Just in case you’re a johnny-come-lately to the gin scene, we’re in the midst of a gin craze and bars specialising in the spirit are in vogue.
The spirit has shaken off its shady Dickensian beginnings and we’re becoming a nation of gin connoisseurs. It’s one of the fastest growing artisanal spirits and enthusiasts are using 100s of different botanicals – bringing with them unique, complex flavours.
So, on International Gin and Tonic Day, we bring you the best trends of the year.
1. Large style copa glasses
It’s all about lounging with an extra large G&T in your hand.
“We’ll be seeing glassware take more of a front seat,” says Tim Homewood, brand ambassador, Tanqueray No Ten. “Think large style copa glasses inspired by the Spanish G&T ritual or beautiful, crisp and clean highballs to enhance your drinks. Who knows, you may even see the odd G&T served in a plastic bag with a plastic goldfish floating around in it. Either way, the sad little pub half pint glass is dead!”
2. Complementing your gin with the right tonic
“Whether you’re new to the gin craze or a gin-thusiast, selecting the correct tonic is as important as choosing the gin. It needs to complement the flavours in the gin, allowing them to shine through and not overpower – the tonic is two thirds of the drink after all,” says Abdul Kpekawa, brand ambassador, Merchant’s Heart.
“A winning combination is pairing a rich and fruity Sipsmith Sloe Gin with a Merchant’s Heart Lemon Tonic. The freshness from the lemon adds a fruity spin to a classic G&T and balances out the sweetness with a zesty taste.
“For those who like the spicier things in life, try enhancing an aromatic spicy gin with our Merchant’s Heart Pink Peppercorn Tonic. The rich bitterness of quinine flows into the soft fruity spice of pink peppercorn, excellent with a gin such as Opihr.”
3. Pimping up your gin with fresh herbs and garnishes
“Elevate your gin and tonic to the next level,” says Matthew Coates, drinks creator, GinTonica at The Distillery .
“Fanciful garnishes, flavoured tonics, bitters, tinctures, fresh herbs, juices, jams and even liqueurs take the classic ‘spirit and mixer’ to dizzyingly delicious new heights.
“GinTonica, a dedicated Gin and Tonic bar based at The Distillery, London, serves a delicious menu of embellished Gin and Tonic Pluses. Or make your own at home – there’s a great range of interesting tonics at the supermarket and look in the garden for interesting garnishes such as mint, coriander and basil.”
4. Infusing gin with a spray mist
To enhance your elixir, Silent Pool have created a flavoured spray – Kaffir Lime Liquid Garnish – which brings a refreshing, crispy zing to your drink.
Each spray covers the surface in a delicate film, which is both ‘intensely flavourful and irresistibly aromatic’, adding an extra dimension to the profile of your martini or G&T.
5. Pre-batched bottled gin cocktails
“There’s a continued trend to pre-make (or ‘batch’ to use the industry term) cocktails ahead of time, putting them in a bottle and sticking it in the fridge until guests arrive,” says Olivier Ward, Co-Founder of Gin Foundry.
“There are now quite a few retailers selling premium, high-quality ‘pre-batched’ offerings too, so you don’t even have to make it yourself. Think bottled negronis, martinis that are ready to go and as tasty as if you were having them in The Savoy itself.
“It’s not just boozy cocktails either. This trend means you are no longer confined to drinking those insipid G&T’s in cans! The Duchess from South Africa are a 0% sugar, 0% ABV Gin &Tonic in a bottle that actually tastes good.”