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Gin genius: mixing the perfect G&T

07 Nov 2018


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Not sure what garnish and tonic to add to your artisan gin? Read our guide the different types of gin and how to make the best G&T.

Not so very long ago, mixing a gin and tonic meant choosing between a handful of gins and one or two brands of tonic, before adding the obligatory slice of lemon or lime. Excitingly, the gin industry is now more diverse and experimental than ever before, with more than 500 gins being produced in the UK alone.

But with so much variety, how do you choose a gin, and how do you know the best way to serve it? With the wrong garnishes, gin can taste horrid. So we’ve teamed up with The Gin Guide to simplify the world of gin to ensure that you create a G&T that’s perfect for your taste. 

The six gin genres

With gin, just as with wine and whisky, so much depends on personal preference. Typically, people’s choices come down to a gin’s provenance, personality and price. And, much as with craft breweries, local gin distilleries are springing up, to the delight of the surrounding communities. If region is important to you, seek out your nearest distillery, where you’re likely to discover gins made with numerous local ‘botanicals’ (infused natural flavours).

Most gins have a similar core of these flavours, but each will use different ratios to make a gin that is more citrus led, floral, herbaceous, spiced, sweet or fruity.

A perfect way to start to explore these flavour profiles is first to establish your favourites. The quality of gin production is largely very high, so a great gin is whichever you most enjoy. To help you to get started, below are some recommended and affordable gins in each flavour profile.

Citrus: 6 O’clock Gin, Brecon Botanicals, Tanqueray No. 10  

Floral: Aviation, Bloom, Adnams Copper House

Fruity: Brockman’s, Monkey 47, Pinkster

Herbaceous: Dà Mhìle Botanical Gin, Listoke 1777, The Botanist

Spiced: Bathtub Gin, Colombo No. 7, Opihr

Traditional: Brokers Gin, No.3, Sipsmith London Dry Gin

Creating the perfect new-style G&T

Tonic: If you’re investing in high-quality gin, you should complement it with high-quality tonic. Brands such as Folkington's, Fever-Tree, Fentimans, BTW and Double Dutch are increasingly available and make all the difference. Look for these or similar tonics with no or few sweeteners or flavourings, as you don’t want to mask the wonderful flavours of the gin, fine-tuned by the distillers, often over hundreds of iterations.

Garnishes: There is a trend for elaborate garnishes and extravagant glasses when serving gin and tonic. But, as with the tonic, you want to taste the gin and not just the garnish, which can make or break your G&T. Choosing your accompaniment is all about either bringing out more of certain flavours in the gin or balancing and harmonising them. For example, some people like to add cucumber to Hendrick’s Gin to bring out the cucumber that is used in it, while others prefer to add lime for additional citrus to balance the cucumber and floral rose botanicals.
The best tip is to experiment with garnishes in your preferred gins to discover a combination that suits you, to create your own perfect gin and tonic.

Try these ‘Perfect Serves’

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to garnishes and tonics, but to get you started, The Gin Guide has created a list of the ‘perfect serves’ for more than 100 of the most popular gins, as recommended by a combination of the gin producers themselves and The Gin Guide tasting experts:

A

Adnams Copper House: orange peel, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Aviation American Gin: lemon, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

B

Bathtub Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Bathtub Gin Old Tom: lime, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Bedrock Gin: lime, Bottlegreen Tonic

Beefeater: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Beefeater 24: grapefruit peel, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic

Blackwoods: orange peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Bloom: strawberry, Fentimans Tonic Water

Bombay London Dry Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Bombay Sapphire: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Boodles Gin: lemon, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Brecon Botanicals: lemon, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Brecon Special Reserve: lime zest, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Brockmans: orange peel, Fentimans Tonic

Broker’s Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Brooklyn Gin: orange, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Bulldog: grapefruit, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Burleigh’s Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

C

Caorunn: red apple, Fentimans Tonic

City of London Dry Gin: pink grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Collagin: pink grapefruit, 1724 Tonic

Colombo No. 7: lemon peel, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Colonsay Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water

Conker Gin: lime zest, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Copperhead: orange, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Cotswolds: pink grapefruit, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Cruxland Gin: lemon, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Curio: lemon zest, Fentimans Tonic

D

Dà Mhìle Botanical Gin: lemon, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Daffy’s: lime, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic

E

Eden Mill Original Gin: Fentimans Tonic

Edinburgh Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Elephant Gin: red apple, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

F

FEW American Gin: orange, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Fifty Pounds Gin: lime, Fentimans Tonic

Forest Gin: rosemary, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

G

Gin Mare: basil, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water

Gordon’s: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Greenall’s: lime, Fentimans Tonic

Gunpowder Irish Gin: lemon. Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic

G’Vine Floraison: grapes, Fentimans Tonic

H

Haymans London Dry Gin: lemon, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Haymans Old Tom: lemon, BTW Tonic

Hendrick’s Gin: cucumber, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

I

Isle of Harris Gin: pink grapefruit, Walter Gregor’s Tonic

J

Japanese Gin: red apple, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Jawbox: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Jensen’s: lemon, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Jensen’s Old Tom: rosemary, BTW Tonic

Jinzu: orange peel, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

JJ Whitley Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Juniper Green: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

K

Kew Organic Gin: grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

King of Soho: pink grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Kokoro Gin: pink grapefruit, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

L

Langley’s No.8: grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Langtons No.1: lemon, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Larios: lemon, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic

Larios 12: orange peel, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic

Listoke 1777: orange peel, Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic

M

Makar Glasgow Gin: lemon, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Malfy Gin: thyme, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Manchester Three Rivers: cherry, Double Dutch Tonic

Martin Miller’s Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength: lime, Fever-Tree Tonic

Masons Yorkshire Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Masons Yorkshire Tea Edition Gin: lemon zest, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Mean London Dry Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic

Monkey 47: lime, Fentimans Tonic

Mr Hobbs Henley Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic

N

Napue: rosemary, Thomas Henry Tonic

NB Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

No. 209: grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

No. 3 London Dry Gin: lemon zest, 1724 Tonic

Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic

O

Old Bakery Gin: lemon, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Opihr: orange, Double Dutch Tonic

Orkney Gin Company Johnsmas: lime, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Oxley Classic English Dry Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

P

Pickering’s Gin: pink grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Pin Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water

Pink Pepper Gin: lemon zest, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Pinkster Gin: mint, Fentimans Tonic

Plymouth Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Poetic License: pink grapefruit, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Portobello Road No. 171 Gin: pink grapefruit peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

R

Rock Rose: orange peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

S

Sacred Gin: grapefruit, BTW Tonic Water

Salcombe Gin: red grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Shortcross Gin: orange, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Silent Pool Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Sipsmith London Dry Gin: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle: lemon zest, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

6 O’clock Gin: lemon, 6 O’clock Tonic

Slingsby Gin: grapefruit peel, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

St George Terroir Gin: rosemary, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Star of Bombay: orange peel, Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic

T

Tanqueray: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Tanqueray No. 10: grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Tanqueray Rangpur: lime, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin: thyme, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

The Botanist: grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

The London No.1: lime, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Thomas Dakin Gin: orange peel, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic

U

Ungava Canadian Premium Gin: grapefruit, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

W

Warner Edwards Dry Gin: orange, Fentimans Tonic

Whitley Neill Dry Gin: orange, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

Williams Elegant 48 Gin: red apple, Fever-Tree Light Tonic

Williams GB Extra Dry Gin: lemon zest, Fentimans Tonic

For gin reviews, news, interviews, tasting notes and recommendations, visit The Gin Guide


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07 Nov 2018


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