Drinks

Gin and Tonic (and variations)

As we enter the last stretch of summer, I thought it would be fun to tinker around with a staple of any bar and a go-to for many – the Gin and Tonic.

The classic Gin and Tonic (or G&T to the cool kids) is as popular as ever. It’s a straightforward drink, but as with many bar rail favourites, I find it’s often served with sub par ingredients and zero finesse. The thing is, with just a little effort and attention to detail, the G&T (or any drink for that matter) can be elevated to new heights.

Photos by ADV Photography

It’s in that spirit that I decided to highlight the drink with a few variations. I’ve paired the recipes with Fentimans Tonics, which I’m a big fan of.

Gin and Tonic

2 oz Tanqueray No. 10
½ oz lime juice
Fentimans Tonic Water
Garnish: lemon and lime wheels

In a rocks glass with ice, add gin and lime juice. Top with tonic water and stir lightly. Rim the edge of the glass with lemon. Garnish with lemon and lime wheels.

See Feature Photo above.

The classic recipe is always a crowd pleaser. I like using Tanqueray No. 10 as it pairs very well with any kind of carbonated cocktail. Rimming the glass with citrus is such an easy thing to do and adds so much to the drink. Fentimans Tonic Water has herbal and lemongrass notes that result in a very refreshing G&T.

Green and Tonic

2 oz Hendrick’s gin
1 oz cucumber mint syrup
½ oz lime juice
Fentimans Sparkling Elderflower
Mint bitters
Garnish: lime, cucumber, and rosemary

In a rocks glass with ice, add gin, cucumber mint syrup, lime juice, and mint bitters. Top with sparkling elderflower and stir lightly. Rim the glass with cucumber and rosemary, then garnish with lime, cucumber, and rosemary.

This one gets its name from the sheer greenery in the glass. I decided to throw in a sh!tload of herbs and came away with a nice variation on the classic.

Hendrick’s Gin contains floral and cucumber elements that I thought played well with the mint and cucumber syrup. Adding a splash of Fentimans Sparkling Elderflower adds a bit of sweetness and really takes it to another level – just be sure not to use too much because it’s pretty potent.

Lastly, rimming the glass with cucumber and rosemary adds a nice herbal and earthy taste.

Indi-Go Thyme

2 oz Empress 1908 gin
½ oz thyme syrup
½ oz lime juice
Fentimans Rose Lemonade
Garnish: thyme sprig

In a rocks glass with ice, add gin, thyme syrup, and lime juice. Top with rose lemonade and stir lightly. Rim the glass and garnish with thyme sprig.

Empress 1908 Gin is infused with the purple hued butterfly pea blossom, which gives it its beautiful indigo blue colour. Adding the citrus and tonic turns transforms it into the soft pink you see above. It’s a beautiful colour that will definitely impress the G&T faithful.

The thyme syrup provides a nice subtle herbal element and Fentimans Rose Lemonade adds a beautiful aromatic and colour. This variation is sure to appeal to those female guests who may not be particularly partial to Gin and Tonics.

With this post, I’ve tried to provide a kind of public service. I hope I’ve helped sell the idea that you don’t always have to go all-out to produce a complex and tasty drink. Sometimes, it’s as simple as playing around with the classics. I love tinkering with established drinks and the G&T is one that deserves our respect. I truly believe that getting creative with established classics and giving them a twist makes them even more relevant.

So pop open your bar rail and see what you can elevate. Because if you don’t, I will!

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