A summer cocktail is a special thing. Not only does it properly intoxicate you, it refreshes the spirit and satiates a thirst born of a simultaneous desire to relax and to get relief from the hot sun. In the sixteenth century, which is when the liquor is believed to have been invented by Dr. Sylvius de Bouve in Holland, gin was used as a medical treatment for circulation issues. Eventually, the cost of gin lowered enough that it was able to make its way to the United Kingdom where it quickly became a beverage of choice for Londoners. When Britain took over governance of India, Brits became exposed to malaria and suffered from scurvy after their long journeys. They sought relief in the obvious treatment: a revitalizing gin and tonic.
Tonic water was believed to cure a myriad of ailments, and its harsh bitter taste was combated by the equally “remedying” drink gin and a touch of citrus. While time has since allowed tonic water to become far tastier and gin to become more potent, there still remains an age-old debate about what makes the perfect cocktail.
This is the cocktail that fueled the Spanish avant guarde. Many Spanish variation could be fruit-based but the use of herbas and vegetables are gaining populairty.Gin-Tonic bars, where customers can choose their preferred gin, tonic, and garnish from a menu, are becoming increasingly popular due to these trends. There are entire cults forming around the way gin in made and is often a favorite amongst chefs.
Before you stock your bar and start pouring, we have a few rules for constructing the perfect gin and tonic that you must follow. Do so, and you’ll serve the perfect cocktail every time.
1. Chill the Gin
Working with warm gin will result in a flat drink without the crispness this cocktail so deserves.
2. Use a Lime
Sure, lemons are tasty, too, but if you want that perfect balance between sweet and tart, then lime is the way to go.
3. Use Bottled Tonic
Do not use tonic water from a seltzer fountain pump. Instead, pour fresh from a chilled bottle of bubbly tonic water.
4. Layer It Properly
The true key to a successful gin and tonic lies in the layering of the ingredients. First, take your lime wedge and rim the glass before giving it a gently squeeze and placing it at the bottom of your Collins glass. Next, plop in two to three ice cubes and fill half of the glass (rough three ounces) with the chilled gin. Finally, top with the chilled tonic water and allow the drink to settle for a few moments.
And just like that, you have mastered the art of creating the perfect gin and tonic.