If you’re preferred tipple is a G&T then make sure you’re making the best. We’ve put together a few tips to help you get started.
Hello Gin Explorers,
As we travel through the gin journey together, we know that a lot of our explorers prefer discovering the flavours and characteristics of the gin through a G&T. So we wanted to spend some time highlighting how to get the most out of your gin and what truly makes a great Gin and Tonic.
If you are using a long glass to drink your gin and tonic then you are doing it wrong. The Copa de Balon glass dates back to the 1700s in the Basque region of northern Spain. While the English would use a long Tom Collins glass, the Spanish – who are said to be the largest drinkers of gin in Europe – developed the ‘balloon cup’ instead.
How does it make a difference?
The Copa is designed to trap the aromas of the gin to give a better taste to the drink. The large bowl also allows plenty of big ice cubes and garnish. Crucially, the bowl shape is said to stop the ice cubes from melting as quickly diluting the drink which is due to the stem, keeping your warm hand away from the cool ice.
The glass evolved, with Michelin-starred chefs in Spain using red wine glasses to drink gin and tonics as it meant the ice melted slower in their hot kitchens.
Of course, you want your G&T ice cold, but you don’t want your ice cubes to dilute your drink. Using crushed ice or small ice cubes means they will melt quicker, leaving you with a watery warm mess of a drink. Not ideal. Using big ice cubes, however, keeps you G&T cooler for longer.
How much should you use? Depends on how cold you like your drink, but in Spain, they fill the copa up to the top. In slightly colder, grier, blighty you might want a bit less.
Gins should almost always be served with a garnish accompaniment to enhance the flavour and either exaggerate flavours that are already present in the gin or add a complementary and contrasting flavour.
Choosing the right garnish depends upon the dominant flavour of the gin and the botanicals used to create it. Taste your gin and tonic first and try and identify which word most fits its character. Is it lively and full of citrus, delicate and floral or mouth puckeringly bitter and dry? Would you like to amplify that flavour or add a contrast?
Here’s a brief overview of which garnish should be pared with which gin. Gin with a strong citrus flavour finds balance with savoury garnishes. Herbs such as coriander, basil and thyme enhance the herbaceous and floral notes.
With light floral gins you don’t want a garnish that will be too overpowering and disturb the light, delicate aromas. We suggest a wheel of cucumber or a little citrus peel (grapefruit, orange, lime or lemon).
The dominant flavours in aromatic and herbaceous gins cry out for some fresh herbs to be added so that they pop even more on the nose.
Cloves really pack a punch and are great for amping up the spice level in your G&T! Alternatively add orange or pepper which compliment botanicals such as cassia and cloves, creating a warming and soft gin and tonic.
We all know that the perfect partner to a London Dry Gin is a slice of citrus. Whether that be lime, lemon, orange or even grapefruit. Classic Lonon Dry gins live in the contrast between bitter juniper and refreshing citrus and amplifying that citrus flavour can really transform your G&T.
The Right MixerThe recommended ratio of gin to tonic is 1:4 and if 3/4 of you G&T is tonic then make sure you’re using the right one. There are so many delicious premium tonics on the market that there’s no excuse for chemical-laden supermarket tonic any more. Your mixture should ultimately complement your gin, making it easier to pick out the botanical notes within the gin. If your tonic drowns out the flavour, don’t use it.
We put together a few of our favourite mixtures, you can also read our blog ‘top 5 tonics of 2016’ for even more recommendations.
Franklin and Son
This company dates back to 1886 where the Franklin family’s small confectioners shop was found in Rickmansworth in London. The Franklin brothers quickly established themselves as experts in creating authentic, high-quality recipes made from delicious hand-picked ingredients.
Double Dutch Drinks was established by Dutch twins Raissa and Joyce de Haas. Their philosophy is to create a mixer that should elevate the spirit, spurring the taste buds to experience new and richer, deeper and more exciting flavours. It should reward the drinker with sensations that improve, rather than diluting their chosen drink. Their
Their Cucumber & Watermelon Premium Mixer is clean and refreshing, slightly sweet but balanced with the crisp, floral aromas of cucumber. The Pomegranate & Basil Premium Mixer has an intense Italian basil flavour, very savoury, but with pomegranate to mollify the bitterness. Both tonics go beautifully with a range of different gins including Elephant gin, Sir Robin of Locksley, Nelsons and Makar are all perfect examples, as featured in the May Gin Explorer edition.
It goes without saying, this one would be included! Fever-Tree found a gap in the market for a premium offering and were one of the biggest contributors to the Gin Renaissance. Their Mediterranean Tonic Water and Aromatic Tonic Water were seen in our August boxes and are the perfect mixer to top of your G&T.