5 Perfect Gin and Tonic Recipes for You to Try

5 Perfect Gin and Tonic Recipes for You to Try South Africa

It’s so simplistic, yet so delicious. Recently gin has made a big comeback in the cocktail world. More and more gin bars are popping up, dedicated to this ageless liquor. Although the gin and tonic recipe is simplistic, changing the type of gin creates endless taste possibilities. From cucumber gins, rubarb gins, to sloe gins, and pink gins. Combine the gin choice with a different type of tonic, and you could be sipping a different gin and tonic for years to come.

History of Gin

The core ingredient of gin is juniper. It was mixed with alcohol as early as 70 A.D. Pedanius Dioscorides, a physician, published an encyclopaedia discussing a herbal medicine. It included a mention of juniper berries that were soaked in wine. According to him, this magical mixture could fight off chest illnesses. Thereafter, in 1055, Italian Benedictine Monks added a juniper berries infused tonic wine recipe in their Compendium Solernita.

In the 16th century the Dutch created a special spirit, which they called Genever. It consisted of juniper berries added to a malt wine base. The berries were added to change the harsh flavour. It was still mostly promoted as a “medicinal” drink. By the early 1700’s, the name Gin started to become more popular. It was first noted in 1714, used in a book by Bernard Mandeville called “The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Public Benefits”.

The word genever, is Dutch for a juniper berry. But it’s a bit of a challenge to pronounce. So, the abbreviation of “gen” possibly came about, used by a few drunk Brits. And after a while it was anglicized to gin.

The Gin Craze

In 1689 William III of England became the King of England, Ireland, and Scotland. His reign began with implementation of trade-war economic tactics, a protectionist-style defence against France. These included blockades and heavy taxes on both Cognac and French wine. His reasoning was that this would weaken the French economy.

Together with this tactic he introduced The Corn Laws in England. Tax breaks were offered on spirits production. This resulted in a gin pint being cheaper than a beer pint. It does sound like a dream come true, but it created a lot of social problems.

The poorest English people started overindulging in the cheap gin. The high society and royalty tried to sip more modestly, but this was mostly a fashion statement of superiority. Together with cheap gin, gingerbread was also a popular cheap alternative in 1731. About five years later, it dawned on the government that a serious problem was brewing.

The free-for-all gin distillation meant that brewers were adding suspicious ingredients such as sulphuric acid, sawdust, and turpentine. The English folk were going insane or dropping dead from the potent brew. To put an end to the gin-obsessed drunkards, the government introduced a distiller’s license.

They put a price tag of £50 on it, and back in the day that was a lot of money. Suddenly, the gin industry plummeted. In the following seven years only two official distiller’s licenses were issued. On the flipside, another industry grew. Informing the government of an illegal gin operation would get you a £5 reward.

Read more: gin lane vs beer street

Getting the Basics Right

5 Gin And Tonic Recipes To Try

If you want to spice up your gin and tonic, we have a few ideas for you. The recipes include the cocktail tools to produce the ultimate gin and tonic.

We recommend that you stick to the ratio of 50ml of gin and 100ml of tonic water. Your choice of glass will also influence the taste of your gin and tonic. The best option to properly air the classic cocktail is a wide mouth Latin-style copa glass. Alternatively, a long glass or wine glass will also work. For the recipes below, assume that standard Indian tonic water must be used, unless otherwise stated.

Recipe #1 Posh G&T

Start with a vibrant, citrussy gin, add a bar spoon of sweet vermouth. Next, add two dashes of peach bitters, then the tonic. Top it all off with a garnish of delectable seasonal berries, a handful or so. Lastly, stir it all together thoroughly.

Accessories: G&T bar spoon, spirit measure, bitters bottle, serving glass, ice.

Recipe #2 Too Cool Gin & Tonic

Pick a gin with notes of cucumber, paired with elderflower flavoured tonic. Top off with a garnish of cucumber ribbons and sprig of mint. Lastly, stir it all together thoroughly.

Accessories: G&T bar spoon, spirit measure, serving glass, ice.

Did you know?In 2008 Sipsmith was awarded the first official gin distiller’s license of England since 1820. It took them a few years of lobbying to persuade the government.

Recipe #3 The Parisian Gin & Tonic

Choose an herbal gin, add a bar spoon of elderflower liqueur. Next, add equal parts of champagne and tonic water. Finish off with a garnish of slapped sage leaves plus a lemon wedge.

Accessories: G&T bar spoon, spirit measure, serving glass, ice.

Recipe #4 Guilty Pleasure Gin & Tonic

Start with an herbal-style gin, slap a few fresh mint leaves, and drop them into the gin. Add two dashes of mint bitters plus a bar spoon of chocolate liqueur. Slowly add the tonic, top off with a garnish of mint sprigs and delicious grated dark chocolate.

Accessories: G&T bar spoon, spirit measure, bitters bottle, nutmeg grater, serving glass, ice.

Recipe #5 Sloe Down Gin & Tonic

A sloe gin is complemented superbly by a lemon tonic, squirt a bit of lemon zest into the mixture before dropping the slice of lemon in.

Bar Accessories: G&T bar spoon, spirit measure, canale cutter, serving glass, ice.

Beaumont Loves A Good Gin and Tonic

Whether it’s a straight up traditional gin and tonic, or one of the fancy ones described above, a good gin and tonic never goes out of fashion. We are passionate about cocktails and enjoy teaching people the tricks of the trade.

Our wide range of cocktail tools will help you prepare superb cocktails effortlessly.

Contact us now for more information on our product range.