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Raise your game: Gin & Tonic
Raise your game will be another regular feature on ETDT and is basically, as the name suggests, about eating and drinking better and therefore enjoying your food and drink more. Sound good to you? Read on ….
Gin & Tonic
You may not think your G & T technique needs improving - and maybe you’d be right. But I thought so too and over the years I’ve picked up a number of tips that have helped improve it.
Number 1, more important than anything else, is having enough ice. One of those giant ice cubes or about 6 ordinary sized ones. Ideally freshly made using mineral water or filtered tap water. Don’t buy bags of ice and leave them in the freezer for weeks. Chances are they’ll be tainted by all the other out of date stuff you keep in there. And no, using lots of ice won’t dilute your G & T. Quite the reverse. It’s keep it intact and beautifully cold.
Number 2. Choose your gin. If you’re having it with tonic it’s all about the juniper so choose a brand that’s juniper-rich. My current favourites are Height of Arrows, Hepple and Sipsmith but loads of barmen use Beefeater which is quite a bit cheaper Just don’t go for a flavoured one if you want a classic G & T. And note the strength. If it’s 43% or 45% you’ll need more tonic. Or less gin whichever way you want to play it.
Number 3. Choose your tonic. I’d go for the standard tonic for a G & T - Schweppes 1783 or Fevertree, for preference. If you find them a touch sweet though you shouldn’t if they’re cold enough* you could go for the light version but I never think the taste is as natural. As a rule of thumb I’d say the fancier (i.e. more flavoured) the tonic the simpler - and less expensive - the gin but I’m a bit of a purist. Otherwise check out the suggestions on the gin bottle or website. They’ll generally suggest the perfect serve.
which means you should keep it in the fridge. Oh and the tonic must be freshly opened, not from the bottle you opened a week ago. Those little cans are perfect unless you’re making G & T for a crowd.
Number 4. Have your garnish ready. Personally I go for lemon or lime but pink grapefruit is popular, these days. G & T is normally served with a slice or a wedge rather than a twist but cut it at the last minute
Measure the gin into a glass of ice - it’s really useful to have a jigger for this rather than just sloshing it gaily into the glass which tends to result in triple gins and tipsy guests, particularly if they have a second one before realising how strong the first one was. Then add twice the amount of tonic to gin, stir and taste. You may want to add a bit more tonic, particularly with high strength gins but you want your G & T to taste of gin and not just tonic. I usually end up with 2.5 to 3 parts tonic to 1 part gin
Add the garnish and serve.
Oh, and what about the glass? Do you need to have those giant Spanish-style balloon-shaped glasses or copas? I’d say not, not least ‘cos they take up too much room but as you see from the photo that’s what a lot of people are using and if you fancy them for theatrical effect by all means go for it.
So tell me about your G & T preferences. Are you with me on the juniper, the type of tonic and the amount of ice or do you have a better way?