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Wednesday 8 June 2022

How to make the very best gin and tonic

Remember when gin was a simple drink used in G+Ts and the occasional cocktail?

This Saturday is World Gin Day and around the world spirits lovers will be celebrating myriad different styles and gin combos.

Whether you like your gin neat, as the basis for a cocktail, or in a classic lime-garnished G&T here are some mouth-watering ideas from some of my favourite gin creators.

From traditional gins to those infused with berries, or rhubarb, here we go. 

Tom Warner, co-founder of Warner's Distillery kicks off with a farm-grown G&T using his rhubarb gin.

“Every bottle is one-third real rhubarb juice, so it’s naturally pink. It tastes like rhubarb and looks like rhubarb because that’s what it ruddy well is. Cracking with Mediterranean Tonic (also absolute dynamite with Ginger Ale if you’re not a tonic fan). Add a slice of orange if you’ve got one going spare.”

Four Pillars from Healesville in the Yarra Valley believes the simplicity of a gin and tonic lets the gin shine.

“For me, there is nothing better than our signature Rare Dry Gin mixed in a G&T with good quality tonic water, plenty of ice, and a slice of orange,” says co-founder & distiller Cam Mackenzie.

“We use whole fresh oranges in each distillation so using an orange wedge as a garnish really complements the unique citrus notes in the gin.”

There are several ways to enhance the classic gin and tonic without deviating from its fundamental essence, as Bombay Sapphire master distiller Dr Anne Brock points out.

Her suggestions include switching the garnish to match the flavour profile of the gin; stirring in a sprig of herb to add flavour intensity; using a flavoured tonic water to change up the flavour dynamic and using an infused gin like Bombay Bramble, which uses blackberries and raspberries to add a different flavour.

She also advises: Don’t be shy with the ice: at its core, a G+T should be refreshing. Using too little ice, or letting it melt quickly, is a fast track towards undermining a cocktail that needs to be cold to be its best.

Two recipes;

Bombay Sapphire Classic Gin & Tonic: 50ml Bombay Sapphire, 100 ml premium tonic water, lime wedge. Fill a balloon glass to the rim with large, cubed ice, pour 50ml of Bombay Sapphire, squeeze fresh lime into drink and drop into glass, top with premium tonic water, stir and enjoy.

Warner’s Rhubarb G+T: Combine 60ml Warner’s Rhubarb Gin with a splash of Mediterranean tonic, add a slice of orange or blood orange

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