Study Abroad and Cultural Tours Blog

In search of the perfect G&T

On the eve of the eighteenth century, a German businessman living in London had the idea to add quinine to soda water, which he himself had invented. And so was born tonic water, at the hand of J.J. Schwepps, a drink that would become popular throughout the world very quickly. Soon after, British soldiers decided to add gin to tonic water in celebration of their victories, creating what we know today as the gin-n-tonic.

In its inception, medicinal properties were attributed to it, and it was used as a malaria preventative. Today it is well known for its great digestive powers, especially after big meals.

Regardless of its origin in the north of Europe, today countries all around the world have taken to the quest for the perfect gin-n-tonic. For years, the gin-n-tonic was nothing more than that mix which its own name indicates: gin and tonic water, but the advances in culinary techniques of recent years has spurred the invention of new ways to prepare this traditional drink.

One key element is the lemon or lime peel zested over the glass to give us that fresh citric scent. From here we should allow the individual properties of each brand of gin guide us in the drink’s elaboration.  Gin has an intensely complex bouquet that can include notes like cardamom, juniper, grapefruit, cucumber, Tonka beans, liquorish, grapes, and angostura, among many others.

These ingredients should be employed with great care, so as not to overpower the flavor of gin but to compliment it. After this we pour the gin into the glass in a measured quantity seeing as over pouring will give us an unpleasantly alcoholic flavor. Then we add the ice cubes using tongs. It is recommendable to use a significant quantity of ice so as to maintain the drink at a cool temperature from start to finish. The next step is to add the tonic water with the aid of a mixing spoon slowly, so as not to allow the bubbles to escape. Once all of the elements have been added to the glass, it is important to carefully mix the drink to blend the flavors together. Finally, the drink can be garnished with anything from rose petals, to frit rind, curaçao, or the like.

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11 responses to “In search of the perfect G&T”

  1. Very cool post! Now I have a better idea how to make the perfect gin and tonic!

  2. It’s interested that it was once used as a malaria preventative. Nice post!

  3. Crazy that it was used and well known for medicinal properties!

  4. I didn’t really know a lot about Gin & Tonic. Thanks for the info, I’ll have to see what I can come up with.

  5. My next gin-n-tonic will be much tastier than my last.

  6. Cool! I’ve always wondered how things like soda water came about.

  7. Malaria preventative, eh? Very interesting post!

  8. I always wonder how things like tonic water came about, whether it was intentional or discovered by accident. Thanks for sharing!

  9. A lot of good ideas here. Thanks!

  10. Rabbit Creek says:

    Ah, what would we have done without J.J. Schwepps? Great post!

  11. What a great drink choice. Very interesting way to make a classic new again.

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