Summer is around the corner, and even if we’re still with the heaters on, there is going to be one drink that makes a much welcomed return to our drinks selection; gin and tonic. OK, so we may be hamming it up a little with what actually constitutes as a summer drink as you will not have been ashamed (and rightly so) to be still drinking this delicious mixer throughout winter, but summer time is different.
It’s when you have barbecues and singe your knuckles because you don’t have “the right equipment”. It’s when you have friends round for food and summer parties. It’s when you start to enjoy your garden that little bit more, and when, in the UK, a heatwave lasts three days you make the most of it by catching as much vitamin D as is physically possible.
So, yes, your drinking game needs to take a step up and we know that Gin & Tonic is the way to do it.
There’s no such thing as “just” gin & tonic
Let’s be clear, there is no such thing as “just” gin & tonic. Yes, the ingredients on a standard mixer are the same, gin & tonic. But let’s also be clear, you don’t spend equal amounts of money on different gins, different tonics and get the same results all the time.
What you have are ingredients. A prized restaurant will piece together a menu from the best choice of materials that they have, together they combine to make a great dish; how is this any different when it comes to your tipple of choice? Good ingredients, good gin and tonic.
A tonic is not just a tonic
Sure, you can buy off the shelf supermarket tonic (and gin), which is good, and slap together a decent G&T, the reality is though, you want to make an event out of having a great drink. Don’t sell yourself short by getting a cheap tonic water, especially for the G&T recipes we have for you.
The other big thing to note is; the tonic makes up for the biggest part of your drink, not the gin. It is becoming more and more common that mixologists and bar staff pair the gin with the tonic water and not the other way around.
There are two main types of tonic you should look for; the fresh, lemony ones which work well with a variety of fruit and spice based gins, and then the strong juniper flavoured kind. Think Sipmsmith tonic for the later, and a 6 O’Clock for the former.
3 Easy To Make G&T’s at Home!
Here’s the deal, you know want to make a great gin and tonic at home and you’re thinking, “shit, a wedge of lemon just won’t do.” We’re here to help.
Here are three great summertime gin and tonics you can make at home, without too much difficulty!
STRAWBERRY AND BLACK PEPPER GIN AND TONIC
50ml Martin Miller’s Gin
3/4 large strawberries
Cracked black pepper corns
200ml tonic water (citrus type, Fever Tree works well)
1. Pour 50ml Martin Miller’s Gin into the glass and add three sliced strawberries.
2. Fill the glass with ice and add a crack of black pepper.
3. Pour in the tonic water, stir and add a strawberry for garnish.
RASPBERRY ROSE GIN & TONIC (Courtesy of The Hungry Australian)
2/3 punnet raspberries (approximately 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup Bombay Sapphire gin (approximately 80 mls)
3 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice (approximately 1.5 limes, juiced)
1/4 teaspoon rosewater
1/2 lime for garnishing
1 teaspoon dried rose petals (food grade, available at speciality food shops)
1. Place first five ingredients into a jug and muddle (semi-crush) raspberries with the end of a wooden spoon. You can leave it to infuse for up to an hour but if you’re in a hurry, simply skip on to the next step.
2. Add spoonfuls of crushed ice to two tumblers (or highballs if you prefer more tonic water) and pour over berry mixture, dividing equally.
3. Top with chilled tonic water, garnish with a lime slice and scatter over dried rose petals.
GIN AND TONIC WITH CUCUMBER AND ROSE (serves 8)
A good handful of ice
Handful of scented rose petals, washed
360 ml Hendrick’s gin
1 good quality cucumber, thinly sliced lengthways into ribbons (use a peeler)
To taste: good-quality tonic water
1. Fill a good gin glass, lowball preferably with lots of ice.
2. Pour 30ml (or more) Hendrick’s gin into each, add a curled ribbon of cucumber, then pour over a splash of tonic and serve immediately.