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On Trend: Serving Your Customers DIY Gin

Enjoying a well-deserved rival, gin is more popular than ever. Not just your bog standard gin, but premium and artisan gins are flying off the shelves and into glasses. Refreshing, easy to make and easy to drink the classic G&T is a firm favourite.

Gin Festivals and Gin Tasting Events are on the rise, everybody seems to love tasting and exploring all the different flavours that can be found in craft gin. Wonderfully diverse, gin is made from a whole host of ingredients, and there are hundreds of gins just waiting to be explored. So how do you bring this wonderful world of gin to your customers I hear you ask. Well, why not offer DIY G&Ts? Or even a Gin Tapas Board? Here at drinkstuff, we've come up with a great new way to serve gin and tonic.

How to Serve DIY Gin

Like tapas, a DIY Gin Board is all the elements your customers will need to enjoy a Gin & Tonic, but they'll be able to mix and match gins to tonics and add garnishes of their choice.  To do this you will need a selection of Gins. We recommend serving at least 4 different varieties when doing a DIY Gin Board, and they do need to be different. There's no point serving them gins that will essentially taste the same.

You could go with the basic types:
  • London Dry e.g. Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray - is the most common type of gin
  • Plymouth Gin - There is only one type of Plymouth Gin and in order for it to be called Plymouth Gin it has to be, you guessed it from Plymouth!
  • Genever - The Grandad of all gin, Genever is a Dutch Gin and we'd recommend Bols Genever.
  • Old Tom - Sweeter than London Dry but drier than Genever, Old Tom Gin bridges the gap between the two. The only gin that should be used in a Tom Collins Cocktail, we recommend Bathtub Gin.

If you don't want to go down the type of gin route, you could go with the flavour pallet of the gin instead.

You could offer gins like:
  • An Aromatic Flavoured Gin
  • A Citrus Flavoured Gin
  • A Dry Gin
  • A Floral Gin
  • A Fruity Gin
  • A Savoury Gin
  • A Spicy Gin
  • Or even a Gin that will impress whiskey lovers like the Bath Tub Gin that's been Cask Aged

When it comes to the gin choices, you could offer customers a set menu of 4 or 5 gins, or you could even let the customers pick their choice of gins from a menu. The set menu allows you to set a price and helps you order the gins you need, but a menu of gins mean that some customers may order more expensive gins. I myself enjoy the odd cheeky gin and tonic, and my pub of choice has an outstanding choice of gins (The Blue Moon in Cambridge), and I have been known to pay over £10 for one drink just because I fancied an expensive gin made exclusively in Iceland from Icelandic ingredients. I can confirm I wasn't disappointed!

Tonic Water

After you've decided which gin you'll be serving, you then need to offer the tonic to go with it. We would recommend a regular tonic or slimline tonic, and then a range of differently flavoured tonics. Fever Tree have a huge range of tonic waters, including flavours like Aromatic, Mediterranean and Elderflower. A flavoured tonic can really help the flavours of the gin pop, so offering a range of flavours helps maintain the fun DIY element of the drinks.


After tonics, there are then garnishes. Again you will want to serve a range of different garnishes to help enhance the flavour of the drink. There are classic garnishes like lemon, lime, orange, cucumber, Juniper berries. But you can also experiment with things like pink grapefruit, vanilla pods, lavender or spices. The best way to pick garnishes is to try them out! When deciding on menus why not host a gin tasting evening with your staff!

What You'll Need to Serve DIY Gin

Ok so you've picked the gins and the tonics and even the garnishes but now you need the equipment to serve it all. And of course, we've got you covered.


You've got some options when it comes to glassware. Traditionally a gin and tonic is served in a Hiball Tumbler, but to really set the scene for your customers we'd recommend serving them Gin Balloon or Spanish Copa Glasses.

A gin balloon glass looks similar to a large wine glass, but it has been designed to help develop the aromas and tastes of gin. The botanical flavours are enhanced are a great way to add some theatre to a gin and tonic.

Garnish Dishes

So you want to serve a range of garnishes to go with the gin, and you'll be needing some dishes to put them in. We really like the idea of 'Gin Tapas' so why not add that rustic feel to the serving dishes and use tapas dishes to serve the garnishes.

We really like the Rustic Coloured Tapas Dishes from Genware. They are available in a range of different colours but the green ones have to be my favourite!

Wooden Boards

When serving it all we really like the idea of serving it on wooden boards. Granted you won't get everything on the one board, and because of the size of the glasses, we'd recommend not putting the glasses on in case they topple over. But everything else could be served on a wooden board. The dine@drinkstuff range have some perfectly sized boards.

All the little extras

The great thing about DIY Gin is that you can really make it an event to remember. Customers will love being able to make their own gin and tonics and will enjoy the theatre of it all. So why not add in some little extras. We recommend serving ice alongside it all in a copper bucket complete with copper ice tongs. Shot glasses make a great way of serving herbs. You could even use a metal crate to serve the bottle of tonic water.

With DIY Gin the opportunities are endless! So why not give it a go and Pimp Your Gin!