Gin is definitely the distilled spirit of the hour. And gin tonic is the most fashionable cocktail.
Today, there are so many different gins in almost every pub and there are ‘gintoneries’, venues entirely dedicated to this distilled spirit and its most famous cocktail.
Amidst this riot of supply, it is not easy to order a gin tonic and be sure of drinking a good one. This is our mini guide, to store and keep at hand to help unravel the world of gins and the right pairing.
Gins are mainly divided into dry – the London Dry Gins, with a strong hint of juniper – and aromatic, in which we find the most varied botanicals, like basil and rosemary, tonka bean, wild berries and many more.
There are also different types of tonic water on the market, from the classic ones characterised by the typical bitter taste given by quinine, to those flavoured with citrus, herbs, and spices.
So how do you find the perfect combination?
Obviously, the pairing is based on personal taste, but the basic rule is that
- a dry gin can be paired with an aromatic tonic (or a classic tonic if you like very bitter tastes)
- instead, an aromatic gin should be combined with a neutral tonic, so as not to cover the particular notes of the botanicals.
The important thing, as always, is to be careful not to choose a tonic that masks the flavour of the gin. In fact, it is a cocktail made with only two ingredients and messing up even one of them can be fatal.
Trivia: from medicine to a drink
Gin and tonic originated as a remedy to treat malaria. The beneficial effects of juniper berries, combined with those of quinine (with which tonic water is made), were used by English doctors to treat malaria in India in the 18th century. The passing of time and the birth of the concept of free time did the rest: the 20th century witnessed the triumph of cocktails and, along with them, the old, dear and invigorating gin and tonic.