We may sound like alcoholics but the botanical smell of juniper unleashed when the top pops from the gin bottle is extremely comforting. Gin is a trendy choice but in the hands of a novice it is merely a semi-cold offering made from a tipple of Gordon’s and a shot of Schweppes.

GINGER

Just because ginger starts with the same three letters does not mean it is an appropriate accompaniment to take your favourite cocktail up a notch. Here are some unexpected garnishes to spice up your happy hour.

LIME

Historically the accustomed garnish around the world; whether you choose a slice or wedge it is a traditionally foolproof choice, as long as it is fresh.

LEMON

It may come as a surprise that the UK exclusively has been using this as an alternative to lime since the 1930s. If you are lucky enough to have half hiding under a banana in the fruit bowl, a peel of the zest gives you best results.

CUCUMBER

Paired with Hendricks this is a triumphantly classic combination. Rule Britannia.

GRAPEFRUIT

Stir-up the citrus fruits. A large pink wedge will not only look great and impress your guests, your gin supply may be drunk dry quicker than expected.

OLIVE

This should only be chosen when straight gin is (shaken not stirred) with dry vermouth – martini style.

MANGO

New research suggests contrasting the botanicals flavour with the sweetness of mango creates taste fireworks in your mouth.

HERBS

Rosemary, coriander and basil all add an extra herbal flavour, maximising the botanicals already in the gin.

BLACK PEPPER

Normally kept for the food courses to follow your cocktail, it gives a subtle spice kick to the gin. Best for those who don’t have a sweet tooth.

CHILLI

Variety is the spice of life, choose either red or green to create a savoury gin and tonic sensation that energises your taste buds.