Gin is not just a drink, it’s a culture. In an era where binge culture, and having everything now-now-now, negates from the notion of sitting back, in good company, in the perfect setting and enjoying a fine drink. Now we are not going on a hipster millennial rant before you decide to navigate away, don’t worry, we are not becoming that annoying “craft beer *wearing lumberjack shirt*) guy. No, we are simply tipping our hat to all your gin lovers out there, those who enjoy an elaborate gin concoction, all the way to the purists who accept nothing else but a simple pour over ice and maybe with tonic. This article is to celebrate you and the wonderful gin culture which brings people together, whatever the season, a reason to be happy, a reason to raise a glass and cheers to good health. From here in London all the way to our friends in Tokyo and beyond, every country has a signature pour and everyone who loves gin has an idea about how it should be served.
Although we, G&T people, love to keep our favourite tipple simple, these variations HAVE to be tried. Herbs and spices can really bring out the flavours of the botanicals in the gin and make your G&T a whole lot brighter and bolder.
Tonic water, made with bitter quinine mixed with sugar and lemon, was used in India by the British army to ward off Malaria – often helped down with a ration of gin. Years later is it now the quintessential mixer for Gin. Peter Spanton Beverages has looked back to redefine modern tonic water.
Our second “ILoveGin club” monthly G&T box will feature two of the Peter Spanton range: Their Classic No.1 Tonic Water, and their No.9 Cardamom Tonic Water.
In their signature classic No 1. London Tonic, the strong taste of quinine is balanced with Sicilian lemon oil and the essence of bitter orange peel. It is sweetened with Sucralose which is 600 times sweeter than sugar so only a very small amount is needed to produce a perfect tonic of under 4 calories.
With rocketing popularity of the iconic Italian spirit Campari plus gin revolution that has been occurring over the passed few years, the Negroni is now seen on most London cocktail bars. Bitter but sweet, simple yet complex and still so refreshing – it’s no wonder this historic drink has experienced a revival.
To stir one up at home, follow our recipe below for the perfect Negroni.
A brief history of the Negroni
The Negroni is an adaptation itself – of the Americano, a simple blend of Campari, vermouth and soda. Story goes that the drink was invented in Florence in 1919 when Count Negroni asked for a slug of gin in his Americano in place of the soda. So the aromatic Negroni was born, and was swiftly adopted by Italians as a pre-dinner drink, or a palate-cleansing settler for after dinner.
Perhaps the simplest of cocktails with such minimal ingredients yet having said that there are numerous ways to serve your martini – shaken, stirred, dirty, dry. Not to mention temperature, ratios or the garnish debate. I believe the real secret lies in the quality of the ingredients, but each and every person seems to have their own special formula. Here’s how we think the martini is done best:
On Monday we visited Graphic Bar in Soho – for ‘the greatest cocktail tournament in history!’ It was our first visit there and we loved it!
It was the first round of the Gin Off event they are running over the course of the next 6 months, there was a great vibe with a room full of gin enthusiasts. Graphic have a fantastic back bar featuring over 300 different gins but this night was all about 4 very competitive Gin brands: Bols Genever, Whitley Neill, Copper Head and Plymouth Gin.
Each night of the gin off, a bartender from each brand creates a signature inventive cocktail to show off their incredible gin. Each cocktail was then judged by everyone in the bar. They served a fascinating array of cocktails shown below, but a special congratulations to Copper Head for winning round 1 and Whitley Neill for Runner up.
These guys served up ‘I’m not a cupcake’ – gin, sherry and lemon juice featured in this cocktail which was then topped up with Champagne and served in a chocolate cup.