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The Mixologist Recommends with Carl and Gill Taylor

Carl and Gill Taylor are a husband and wife team, and the brains and talent behind Gin & Juice in Royton, Oldham. The town-centre bar specialises in gin and stocks 80 at any one time; rotating brands regularly to give their customers fresh choices throughout the year. With World Gin Day happening on 8 June Take Stock spoke to them about all things gin…

What are your plans for World Gin Day?
We are putting on an exciting event that involves gin, gin and more gin! We have been posting about it on our social media to help generate interest, as we find the event attracts real gin lovers who come along looking for something interesting and new. We aim to deliver, so for the past two years
we’ve had 10-15 new gins on top of our usual stock so customers are able to try something different. It really gets people talking and trying.

What gins are they?
Cuckoo Sunshine Gin, Kuro Gin and Forest Gin were popular last year so we will be serving them again, along with new ones we haven’t stocked before. These include 3 Pugs Premium Gin, Didsbury Gin, Slingsby Gooseberry and Gin Ting just to mention a few! We will also serve the mixers Double Dutch and Lamb & Watt Hibiscus Tonic with flavours including cucumber and watermelon, and pomegranate and basil. We tend to work with one of our favourite partners to help promote the day and make it memorable.

What’s the minimum number of gins an outlet should serve for the event?
We’d recommend 10-15 because that’s enough for your customers to have enough variety. Good old premium gins like Hendricks and Tanqueray (maybe Tanqueray 10) never fail, along with a few spiced gins such as Opihr and Cuckoo Spiced Gin. Flavoured gins such as Parma Violet, 3 Pugs Bubblegum and our most recent favourite Cherry Bakewell always go down well too.

How can outlets upsell their gin offering?
Along with our classic serves of gin poured over ice and served in a juniper gin glass, we will be offering premium gin and prosecco cocktails. These will be a shot of their favourite flavoured gin topped with prosecco, shimmer and garnished with fresh fruit. It’s a simple way to add an extra £3 or £4 to your drink, it tastes great and looks amazing – so will impress the customer.

What is the perfect G&T?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are a lot of amazing gins out there. Our top two are: Forest Gin, served over ice with Double Dutch Tonic and garnished with raspberry, juniper and a sprig of rosemary, and Slingsby Rhubarb Gin, served over ice, with Schweppes Slimline Tonic and garnished with a slice of orange – a perfect summer G&T!

What’s so special about gin? Why all the love?
Gin is so versatile and has endless flavours and possibilities. It’s great to drink neat, with a tonic or mixer, or to make a fabulous cocktail with. We love the stories that come with the making of gin: the blood, sweat and tears people go through to make their own product and get it to market, the small family run businesses like us who are giving it a go, doing something they love. Gin has a great history and it brings people together. There’s nothing better than friends and family time over a great G&T!

What’s your most popular gin?
We have two. Larios Rose Gin and Brockmans, with Larios being our most popular flavoured gin. The most popular tonic is Fever-Tree Mediterranean. We have also seen a big rise in the number of people drinking gin with lemonade or soda.

What are the essential gins and tonics a bar should stock?
For us, the essential gins we would expect to see behind a bar would be Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray 10, Hendricks, Brockmans, Manchester Gin Raspberry, Larios Rose, Opihr or Cuckoo Spiced, Bathtub Old Tom or Herno Old Tom, plus a couple of gin liqueurs – preferably Parma Violet and Bubblegum. We have seen a massive trend in the ‘gin liqueur’ craze. This may sound stupid to a gin lover, however customers love gin liqueur served with tonic or lemonade, and they are great with prosecco.

Talk us through your collection of gin…
We stock 80 gins at any one time and rotate them to give our customers fresh choices throughout the seasons of the year. We love Forest Gin, Hendricks is an absolute classic that never fails, Cuckoo Sunshine Gin is another interesting one – we serve that with Lamb & Watt Hibiscus Tonic and garnish with raspberries and edible flowers! It looks fantastic in the glass.

Do you serve gin with other mixers than just tonic?
Yes. We have recognised a number of customers claiming to ‘not like gin’, however, by offering them alternatives such as Rose Lemonade, Double Dutch Cucumber & Watermelon mixer and Pomegranate & Basil Mixer also the very popular Fever-Tree Ginger Ale we have converted many people to gin lovers.

Here are Carl and Gill’s favourite gin cocktails to serve on World Gin Day: Cherry Bakewell Fizz, Defiance Wild Rose Gin & Rose Lemonade & Classic Gin & Juice Cocktail

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