Ahh, the humble G&T. There are few cocktails as simple and satisfying as the perfect pairing of Gin and Tonic. We all fell in love with it the moment we mixed one up for Nana and snuck a sip in the process – Kids will be kids, I guess. Turns out though, that the G&T is a little older than Nana, by about 300 years.
Gin was discovered by British soldiers fighting alongside the Dutch during the 30-year war of the 1600’s. Genever (as the drink was called) was said to give the soldiers ‘Dutch Courage’ and quickly found its way to Great Britain. At the same time, quinine, the main ingredient in tonic water, was discovered to be a treatment for Malaria. It probably didn’t stop the itching though, just the dying part.
This medicinal tree bark was found to be “a bitter pill to swallow” by Britsh troops in colonial India so they took to mixing it with their daily gin and lime rations – back then lime wasn’t so much a garnish as it was a necessity to battle scurvy. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today’s G&T has seen a massive reinvention. This could possibly be attributed to the Spanish adopting it as their national drink about a decade ago – who wants to drink wine with fruit in it anyway. The introduction of different garnishes intent on enhancing the natural botanicals of the Gin opened up endless possibilities for the simple G&T. What we have is no longer ‘Nana’s summer drink’ of choice (always a double BTW), but rather a drink who’s flavoring can be adapted all year round.
With winter settling in we thought we would put together some G&T’s with our favorite homegrown gin to get you through the cold. Enjoy.
Blueberries are the perfect all year round fruit, packed full of antioxidants they’re almost guaranteed to keep those winter sniffles away when paired with rosemary and honey. That’s right, with rosemary’s immune boosting properties and honey’s powerhouse antioxidants, this pink G&T is pretty much this seasons flu shot.
Start by dropping a few blueberries, rosemary leaves and a teaspoon of honey into your glass. Dash in a couple drops of bitters and muddle together to extract the flavor and color from those blueberry skins. Fill your glass with ice and pour in your gin – We recommend the Inverroche Classic as its green floral notes will pair perfectly with the grassiness of the rosemary and sweetness of the blueberries. Use a stirring spoon to combine all the flavors at the bottom of your glass before filling with tonic. Pop in some whole blueberries and a large sprig of rosemary to garnish, then sit back and feel your body fighting off all those pesky diseases.
The Sage of Citrus
The combination of sage and orange is a fail-safe in the kitchen. These sweet and savory flavors pair up perfectly and if they’re good enough for Jamie Oliver’s famous roast potatoes you better believe they’ll kick ass in your G&T. Both sage and orange have anti-aging properties, so really it’s like taking a sip from the fountain of youth.
We’ve decided to keep this one a little simple so that the botanicals of the Inverroche Verdant can really shine through. The citrus notes from the orange will pair perfectly with the waxy lemon rind of the verdant while the sage and liquorice can bond over there love for all things bittersweet.
Start off with a dash or two of bitters into your glass to add depth to your drink – bitters is to cocktails what salt and pepper is to food. Now simply pour your gin over ice and top up with tonic.
Slap the sage between the palm of your hands to release the oils and drop in with your orange. Stir and serve. Bet you feel younger already.
The American Pie
Nothing, and we mean nothing takes away those winter blues like warm apple pie. This legendary combination of apple and cinnamon deserves its own room in the Smithsonian, or at the very least a special mention. It’s just unbeatable. Sweetened with a little maple syrup this G&T is guaranteed to have you going back for seconds. Possibly thirds.
Using an apple peeler, slice off a lengthy piece of apple peel to be used as your garnish later. Cut up a wedge into small cubes (the smaller the better) and drop into the bottom of your glass. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the top and add a teaspoon of maple syrup before muddling everything together finely.
Fill your glass with your ice and top with a dash or 2 of bitters before adding the gin. Use a stirring spoon to combine all the ingredients and top up with tonic.
The cinnamon in this drink pairs perfectly with the aromatic woody finish in the Inverroche Amber gin while the sweet toffee apple flavors only further enhanced with the fresh apple and maple!
It doesn’t get much better than this.