Gin and Tonic
How do you make the perfect Gin and Tonic? What kind of Gin? What kind of Tonic? You’re about to find out.
Right now I would really love a beautifully chilled gin and tonic. However, I have no gin. Or tonic. And I never drink alone. So, to assuage my yearnings, I’ll spread the sheer magnificence of the drink that is Gin and Tonic. Like me, you might not like gin, its bitter and nasty. However, you may be surprised to find that if you add it to another bitter and nasty drink (tonic water), it’s actually alright. And a lot more sophisticated than a Bacardi and coke.
The most important bit to get right is the gin. The choice is London Dry or Plymouth. For a gin to be classified as a London gin, it doesn’t need to come from London, it just has to contain bitter botanicals, along with the main juniper berry flavouring. A nice one is Bombay Sapphire. Plymouth gin is completely different in style and less bitter, and just not as nice.
The next decision is the tonic water. Not really a major problem. As long as it’s Indian tonic water, you’re fine. The history of this is from the British Army in colonial India. Tonic water was drunk because it contains quinine, which protects from malaria (by thinning the blood, so the malaria parasite cannot survive). British officers would add gin to the tonic to disguise the bitter flavours, and thus G&T was born.
So finally, how to serve. Personally I like a 1:3 ration of gin to tonic, but many prefer it stronger. Similarly some like a weaker 1:5 ratio, but this just means you really need to man up. Gin and Tonics should be served chilled in a highball glass with a wedge of lemon.