“It’s rewarding to tell the story of distillers,” says Federico Dordoni. Together with his wife, winemaker Ashley Berini, Dordoni is the owner of Fortitude Valley’s Proud Henry Wine Bar and Ginoteca. “We understand how hard it can be when you’re a small business to try and promote yourself and get to the public. So having the chance to tell the story of the distillers is the most rewarding side of providing gin to our customers.”

Proud Henry stocks a range of more than 280 gins from around the world, and Dordoni is always hosting tasting events to share his passion with the public. “We call it a Gin Safari,” he says. “This is an in-depth experience through the world of gin from when gin started through to more contemporary gins. Customers have the chance to not only learn, but also taste all the differences. Anyone who wants to learn the nitty-gritty of gin, this is the experience.”

Dordoni’s passion for these classes can be traced to his previous experience as a sommelier. “You can’t not be captivated by the fact gin has an infinite array of flavours,” says Dordoni. “You can have your sweet, sweet gins, to bone dry, to tasting like the ocean, to tasting like the mountains. It’s a huge range of flavours that is definitely fun to play with.”

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The Gin Safari educates participants on the six regional and historical styles of gin, with a healthy number of tastings mixed in as well. To begin, participants try the early Dutch precursor to modern gin, genever.

“Genever is pretty different,” says Dordoni. “It’s not for everyone. But it’s a very old style so it needs to be talked about and tasted.” From there, the tasting moves on to familiar styles like London dry, as well as modern versions from Australia, America and Japan.

“The Japanese ones are fun to talk about, they’re a lot more subtle and soft,” says Dordoni. “As a broader style, you find that the Japanese tend to use less juniper.” Rounding out the tasting is the sweet, intensely coloured sloe gin. With this style, sloe berries (or sometimes other fruits) are softened in a combination of gin and sugar. “It’s usually quite red in colour and a lot sweeter,” says Dordoni. “It’s something different to finish off – kind of like a dessert gin.”

Dordoni’s skill set means participants will be getting more than just gin. “With our background being sommeliers, we try to emphasise the food component paired with the drinking experience – I think that goes hand in hand,” says Dordoni. Partnering with neighbours Tara Thai, Dordoni also matches a selection of “Thai tapas” with each gin. “Something spicy and hot like chilli can go really well with a sloe gin, because the sweetness tames the chilli,” says Dordoni. “Likewise, if you have something quite sweet, you can go with a nice dry gin to refresh and reset the palate.”

If you can’t make it to the exclusive tasting series, Dordoni has a few tips to get the most from your spirit. “We always give the option to the customer to taste the gin on its own,” says Dordoni. “If you ask any of the distillers, that’s how they like their gin to be experienced the first time. I would definitely be tasting it straight first because that’s how you taste the flavours of the gin.”

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Mastercard. Mastercard cardholders can taste their way through the evolution of gin with Dordoni at Proud Henry, or sign up to Mastercard Priceless today.