Gin is a versatile drink and the choice of a garnish has evolved beyond the simple lemon slice and now includes a multitude of wheels, wedges, sprigs, shavings, fruit infusions, ribbons or twists of peel.
Gin is a versatile drink and the choice of a garnish has evolved beyond the simple lemon slice and now includes a multitude of wheels, wedges, sprigs, shavings, fruit infusions, ribbons or twists of peel. To make your G&T look good but also add to the flavour profile of botanicals can often be a challenge but also a lot of fun.
Purists would suggest that there are rules or guidelines to creating a balanced combination of fruits and herbs that can make or break a gin experience. Dry gins are balanced with freshness of citrus from limes, lemons, grapefruit and orange. Conversely, citrus gins are balanced by the warm, nutty and spicy tone of coriander, basil and thyme.
Ultimately the choice of garnish is a personal preference and many distillers will provide suggestions within their tasting notes to deliver what they regard to be the perfect serve. So be brave and don’t be afraid to be adventurous.
There are several ways to enjoy a glass of gin without the need for the go-to mixer of tonic water. Alternatives to bitter lemon, Campari, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, Crème de Violette, dry vermouth, elder flower juice, French vermouth, ginger beer, ginger wine, green Chartreuse, Ice, red vermouth, soda water and tomato juice. Each of these mixers can create a refreshing fruity and aromatic infusion to the gin’s flavour profile.
The classic gin drink of G&T a mix of 1:3 gin to tonic water served in a highball glass with a garnish of ice and lemon. To this day it has never been out of fashion and was first commercialised as a healthy drink by Schweppes in 1870 as an “Indian Quinine Tonic” to protect overseas travellers with a daily dose of quinine. Quinine comes from cinchona bark and has medicinal properties in the protection from malaria.
Dating back nearly 200 years to the officers Indian Army taking their daily bitter quinine dose washed down with gin and soda it is believed that the first known reference to gin and tonic as a bar cocktail is in the Anglo-Indian Oriental Sporting Magazine in 1868.
Today, and across the world the resurgent rise in popularity and establishment of a mainstream G&T trend has meant the increase in number of premium regular, low calories and slimline carbonated soft drinks in which quinine is dissolved.
Tonic syrup’s have become popular as a variation of the original tonic water. Tonic syrups are a liquid form of flavoured sugars that can be used to easily sweeten gin recipes and cocktails as they dissolve quickly to infuse a fruity, spicy, herbal or flowery taste.