Fancy a gin and tonic? Before you crack open the Sing Gin, let’s take a look into the history and science behind our most loved cocktail.
The straw to my berry, the apple to my pie and the gin to my tonic. As the love affair continues, it’s about time we showed you some trade secrets and treat you to the best gin and tonic around!
We’ll take you on a short but insightful journey, starting with a brief history of the gin and tonic, which tonic water to select, ratios and glassware and how to serve (we’ll leave the drinking part to you).
We all have a blurry past, the gin and tonic is no exception… let’s start with a South American tree known as the Cinchona tree.
The quinine extracted from the Cinchona bark is used to flavour tonics, bitters and aromatised wines. Not only does it deliver exceptional flavour, the bark was used as a medicine by Andean tribes to treat fevers, heart problems and malaria. In World War II, soldiers consumed quinine to fight off the threat of malaria.
Not everyone was a fan of the bitter taste and British colonists discovered that adding a splash of gin dramatically improved the taste of the remedy. Hooray, the gin and tonic was born!
Three quarters of your cocktail is a sparkling soft drink which contains quinine, citric acid and sugar. There are now flavoured alternatives on tonic water, varying quinine levels and sugar sources available.
In the 1870s, Schweppes, well-known for their carbonated water, launched their first tonic water. Over a century later, in 2005, Fever-Tree set-up their stall in London with their Premium Indian Tonic Water. Since then, a selection of boutique, artisan tonic brands have arrived on the scene driving innovation and choice.
Don’t cut any corners…make sure you find a tonic which is made with real ingredients, no artificial flavours or high fructose corn syrup and saccharin! Our perfect serve uses the Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic. This tonic is low on quinine, with the addition of rosemary and lemon thyme, providing a much lighter, more fragrant tonic.
Always measure…find the perfect ratio and you will create magic!
Not a tonic fan? For a neat serve, the best glassware to use is a Tasting Glass: a small, tulip-shaped glass – helps to concentrate the aromas of botanicals.
Gin and tonic? You can use a Tumbler, Highball or the Gin Tonica glass. On trend particularly in Spain is the Gin Tonica (or Copa), a tall, stemmed glass with a large bowl. Our favourite glass to use is the Highball, a tall glass typically used for long drinks. The reason we love this glass is because as the ice stacks up vertically, initially the cubes melt much slower than in other glassware.
So…you’ve got your glass and your Sing Gin, what next? Ice!
Adding ice will not water down the drink, it actually improves the gin and tonic as water releases the hold that alcohol has on aromatic molecules which amplifies rather than dilutes the flavour. Add the ice first, ideally, they will be large, clear cubes (remember, the more ice the slower they will melt). To create the ultimate serve, pour one-part gin to three parts tonic.
We’re pretty lucky with the astonishing variety of garnishes available, but an orange twist or a sprig of mint are sure winners!
The leafiness of the mint will add a little punch to the orange whilst providing a leafy depth. Using an orange twist will add a touch of freshness without spoiling the delicate aromas. If you’re feeling adventurous, try both!
Your perfect gin and tonic all depends on your palate, but this is a recipe for success (in our humble opinion):
What are you waiting for? Get creating!