Gin and Tonic is all the rage right now. And I predict, for the foreseeable future, it will continue to grow. Gin is great. I love the taste of the juniper and angelica root. There is something in my Dutch ancestry that finds these smells strangely comforting. Might be that the smell remind me of my grandfathers beloved glass of jenever. What ever the reason, gin is here to stay and it is great. Everywhere you see recipes for the perfect Gin and Tonic. But is tonic the only way to drink gin? Are there different ways to drink gin?
In the tropical regions, malaria was a big problem for the British East India Company. During the 1700’s a Scottish doctor discovered that quinine could be used to prevent and treat malaria. Adding quinine to carbonated water, left a very bitter taste and the only way the soldiers it could be made drinkable, was to add some gin, lime and sugar to it. Gin masked the bitter taste because of the similar molecular structure of the two elements. And so Gin and Tonic was born.
Even the slice of lime had a purpose. After months on a Navy ship, the lack of vitamin C caused scurvy and the lime added to the gin help to prevent it.
Apparently Winston Churchill once declared, “The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.”
As much as I love gin and can appreciate an ice cold T&T on a very hot day, tonic water is not my favorite. It is just a bit too bitter for my taste. That made me wonder… are there different ways to drink gin? Without making a cocktail, what other liquids can I add to my gin for a delicious easy drink. I went off and experiment. I always tested in the ration 2:1. Two units of juice / liquid to 1 unit of gin.
6 Different ways to drink Gin
1. Gin and Juice
In winter, my excuse for getting extra vitamin C. The juice referred to is orange juice but you can use nearly any juice. I have seen recipes for gin and apple, gin and grapefruit and even gin and strawberry juice.
2. Gin and Coconut water
In my research, I grabbed all kinds of liquid that have lemon or orange notes to test with the gin. For me, the lemon works nicely with the fin notes. I saw the VitaCoco pure coconut water with lemon and thought… let try. I approached this pairing with a bit of trepidation, as I was unsure if the coconut water is a good idea, but of all the pairings, this turned out to be one of my favourites. It was refreshing and tropical. I added a dash of lemon bitters to the drink and it was perfect.
3. Gin and Tea
Tea is a well known British staple, Gin is a well known British staple. Strangely enough, they work well together. How much more British can you get? A Gin and Tea! I tried it with some BOS tea and it makes for a refreshing combination. But I am guessing that it will work well with any ice tea that has a bit of lemon flavour. Or even plain ice tea with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
4. Gin and Liquid-Fruit Sparking Blackcurrant Burst
I noticed the Liqui-Fruit brought out a new sparking range and on a whim, grabbed the Blackcurrant Burst. It made for a such a delicious drink with gin that I had to pour John another glass. Energizing and bold, this makes for a great pairing.
5. Rose’s Cordial Lime and Lemonade flavored drink
The Rose family was ship builders near Edinburgh. Due to the scurvy issues that ships faced, Mr Rose set up a business providing ships with supplies which included lime juice. And so a legend was born. I tried my gin with quite a few of the Rose Cordial ready to drink flavours and preferred the Lime and Lemonade flavour. However, the Passionfruit and Lemonade flavour works quite nicely as well.
6. Gin and Woolworths Sour Twist
I grabbed the Sparkling Lime Flavoured Sour Twist, from Woolworths. It is non alcoholic, and when I added some gin and magic happened. It is zesty with lime and mixed with the gin, it is perfect for sundowners.