Rum, mezcal and rye may be the trends du jour, but there's a lot to be said for the enduring pleasures of a good, handcrafted gin.

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[Sponsored] They're not as trendy as some of the other spirits, nor have they had entire bars dedicated to them, but craft gins are both refreshing and versatile, sometimes floral, sometimes herbal and sometimes even fruity. Paired with the right additions, there's a lot you can do with them than just adding tonic water. Julian Serna of Dempsey Hill gin bar The Rabbit Hole gives us a few ideas. 

1. Up your G&T game

Before you get all fancy, just broaden the types of gins you use in your G&T. Chances are you've done Bombay Sapphire, Hendrick's and the slightly more crafty Monkey 47. But Julian Serna has other ideas: “I would steer them towards Plymouth or Death's Door because of its subtle, clean flavors or The London No. 1 for a sweeter and unique collaboration of botanicals.” 

2. Add garnishes that highlight the gin's aromas

Usual zest aside, there's a whole range of other garnishes to experiment with. The most famous example of this is probably Hendrick's, which is served not with the usual lemon wheel, but a slice of cucumber, to bring out the spirit's natural botanicals. Then there's the No. 3, a classic gin by London’s oldest wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd. To bring out the gin's natural citrus and juniper notes, serve it with sliced strawberries and lemon zest, like they do at The Rabbit Hole. Fancy! 

3. Or go extra botanical

Gin and botanics go together, and one of the most popular craft bottles is the Monkey 47, made with a whopping 47 botanicals and served at The Rabbit Hole with a lemongrass stalk that sweetens the aroma. For a more elaborated infused gin experience, try the G’Vine Floraison, a French craft gin that infuses a Cognac grape-based gin with grape vine flowers. At The Rabbit Hole, it gets a further floral kick, served with a basket of dried chamomile flowers.

4. Have it in a punch

It doesn't all have to be all about stirred, spirit-forward, broody cocktails. Gins can be most enjoyable (and potent) when shared in a big, fruity bowl with a group of friends. Go for The White Rabbit Punch at The Rabbit Hole—perfect for a night out with the troops featuring gin, lavender syrup, chamomile tea, pink grapefruit juice and citrus sugar and topped off with house soda.  

5. Pair it with delicious food

Experts recommend pairing gin with all kinds of foods. Depending on its unique botanical profiles, you can have your gin with smoked salmon, oysters or even chorizo. Here's yet another idea: you can pair it with a dessert. Julian Serna recommends pairing the olive, mandarin and lemon flavored Gin Mare with the equally citrusy Yuzu Butter crepe served at The Rabbit Hole. A glass of the Brooklyn pairs well with the Butter Sugar, as the sugar offsets the gin's slight tartness. 

 

The Rabbit Hole is located at The White Rabbit on Dempsey Hill. For more information, click here.

 

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