Bored of the same old gin & tonic? Drinks expert Leon Dalloway gives us ten ways of sprucing up this classic mixed drink with spirits and fresh ingredients, turning it from your average tipple to a classy cocktail in mere moments.
When served correctly, gin & tonic sounds, looks, smells and tastes irresistible. But, if you want to take it to another level, the magnificent blueprint can be adapted easily. These ten simple serving suggestions use liqueur and fresh ingredients to complement the spirit and mixer combination.
For all the drinks, we recommend a 50ml serving of gin (if other spirit is added, decrease the amount of gin appropriately) and a 100ml serving of tonic water. This is 1:2 parts in cocktail terms. Use a nice long glass or even better, a large Spanish-style copa glass with a stem and a big mouth (any decent wine glasses will work for this). Fill the glass right to the top with some good quality ice and use straws if you wish. All tonic should be Indian tonic unless stated otherwise.
10 ways to makeover gin & tonic...
Take a herbal gin and pour a tablespoon of elderflower liqueur in. Add equal parts tonic water and champagne, garnish with a slapped sage leaf or two and a lemon wedge.
Use a gin with fresh cucumber notes and pair with an elderflower flavoured tonic then garnish with long ribbons of cucumber and a sprig of mint.
Mix equal parts of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari in a lowball glass, spritz it up with a tonic top and garnish with a big, juicy wedge of orange.
Take a vibrant, citrussy gin and add a tablespoon of sweet vermouth. Add two dashes of peach bitters, top with tonic and garnish with a generous handful of luscious seasonal berries.
Sloe gin combines ridiculously well with lemon tonic, flirt with a zest of lemon over the glass and drop it in.
Marry a juniper-heavy gin with half a teaspoon of a super smokey whiskey. Add a dash of apricot liqueur and top with tonic, garnish with a chunky pink grapefruit zest.
Select a floral gin and add a tablespoon of rose water, a tablespoon of peach liqueur and a two dashes of grapefruit bitters. Go demure on the garnish and top with a rose petal.
Pour a herbal-style gin and grab a few leaves of fresh mint, slap them and drop them in. Pop in two dashes of mint bitters and a tablespoon of chocolate liqueur. Introduce the tonic then garnish with a few sprigs of mint and some luxurious grated dark chocolate.
Stuck in the Med
Pick up some intriguing herbaceous gin and introduce it to a Mediterranean-style tonic. Rim your glass with some herbed sea salt, slap some fresh rosemary and stand it tall in the glass.
Make some flavoured aqua by boiling some herbs in water for a minute or two. Let the water cool then freeze the water and add the ice cubes to a classic gin and tonic – the drink's flavour profile will evolve throughout the drinking. Garnish with the matching herbs for that extra special touch.
How do you serve your G&T? Do you like to keep things simple or do our cocktail makeovers float your boat? We have lots more liquid inspiration in our cocktails & drinks section too.