I’m not much of a cocktail drinker, but I do love a decent G&T. Ah, but not just any. For me, the joy of a gin and tonic very much depends on the booze you choose, as well as on the quality of the tonic water. I personally really like the following gins:
Gabriel Boudier’s Saffron Gin: produced in Dijon, France. The first thing that catches one’s eye is certainly the gin’s distinctive amber orange hue. It also has a lovely buttery texture and a very pleasant subtle saffron taste. A favourite.
Ungava Canadian Premium Gin: an award winning gin from Canada that is growing in popularity. Sunshine yellow hue, but not from saffron this time. Rather botanicals such as Labrador Tea, Nordic juniper, crowberry and cloudberry combined with wild rose hips give the gin its distinct aroma, flavour and colour. A hit.
Breil Pur London Dry Gin: from a tiny distillery close to Brigels in the Swiss Alps. Multi-facetted, but well balanced taste, with a refreshing note of mint, lemon and orange. Absolute insider tip.
Monkey 47 Gin: exquisite gin from the Black Forest in Germany. The number 47 comes from the number of botanicals that go into this gin, and the fact that it’s bottled at a healthy 47%. A classic.
Why not try spicing your G&T up a bit. It can make it infinitely more interesting. Here are three ideas collected from Spain, Switzerland and England. Those recipes call for only a few ingredients, but they add great flavor and bring a bit of colour to your drink.
MADRID, SPAIN – SPICY & EXOTIC
This idea is from a bar called Bristolbar in Madrid. A work colleague told me about it and hell, yes, this is a surprisingly pleasant G&T:
Place a star aniseed in a glass and add a twist of orange peel. Then fill the glass with lots of ice. Fill up with Cadenhead’s Old Raj Dry Gin and tonic water (I took Thomas Henry).
SILS MARIA (ENGADIN), SWITZERLAND – REFRESHING & VIBRANT
The Edelweiss Hotel in Sils Maria claims to make the best gin & tonics in Switzerland. Grand words call for a grand jury which is why last summer a group of us decided to go through what their bar has to offer – a good way to celebrate Swiss National Day. Each picked one – and I couldn’t have been happier with my choice:
Fill a glass with 4cl of Gin Mare (a Spanish gin). Cut half of a basil leaf, quarter one cherry tomato, and into the gin with it. Add ground black pepper and fill up with Fever Tree Tonic Water. Tasty!
BURWASH, ENGLAND – HOT & TART
Invented by my friend Jon (“OMG – stop everything – try this”) and kindly allowed to share with you. Don’t miss out on it!
The trick here and most important apparently is the strength of the gin (must be higher than 43%). Jon recommends Gordon’s. Not the weak 37% version, but the real thing: the 47,3% UK bottle. Add lime juice and – get this – a splash of green jalapeño tabasco sauce. Fill the glass with ice cubes and tonic water, garnish with a slice of lime, sit back and enjoy.