla. This hamper pairs the iconic gin with an array of premium treats and mixers, making it perfect for cocktail aficionados and fans of celebrity-endorsed spirits. It's a fantastic gift for those who appreciate a touch of Hollywood glamour with their gin, ideal for birthdays, celebrations, or simply to indulge in a luxurious gin experience.

Buy An Aviation Gin Hamper


Vegan Pink Gin Hamper

The Vegan Pink Gin Hamper is a vibrant and conscientious choice for gin lovers who follow a plant-based lifestyle. Featuring a delightful pink gin, known for its fruity and floral notes, this hamper is both stylish and sophisticated. The gin’s beautiful blush hue and refreshing taste make it a standout choice for those who enjoy a visually appealing and delicious drink. Accompanied by vegan-friendly treats, this hamper ensures that no one has to compromise on taste or ethics. It's an excellent gift for vegans and anyone who loves to enjoy a trendy, flavourful gin in good conscience.

Vegan Pink Gin Hamper


These hampers from Tastebuds offer a unique gin experience, making them exciting gifts for any occasion. Whether you're celebrating a special event or just want to show someone you care, these gin hampers are perfect for anyone – not just grandpa.