However, the Gin we know and love today, is not as gin once was. You may recall hearing about the ‘Gin Craze’ that swept through Great Britain, especially in London in the first half of the 18th century when consumption increased rapidly turning those used to only drinking beer into degenerates.
Today, small artisanal producers are firing up their copper stills and producing gins across the country which means there will most likely be a gin distillery near to you. The popularity of the drink has led to an ever-increasing number of distilleries to experiment with new ranges, from fruity to floral, spicy to London Dry, some of which can be happily sipped without any tonic.
You may have previously whipped up a quick G&T with a handful of ice and wedge of lemon, but there is so much more to creating the perfect gin and tonic. This English staple is utter perfection when done right, so here is our tried and tested recipe:
The best gin and tonic recipe contains three simple ingredients:
An old tumbler from the back of your cupboard simply won’t do, the bigger the glass the better (it also means you can put more ice in there). Use a bigger, bowl shaped glass like a highball or copa (or a large wine glass) which will not only help open up the flavours of the gin, but gin does best when provided with some good swirling space. Eighty per cent of what you taste comes from your nose so you will want room to smell the creation as you take the sip. It’s also crucial to get your glass as cold as possible beforehand.
We recommend packing as much ice as you can into the glass. You want big cubes that melt slower and having a bigger glass means you can fit more ice in that sits closer together, which lowers the rate of dilution.
Do not let this be the afterthought. The tonic has a huge part to play in creating the best gin and tonic and needs to compliment the botanicals of the gin itself (not forgetting it is a large portion of the drink) Try tasting the tonic beforehand to find out what you like as some of the sweeter tonics can be over powering (again this is all personal preference). It’s also best to use an individual bottle for each cocktail to ensure carbonation.
Garnishes are chosen to complement the base botanicals of the particular gin in question. Cucumber, pink grapefruit, juniper berries, strawberries, sprigs of rosemary, mint leaves, mango peel, all bring different twists to your G&T. Match your garnish to the specific or highlighting botanicals in the gin. Lime, rhubarb, or an olive work well with dry gins, while grapefruit, citrus peel, cucumber, and rose petals work with floral gins. Why not look a little closer to home in your own herb garden. Herbal garnishes are aromatic and enhance the botanicals found in your gin of choice. You can even consider going through your spice rack and choose a cinnamon stick or freshly grated nutmeg, which enhances the spices found in some gins. The options are endless!
The key to a great gin and tonic recipe is to balance the bitterness of tonic water against the gin. For a stronger gin flavour, try working to a 2:1 ratio of tonic to gin. But if you are looking for a more balanced and easier-drinking gin and tonic, we would recommend a 3:1 ratio.
Now sit back and enjoy your perfectly made gin and tonic.
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