Make an effort when you're serving your gin - pic supplied

When you serve gin at home to your friends and family make the extra effort of putting in some thought into the presentation.

When you’re hosting at home, you’re no doubt looking something fun and special to entertain your guests – and an at-home gin tasting is such a great way to express your creativity, is a little different, and makes for a great time!

Curating your gin collection is as much looking the part as it is about knowing your gins. Whether you’re using a tray or - if your budget allows – a trolley, a having the right pieces will show your guests you are seriously ginspired! 

Jean Buckman (JB) founder of The Gin Box, and Susan McCoubrey (SM) head merchandiser at interiors store, Block & Chisel can help you up your style-game. 

How do I set up a good trolley? What style tips should I consider?

SM: The key is to make it interesting – pick a selection of different gin bottles to give depth in height and shape, and add colour – through the gins, to the garnishes and tonics. Different shaped glassware and a mix of containers keep the eye entertained. Include something unexpected – maybe with candles or an unusual ornament. 

JB: Our local craft gins are flavoured with local fynbos and fauna, so you can bring in fresh flowers and plants to bring your display to life. Before your guests arrive, make sure all your fresh ingredients are on the tray – fresh garnish, fruit, ice, etc. 

How many gins make a party?

JB: You need at least 3 different South African craft gins on your tray, more for a trolley. 

Don’t compromise – stick to local craft gins. If you have foreign gins, drink them now – enjoy them and then finish off so that you can focus on your SA collection! 

A Clifton Trolley is the perfect way to serve your gin - pic supplied

Does it matter what tonic and garnish I use?

JB: It’s worth doing a little homework on your gins to know what garnish works best, but there are no rules with creating a G&T, so let your guests have some fun and pick from a selection. Some unusual ideas might include ruby grapefruit slices, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, a few cinnamon sticks, sliced strawberries, rosemary sticks, basil or fennel leaves, as well as the traditional lemon and cucumber slices. 

You’ll also need a collection of tonics, such as Fitch & Leedes or Barker & Quin, and maybe a few Fever Tree if your budget allows. Put all these on the tray or in a bucket of ice before your guests arrive. 

The Gin Box recommends choosing a few of these local craft gins as talking points for your gin tray: Six Dogs Blue, Pienaar & Son, Musgrave Pink, General’s Gin, Westcliff, Ginifer, Southern Cross Gin and Clemengold.   

Block & Chisel suggestions include the perfect wine cooler, urban trolley and cosmic tray to make your at home gin tasting memorable.