Everything You Need To Know About A Gin And Tonic
June 11, 2016
Mixologists all around the world are rejoicing today in lieu of National Gin Day.
The spirit derives from juniper berries for a precise flavour like no other cocktail available today – and we can’t get enough of it.
So, on this united day, we’ve decided to clear up some myths about the elixir – including it makes you sad and is classified as a British drink – and share everything you need to know about gin.
This is for all you gin-lover bartenders who are tired of amateur mixologists messing up its delicate taste and instead, let’s path our future with correct traditions.
Myths About Gin
- It makes you cry. It’s inviting to blame your uncontrollable emotions on the spirit, but that’s just irresponsible.
- Its flavour solely comes from juniper berries. Whilst these fruits add zest to the drink, it’s the remaining distilled ingredients which make each brand unique.
- Gin and Tonics prevent malaria. It’s a nice thought to justify our reasons for drinking a G&T at the weekend, but in today’s tampered world, it’s not the case. But rewind to the old days where the tonic water was anti-malaria and a cocktail could literally save your life.
Now let’s flip the coin, and talk about some amazing gin facts.
Facts About Gin
- It’s rare that the juniper berries used in gin are cultivated, as they’re handpicked in the wild.
- Juniper berries originated in the Mediterranean, where they were said to be the tastiest in the world, and imported to Britain (hence why people consider it to be a British beverage).
- The crave for olives came about when Americans began adding one to their drink to switch their flavours from sweet to sour.
- To find your perfect gin companion, try each brand at room temperature diluted with the same amount of water.
- Britain consumed 3.5 million gallons of gin, in 1721. Naughty Brits!
Making The Perfect Gin and Tonic
Now you’ve busted the myths and learned some fun facts about gin, it’s time to do something with this nifty information and learn to make the perfect gin – every single time.
It might sound pernickety to complicate a drink which comprises of only two ingredients (the clues are in the name), but it’s one of the most popular cocktails in the world – making it easy to do wrong and sometimes tricky to do right.
Choosing The Right Tonic Water
When choosing the tonic water, don’t pick up a 20p value bottle that’s 500ml in size because you love a bargain. The drink won’t miraculously taste amazing if you’re not carefully selecting your ingredients.
The range is versatile – from heavy flavours, lemonade-based, a bold juniper taste… and the list goes on. Really it’s personal taste, but you can’t have hundreds of bottles behind the bar awaiting to be picked.
The main thing is to avoid storing large bottles which have been opened for days, or even just hours. As the water needs to be heavily carbonated, once oxygen enters the bottle, it will lose its fizz.
Purchase cans of tonic and add to the concoction for a refreshing current taste.
Which Gin To Use
Everyone’s ears pricks up when we start talking about the ingredient that will inject that sparkle to their drink. Every gin-lover has their personal preference for a brand, but we’ve found the leading brands for the best taste.
The classic Bombay Sapphire is a bottle which almost every bartender will have on display, and it’s no surprise. After nearly 30 years of production, it’s still going strong.
So what makes it a revolution? The key process of Bombay is delicacy. The ingredients are mixed by vapour rather than aggressively mixing the alcohol and plant extracts. All in all, it equates to a warm and spicy taste which doesn’t have a heavy citrus aftertaste.
Sipsmith is another favourite amongst the gin-enthusiasts and has been hitting our taste buds for over 200 years. That’s crazy time!
From its carefully crafted bottle to its smooth consistency and peppery finish, it’s a winner by many bar goers.
Combining The Ingredients For The Perfect Taste
Gin is an acquired taste: some love it and some loathe its bitterness. But as long as you mix the ingredients in the optimal way and put care and attention into its appearance, there’s not much more you can do.
Unlike any other cocktail which uses gin, you can get away with refrigerating it prior to mixing drinks – and that goes for the tonic and even the glass too.
As there are only two ingredients, you have to be cognisant about the portions of the gin to the tonic. Too much and you’ll have people on the floor, too little and they’ll complain about not getting their money’s worth.
50ml of gin to 100ml of tonic hits the sweet spot every time. The amount of ice and even quality of ice can impact the feedback you get, and don’t use too large of a glass that it means your ratios are all off.
After you’ve poured the gin in, squeeze one lime wedge into the glass, followed by the tonic and then another round of one lime wedge. Some prefer a sour taste and some may suggest holding back on the lime, but this is a G&T at its finest.
Oh and it’s a no-brainer, but use fresh limes – not stale ones which have evidently been someone’s leftovers. Store out of a fridge to avoid dehydrating.
So there you have how to make the perfect cocktail in nearly 1000 words. As finicky as it seems, being specific and caring about your ingredients will only help with the overall taste and keep the customers coming back for more.