Gin may be one of the fastest growing artisanal spirits, but it’s also one of the few spirits we don’t sip neat.
But thanks to the current gin craze - it is World Gin Day on Saturday - the tonic water industry is flourishing and the mixer you put in your G&T can be a real game changer.
“Choosing the tonic is as important as the gin or garnishes,” says Matt Coates, gin expert, Portobello Road Gin. “Gone are the days of heavily bitter, powdery tonic waters, instead they come in an array of flavours, infusions and styles, which all pair with different gins and garnishes to create entirely different serves.”
“Bubbles are the engine of a gin and tonic,” declares Tony Conigliaro, drinks expert, “and this is where Schweppes excels - its bubbles fizz on the tongue, mixing together citrus and quinine flavours to carry the full taste, flavour, and aroma of the gin. In short, Schweppes’ mixability with gin is hard to beat.”
Tonic is integral to gin’s drinking pleasure and Schweppes just happens to be the nation’s favourite.
But if you’re a serious gin lover, World Gin day on June 10 is a marvellous excuse to raise you gin game and try some other perfect partners...
Portobello Road No 171 Gin (£26, 70cl, Waitrose) and Merchant’s Heart Hibiscus Tonic (£1.75, 20cl, www.harveynichols.com)
“Merchant’s Heart Hibiscus works perfectly with Portobello Road No 171 as it’s less bitter and is a well-balanced tonic,” says Coates. “It’s lighter than most tonics and while it has a lower sugar content than most gins, it still has a long-lasting sweetness. The rich fruity notes of the tonic work really well with warm, spiced botanicals in Portobello Road, such as the nutmeg and Cassia Bark.”
Martin Miller’s Gin (currently £21, 70cl, Sainsbury’s) and Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic (currently £1.50, 50cl, Sainsbury’s)
“With the alchemy of citrus and earthy botanicals, separately distilled to give a fresher aromatic mouth feel, the flavour profile of Martin Miller’s Gin can be enhanced with Fever Tree’s Elderflower tonic,” says Dan Tripp, brand ambassador, Martin Miller’s Gin. “The floral notes of the tonic brings the citrus notes to the fore in this award-winning gin - making it the ideal combination for the most thirst quenching G&T.”
Greenall’s Wild Berry Gin (currently £12, 70cl, Tesco) and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic (currently £1.50, 50cl, Sainsbury’s)
Joanne Moore, master distiller, Greenall’s, also has a penchant for Fever Tree. “I would always recommend Fever Tree Indian tonic as it’s clean & fresh with a citrus and aromatic hint which, when blended with Greenall’s Wild Berry, allows the subtle Scottish raspberries and blackberries to come through on the nose and taste.
“That said, it works quite nicely for me with the Mediterranean tonic as I find the hint of thyme, citrus and rosemary brings out the more green, brambly flavours of the gin.”
Edgerton Original Pink Dry Gin (£30.11, 70cl, Amazon) and Fentimans Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water (£1.80, 50cl, Waitrose)
“I think the Pink Grapefruit flavour tonic from Fentimans goes perfectly with Edgerton Pink Gin,” says Martin Edgerton. “Not only does the tonic enhance the pinkness of Edgerton, but the flavours complement each other perfectly. I would recommend serving it over ice and finishing with either pomegranate seeds or pink grapefruit!”
The Ploughman pub at Werrington will be celebrating World Gin Day with 16 different gins. Anyone beat that?