Gin has long been my tipple of choice so I was delighted to find out this week that there’s a whole day devoted to everything gin. World Gin Day happens each year in June and began in 2009. Why did that take so long? There are hundreds of gin inspired events planned worldwide.
To help you celebrate World Gin Day, read on for ,my gin and tonic recipe and tips on how to make the perfect gin and tonic.
Today I’m going to share with you some tips and a recipe to let you in on the secrets of how to make the perfect gin and tonic. So, let’s bow down to the botanicals and celebrate World Gin Day with a tipple or two.
I’ve had a love affair with Gin and Tonic for over 30 years. It’s my favourite ‘before dinner drink’ when we go out for a meal, my tipple to start any trip away and my ‘ABF’ at the end of a good evening out. Ah yes, the ‘ABF’.
Maybe I should explain. ABF is one of Mr. Jones’ sayings and stands for ‘absolute bloody final’. Sometimes there’s a first ABF and maybe even a second ABF or even a third – on these occasions the last drink becomes the ‘absolute blooody final ABF’ and we all pay the price in the morning. But I digress.
The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace
If you want to know everything there is to know about gin for World Gin Day then The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace by master mixologist Tristan Stephenson, will keep you informed and thoroughly fascinated.
The fascinating book tells of gin’s origins in the Middle Ages as the cure-all medicine ‘genever’ and the dark days of gin palaces in mid-18th century London. You’ll learn about the processes of gin-making and get the low down on botanical infusions and what influences they have on the spirit.
There’s a captivating tour of some of the best gins and distilleries in UK, Europe and the US. If you’re looking for more than ice and a slice Stephenson imparts some insider knowledge with classic cocktail recipes and some with a more contemporary edge, verging on alchemy I’d say. The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace is the perfect accompaniment to a gin and tonic.
The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace– the ultimate gin history and recipe book.
Gin and tonic recipe
50 ml gin
125 ml tonic
Wedge of lemon or lime (I prefer lime) and a spiral of zest
Plenty of ice
How to make gin and tonic
There are a few measures you can take in how to make gin and tonic a first class experience. Take your clean glass and make sure it’s icy cold. To do this chill the glass in the fridge and then fill with ice to the top and swirl.
The more ice there is the slower it melts so your drink will be as cold as possible but undiluted. These extra large ice cube trays make huge ice cubes that take longer to melt. Strain away any melted ice.
I like to use the Spanish-style copa de balóns gin glasses so you get a good view of those fizzing little bubbles, the gleaming ice and magnified detail of the citrus fruit.
Next, pour in your measure of gin over the ice. Don’t you just love the sound of the ice cracking as the gin hits it…
To garnish, add a slice or two of lemon or lime. Use a potato peeler to slice a slim spiral or two of zest from your citrus fruit. Add it to your gin and tonic after quickly rubbing the rim of the glass with it.
The importance of tonic water
Finally, add your tonic water. Remember the tonic makes up the largest part of the drink so for your gin and tonic recipe use a good one. Not something that’s been lurking at the back of the fridge for a month or more.
If you’re out to impress use 1724 Tonic Water made with hand-picked quinine from the Inca Trail at 1724m above sea-level. Yes, really.
Gin and tonic with Fever Tree tonic
Tip: A cold bar spoon used to pour the tonic down into the glass will help keep the fizz for longer.
Gin and tonic garnish
For Hendrick’s or other cucumber based gins wield your potato peeler on a cucumber. You can also use dried juniper berries, pink peppercorns and cardamoms pods.
If you’re feeling creative buy packs of botanicals. Check to see what ingredients have been used to make the gin you are drinking and garnish with something that will enhance not clash. A sprig of rosemary or thyme looks good too.
Garnished gin and tonic
Which gin to use?
There are hundreds of gins to choose from nowadays. Here are some of my favourites…
Tinto Red Gin
Tinto Red Gin is the first red gin ever produced. It’s made in Portugal and has over 14 botanicals and a slightly sweet and sour taste. It’s totally unique and decidedly delicious.
Tinto – the world’s first red gin
Beefeater 24 Gin
Thanks to Patrick, a Czech friend, who got me on to this when he brought a bottle round as a gift. You can’t go far wrong with Beefeater 24,. a luxury super premium gin.
It’s macerated for 24 hours before distillation, hence the name and it’s incredibly smooth. Botanicals include grapefruit, Japanese Sencha and Chinese Green Tea. The bottle is pretty with curlicues and flourishes. I use the empty ones for bottling up my home-made blackberry vodka.
You buy find Beefeater 24 in most supermarkets available or in Duty-Free.
Hendrick’s is easily my favourite for a summertime gin and tonic. With hints of rose and cucumber it’s a little lighter on the juniper and incredibly refreshing. Not to be served with lemon or lime – a Hendrick’s demands a long, swirling spiral of cucumber and lots of ice.
Martin Miller’s Reformed Gin
I first sipped Martin Miller’s in Spain.
I just love the way the Spanish serve gin. Big goldfish bowl glasses with condensation running down the sides with lots of ice drank on warm balmy evenings. Perfect.
Martin Miller’s Reformed is a zesty gin made with lemon and lime oils, the usual botanicals, and blended with Icelandic water. We had this served with orange zest and liquorice which was delicious. You could just use grapefruit zest.
So now you’ve had my gin and tonic recipe and some tips on how to make a perfect gin and tonic, let’s lift a glass and join in with the spirit of World Gin Day. Cheers!
You may want to check out my post all about Sussex Gins. There are dozens of gins made in Sussex and I’ve made it my mission to try them and document them. It’s a hard life…