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What makes a great Gin and Tonic

What makes a great Gin and Tonic

Posted by Karen Skerratt on 19 April 2024

The Gin and Tonic has its origins in the British colonial era in India during the 19th century. It was originally conceived as a medicinal drink to combat malaria. The British East India Company officers stationed in India would mix quinine, a bitter compound derived from the bark of the cinchona tree and known for its anti-malarial properties, with water, sugar, lime, and gin to make the quinine more palatable. The addition of gin not only masked the bitter taste of quinine but also provided a refreshing and alcoholic beverage for the officers in the sweltering heat of the Indian subcontinent.

Over time, the drink evolved into the beloved cocktail we know today, with variations in the ratios of gin, tonic water, and garnishes like lime or lemon.

A good Gin and Tonic is all about balance and harmony between its key ingredients. The key is to use quality ingredients, using a high-quality gin such as the award-winning Exeter Gin or Granny Garbutt’s Gin and tonic water like Fever Tree. The gin should have a well-balanced flavour profile with prominent juniper notes and complementary botanicals. Opt for tonic water that is crisp, not too sweet, and preferably made with natural ingredients, we highly recommend the Mediterranean Fever Tree toni.

The ratio of gin to tonic is crucial, common guideline is one part gin to three parts tonic, but this can be adjusted according to personal preference. Some prefer a stronger gin flavour, while others prefer a lighter touch. Use plenty of ice to chill the G&T and keep it refreshing, larger ice cubes melt more slowly, preventing dilution and ensuring the drink stays cold without becoming watery.

 Garnishes are important like a wedge of lime or lemon, a slice of cucumber, or a sprig of fresh herbs like Rosemary not only add visual appeal but also contribute aroma and flavour to the drink – experiment with different garnishes to find your favourite combination.

Serve your Gin and Tonic in a tall glass, such as a highball, filled with ice. The tall shape allows for plenty of ice and mixer while showcasing the drink's effervescence. Presentation matters! Take care to pour the tonic water gently over the ice and gin to preserve its carbonation and create an appealing visual effect. Stir gently to mix the ingredients without causing excessive fizz.

Finally take your time to sip and savour the flavours of your Gin and Tonic. Appreciate the interplay between the botanicals in the gin, the bitterness of the tonic, and the brightness of the garnish.

Ultimately, a good Gin and Tonic is a personalised experience, so don't be afraid to experiment with different gins (we can highly recommend 57% abv Ivaar the Boneless Navy Strength Gin for that extra kick!), tonics, ratios, and garnishes until you find the combination that suits your taste preferences perfectly. Cheers!

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