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Can you drink gin neat?

When it comes to drinking gin, the possibilities are endless. You’ve probably tried or seen it in popular serves like the Martini and Negroni. But can gin be enjoyed neat?


Gin is an exceptional liquid with a complex flavour that often finds itself at the heart of classic cocktails. But just like other spirits such as whisky and vodka, it doesn’t always need other ingredients to create a delicious sipping experience.


Back when gin was first invented in the 17th century, it was drunk on its own as a medicinal tonic to treat all sorts of ailments. People immediately realised it was in fact delicious and soon enough gin became a popular drink across the world.


Over the years, its versatility and crisp botanical flavours have meant gin’s become a favourite for cocktail makers and simple mixers like the Gin & Tonic. And whilst these drinks are hard to beat, we also enjoy going back to gin’s roots and appreciating the intricacies of the spirit.


Here we share how drinking gin straight is a fantastic way to taste this botanical-infused liquid.

is it ok to drink gin straight?

Not only can you drink gin neat but it’s actually the best way to try a bottle of gin, at least for the first time. Some gin enthusiasts prefer this way of drinking gin completely compared to mixing it with tonic or in a cocktail as doing so allows you to experience its full spectrum of flavours.


Gin is a complex spirit that gets its taste from botanicals. To qualify as gin, it must include juniper which brings a piney, herbal flavour. But there’s also lots of other natural ingredients that are added in the gin making process such as coriander seed, sweet almond and the earthy notes of angelica root. 


Here at Beefeater, we use a total of nine botanicals to create our iconic London Dry Gin, including our signature citrus notes of lemon peel and Sevillian orange. By drinking it neat, you can really identify each individual flavour.

Which gins are good for drinking neat?

The quality of the gin plays a significant role in how enjoyable it is to drink straight. Premium gins, which are often smoother and more refined, are generally more pleasant to sip neat compared to others that may have harsher notes. 


Beefeater London Dry, Beefeater 24 and Beefeater Crown Jewel are each premium gins with unique, layered flavour profiles that are perfect for drinking neat. Give each a sip to notice the difference in taste! 


Flavoured gins also offer a fun way to drink gin neat if you’re not feeling up to a stronger serve. With added fruity flavours, they’re sweeter and a lower ABV than other types of gin. Enjoy the bright-tasting citrus notes of Beefeater Blood Orange or embrace the vibrant strawberry sweetness of our Pink Gin.

how to drink gin neat

Drinking gin on its own isn’t quite as simple as pouring and sipping. There’s a few things to consider to make sure the experience is as enjoyable as it should be. 


Start by using the right glassware such as a small tumbler or snifter which will help to concentrate the aromas. Drinking from a taller glass will mean you’re hit with the strength of the alcohol way before you get to taste it which can be a little off putting!


When it comes to taking your first sip, do so slowly to savour the taste and notice the botanical flavours.

Is gin better neat or with ice?

Drinking gin neat means without ice. But if you want it on the rocks, that’s fine too. We actually prefer gin drinks with ice to keep things cool and refreshing. 


Adding ice softens the alcoholic burn making it easier to sip and pinpoint those delicious botanical flavours. But you could also add frozen garnishes or even freeze the gin itself. Don’t worry, it won’t solidify!


Some gin drinkers also prefer to add a splash of water. This mellows the alcohol without the frozen chill of ice. Another option to consider when drinking gin neat.


Find out more about drinking gin with ice including plenty of ideas on how to take your ice to the next level.

Garnishing your gin

Sipping gin straight allows you to truly enjoy the spirit’s individual flavours. But if you’re drinking an old favourite and know those flavours well, it can be even more special to add a fruity or herbal garnish. Particularly when it pairs with the most prominent botanicals in the gin. 


A twist of lemon or orange can elevate the spirit’s light citrus notes, whilst a sprig of rosemary or thyme will add a savoury note that complements the herbs in the gin’s botanical ingredients.


Ultimately, drinking gin straight is a matter of personal taste. If you enjoy exploring the complex flavours of spirits, trying gin neat can be a rewarding experience. Remember to drink responsibly and enjoy the journey of discovering your preferred way to savour gin.


Learn more in our guides to how to drink gin and what gin tastes like. And if neat isn’t your style, we’ve got plenty of gin cocktail recipes for you to try. From the best Gin and Tonic drinks to sweet gin cocktails. Grab your shaker and make them at home with Beefeater.

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Beefeater Gin & Tonic

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Beefeater Negroni

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Blood Orange Gin & Tonic cocktail recipe - Beefeater Gin


Blood Orange Gin & Tonic

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Pink French 75 cocktail recipe - Beefeater Pink Strawberry Gin


Pink French 75

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Sweet Cocktails

Pink Lady cocktail recipe - Beefeater Pink Gin


Pink Lady

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Sweet Cocktails