Gin and Tonic – how do you like yours?
Drink fads come and go. A couple of years ago it was Whiskey and according to those in the know the next hot thing will be Tequila! However, the drink of the moment is Gin and Gin drinkers have their own particular favourite brand.
The Gin Craze
In 18th century London, Gin became all the rage and was turning Londoners into raging alcoholics. Gin was cheap and was an escape from the drudgery of life in the slums. Gin palaces were opening up all over the place and this love affair with Gin was the cause of violence and social devastation. It became known as ‘mother’s ruin’ and there was so much anti social behaviour and drunkenness on the streets that laws were passed that stopped distillers from selling to unlicensed merchants and increasing fees to small merchants which meant you couldn’t buy it on the corner of the street or in the small gin shops.
Then, the good old G&T apparently came about when British soldiers in India were given a quinine tonic to fight Malaria. They mixed this bitter medication with Gin, to make it easier to consume and the popularity of the drink grew.
To Garnish or not To Garnish
Depending on the age of the bar-person (I am not being ageist here) I get served lime, if they are young and lemon if they are older. I don’t know how the lime sneaked in over the years! It became all the rage a few years ago but I don’t want lime, I want lemon in my gin, the garnish makes a difference to the taste! How very un-adventurous of me! But, that’s a personal preference to be on the lemon side of the camp.
To be honest, I believe all these fancy garnishes like pink Grapefruit etc are more marketing ploys then anything. Last weekend I was in a bar where I was served Gunpowder Gin with pink Grapefruit and I must admit it was very nice. Hendricks you serve with cucumber as they have cucumber mixed in their base, so it goes well.
Both of these top shelf Gins are lovely and easy to drink…
…however I tend to usually drink Bombay Sapphire and being a purist, I like my gin just with ice and lemon.
Then there is the tonic.
Good old Schweppes is what I am used to. I like it. However, Fever-tree tonic water is getting ever more popular these days and I admit it is nice. I only happened upon it when I was in the supermarket and they only had Schweppes in a plastic bottle. I hate plastic bottles. I try not to buy any food or liquid in plastic, I have in my mind the toxins in the plastic could not be good for us. So, I spotted the Fever-Tree Tonic in lovely glass bottles, so got that instead.
What about the glass?
We are all getting fancy schmancy in our choice of glasses for our drink. Traditionally the Gin and Tonic is served in a hi-ball glass. This helps the drink to keep its shape and the fizz from disappearing quickly.
Of course, the last few places I have been to, the trend is to serve me my G&T in a large bowl shaped glass. Yep, I feel all sophisticated and I don’t mind it, but boring old me, I think, still prefers the ordinary hi-ball glass. I also find it easier to drink out of.
The bowl shaped glass as big as a satellite looks wonderful but I don’t want my gin and tonic dribbling all down my chin, there’s too much room for the ice to be swirling about and it melts quicker, I am convinced it does! It’s not easy to look all elegant and sophisticated when you are dribbling.
As mentioned, I tend to drink Bombay Sapphire but in this post, I am using Tanqueray Gin, because that was what I had in my house and Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water. I am also serving it in a fancy bowl shape glass, yep, I thought I’d be fancy for a change and I am at home, so dribbling is allowed.
Gin & Tonic recipe
This is so easy. There are only two ingredients…Gin and Tonic water, well, four if you count ice and lemon. I am using lemon instead of lime. I refuse to tolerate lime in my Gin. Don’t get me started on the lemon versus lime thing… Lemon it is.
Put lots of ice in the glass, pour in 35ml of Gin. Our measures in Ireland are 35ml as opposed to Britain where the measures are 25ml for spirits. If you are in Britain, I insist you use our measure of 35ml.
Pour in your Tonic Water, the amount of Tonic water to add is personal to each person, however, 3 times tonic water to Gin is the correct amount, trust me!
I used Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water. It was just lovely with the Gin and had a delicate and subtle floral flavour to my drink.
Add your slice of lemon (or wedge) and enjoy that cool, refreshing, wonderful Gin & Tonic! Sláinte!