Find the key etiquette rules on how to serve and drink Gin and tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table. Enjoy Gin the right way.

how to serve and drink gin

What Gin etiquette is

Gin etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and drink Gin. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow Gin etiquette to appropriately serve it to your guests.

If you are a guest, respect the Gin etiquette rules to properly drink and enjoy it.

What you should know about Gin

Gin is a distilled spirit. It is made from fermented herbs. 

Many varieties exist. In general, Gin is clear in color and dry in flavor. It has a high alcohol content, about 40%. 

Etiquette tips to serve and drink Gin

1) How to store Gin

Store Gin in a cool and dry place. The temperature should be constant. 

Keep the bottle away from sources of heat. The bottle should not be exposed to direct light, natural or artificial. 

You can store Gin in the fridge. The freezer is not ideal, as Gin should not be served too cold. 

After opening it, you can keep a bottle of Gin for several months. 

2) How to prepare Gin

If you are serving Gin plain, place it in the fridge at least 6 hours before. Alternatively, you can put it in the freezer for 1 or 2 hours.

When you are mixing Gin in a cocktail, you do not need to cool it first. 

3) How to serve & present Gin

Serve Gin chilled but not freezer cold. The ideal temperature is between 10°C and 13°C (50°F – 55°F).

Present Gin in its bottle. It is not common to put the bottle in a bucket of water and ice to keep it chilled. 

On informal occasions, it is acceptable to present a bottle of Gin that has already been opened. On formal occasions, it is best to serve a new bottle and to open it at the table. 

Another option is to serve Gin already poured into individual glasses.

Serve Gin in highball glasses or large tumblers. You can chill glasses in the fridge before presenting them. It is not common to serve Gin in shot glasses.

Serve Gin with ice. You can accompany it with lemon, lime, and tonic water. Or you can mix Gin in a cocktail.

4) When to serve & drink Gin

Gin is a strong drink. Thus, plain Gin is mostly appropriate for after-meal drinks. 

Gin cocktails are appropriate as pre-meal or after-meal drinks. Due to Gin’s dry aroma, Gin cocktails are great for an aperitivo.

It is not common to serve Gin during a meal or to accompany a course. However, some Gin cocktails can be served to match desserts, fruit salads, or even barbecue dishes.

Gin is appropriate for formal or informal occasions.

5) Food & aromas to pair Gin with

The most popular Gin pairing is tonic water. 

However, thanks to its dry and clean flavor, Gin pairs well with many aromas.

Herbal flavors. Lemon or lime, orange, or clementine. Apple or pear. Berries, such as strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, or raspberry. Ginger. Rhubarb

6) How to drink Gin

Drink Gin in a highball glass or a large tumbler glass. It is common to mix it with ice.

Do not drink it swiftly or in a single sip. A glass should last between 10 and 20 minutes. 

Hold the glass only to bring it to your mouth. Do not hold the glass longer to avoid warming the Gin or the cocktail with your hand.

Gin serving & drinking etiquette: the worst mistakes

When serving or drinking Gin, avoid the worst etiquette mistakes. 

  • 10/10. Getting drunk. 
  • 6/10. Serving an already opened bottle on a formal occasion.
  • 5/10. Serving Gin warm and without ice.
  • 2/10. Presenting Gin in the wrong glasses.

Additional information for properly serving Gin

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

The calories in Gin depend on the variety and alcohol content. On average, Gin contains about 255 calories per 100 ml (3.5 oz). An individual serving is a highball glass of 90 ml (3.0 oz). It contains 218 calories.

How to buy the best Gin

A crucial factor in Gin etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Choose the best

The most common Gins in commerce are industrial, branded products. Do your research and buy the brand that fits best your needs or taste.

Alternatives to Gin

Substitute Gin with another clear distilled spirit. Vodka. Unaged varieties of Tequila. Unaged varieties of white Rum.