The Ultimate Gin & Tonic
Tomorrow is Gin & Tonic Day - and, no, we didn’t just make that up. It’s a (semi...) real holiday, so let’s go for it!
Ahhh...the humble Gin & Tonic. Considered a lackluster drink by some, but when done correctly, this cocktail sparkles and dances in your mouth. In fact, it’s the hottest cocktail in Spain, where it’s simply called a “gin tonic.” The Spanish have elevated the GT to a whole other stratosphere, with beautiful, aromatic additions - such as fruits and peels, spices, vegetables, herbs, and bitters - that highlight the botanicals in the spirit. And you can master this fun practice, too!
Crafting a deluxe Gin & Tonic is a great way to improve your palate. First, choose your favorite gin as your base spirit. Take a few, gentle whiffs of the gin and see what aromas you can smell. Next, take a few sips and let them roll around your tongue. See which tastes and textures you can detect. The combination of the Tastes + Aromas + Textures = Flavor. Once you have an idea of what flavors are present in the gin, you can choose which mix-ins will enhance your cocktail.
For example, let's imagine a gin with prominent juniper notes (the "pine" taste), citrus, strawberry, and rose. You could add in peels or wedges of citrus or tropical fruits, strawberries, juniper berries, rosemary, or citrus bitters. The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination! Play with the spices and fruits in your pantry and see which flavors you prefer. If you want to dig deeper and learn more, there are a few great books that will help you pair typical as well as surprising flavors. The excellent Flavor Matrix is essential if you love exploring exciting tastes in your food and beverages. We like The Flavor Bible and The Flavor Thesaurus for handy references as well.
Of course, the tonic is also an essential ingredient. There are a number of quality tonics on the market that deserve a place in your cocktail. Fever Tree and Q brand are favorites of ours (not an ad - we just enjoy them!), but there is also a place for old standards such as Schweppes, depending on the flavors you enjoy. Like most ingredients, we encourage trying lots of options and deciding which speak to you personally, what fits your budget, which are easily accessible, and which help tell the flavor story you're trying to achieve. Have fun and play with it! When we are safely able to gather again, have a gin and tonic potluck party, where you and your guests can mix and match spirits, tonic waters, and mix-ins.
Practice makes perfect
Try your hand this weekend at an elevated Gin and Tonic! Raid your fridge and pantry for delicious additions. You can get started with this template:
2 oz. gin
4 oz. tonic water
Garnishes of your choice
In a large wine glass (like the Spanish do!), rocks glass, or highball glass, add ice until the glass is 3/4 full. Add tonic and gently stir. Add your chosen garnishes. Sip & enjoy!
Let's see those gorgeous G&Ts! Don't forget to tag your creations on Instagram @thefizzycoupe and #thefizzycoupe so we can ooooh and ahhhh together!