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knblue

Gin and Tonic – Finetuned

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The herbal choices are really limitless. A piece ginger, candied or otherwise, likely wouldn't go wrong...how about a drop or two of rose water? Any note you might pick up in the particular gin you're using could be accentuated with a garnish.

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I have a friend that serves her G&Ts with fresh green chilli and a sprig of fresh coriander (and also a wedge of lime). Works really well; but drink with a straw to avoid getting an inadvertent full-on hit of chilli.

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Expanding on KD1191's herbal comment: basil, rosemary or sage definitely change things up

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The brand of tonic influences the sweetness quite a bit. I find that US mainstream tonics need a healthy dose of acid, rather than just a miserly lime garnish. Q tonic, not as much. Haven't tried Fever Tree.

My favorite addition to a G&T is Campari. It echo's the bitter in the quinine, or you can use soda to make it a bit less bitter. It is a strong flavor, so a gentle hand is needed lest you taste only the Campari. You can let it settle to the bottom of the glass so that the flavor of the drink evolves. An overproof gin with a lot of juniper will stand up to the dilution and other flavors.

A Gin and Tonic is gateway to the beautiful world of bitter. :wub:

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Why is the garnish added? Well, I guess because it alters the taste. Hendricks gin does seem to work well with cucumber, the gin doesn't seem as "junipery". I like it, but only as an occasional variation to Tanqueray with lime. If you can get it in Oz, Fever Tree tonic water is excellent. Seems to have bigger bubbles which hang around longer and for me is worth the extra cash. Schweppes seems to go flat much quicker by comparison.

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add ice cubes frozen with botanicals like juniper berries etc inside them for a full on hit as they begin to melt

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just a slice of green chilli or the whole thing? Seeds in or out?? Sounds great!


Edited by nikkib (log)

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Slices work best as it allows the flavour to be released. Personally I think that those skiny Indian finger-chillies are best, but jalapenos work well too. I've left the seeds in, but if you are particularly sensitive to capsaicin you may want to remove them.

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A splash of grapefruit juice and a dash of Angostura is great in a gin and tonic. I got the idea from a recipe by Gary Regan.

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I noticed about that someone mentioned Grapefruit Bitters. I haven't tried them, but I really do like about a 1/2 oz of grapefruit juice in a gin & tonic.

I've also been using the PDT Tonic Syrup recipe and that is a huge improvement over the majority of the commercial tonic waters.

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We very much prefer to put calamansi in our G&T instead of the more traditional lemons or limes. The flavor of calamansi is like a cross between an orange and lemon and lime. So so good that I can smell the aroma right now as I write this.

I like it so much better that, when we're going for drinks, I often take a few calamansi from our trees with me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calamondin


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Made a Broker's and Fever Tree G&T and at the last second decided to see what a splash of the Fever Tree bitter lemon would do to it. I wasn't unhappy.

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In the Rockpool Bar & Grill book, Neil Perry includes a recipe for tonic water but also includes a little Campari on the finished cocktail.

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If someone's interested in going down that road, the Rockpool tonic water is made as follows: for every 8L water you need 2 quinine tablets, 6 crushed lemongrass stalks, the zest of 3 limes and 3 ruby grapefruits, a teaspoon each of rose and orange blossom water, 2-4 tsp citric acid (they suggest starting with 2 tsp and then fine tuning the acidity once you've stirred in the sugar), 1-2 tsp malic acid and 450g caster sugar. All of this, aside from the sugar and malic acid, is heated to infuse. It's then cooled and the sugar and malic acid are dissolved in the mixture.

I haven't made it yet and, tbh, the fact that the minimum quantity I can easily make is 4L and that it only keeps for only 2 weeks kind of puts me off. I mean, I'm assuming portioning it into tubs and freezing it wouldn't do the flavour any favours.

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A little splash of cherry liqueur or Cherry Heering is good in a G&T. More like a tonic cherry rickey. But tasty. Just a splash of virtually any fruit liqueur or juice you like can enhance a G&T. And take the edge off the tonic, which is key for me. I prefer Bitter Lemon to straight tonic, I think.

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If someone's interested in going down that road, the Rockpool tonic water is made as follows: for every 8L water you need 2 quinine tablets, 6 crushed lemongrass stalks, the zest of 3 limes and 3 ruby grapefruits, a teaspoon each of rose and orange blossom water, 2-4 tsp citric acid (they suggest starting with 2 tsp and then fine tuning the acidity once you've stirred in the sugar), 1-2 tsp malic acid and 450g caster sugar. All of this, aside from the sugar and malic acid, is heated to infuse. It's then cooled and the sugar and malic acid are dissolved in the mixture.

I haven't made it yet and, tbh, the fact that the minimum quantity I can easily make is 4L and that it only keeps for only 2 weeks kind of puts me off. I mean, I'm assuming portioning it into tubs and freezing it wouldn't do the flavour any favours.

I like the looks of this recipe, It's got lots of add-ins for complexity. And I just bought a bunch of lemongrass yesterday at the Asian Market

Is this used as a syrup and mixed with additional soda water or is it meant to be carbonated?

Also, it seems that quinine may be available over the counter in Australia, but it appears to be prescription only in USA. Not a big deal as I've got a stash of cinchona bark, but tablet sound really easy.


Edited by Keith Orr (log)

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If someone's interested in going down that road, the Rockpool tonic water is made as follows: for every 8L water you need 2 quinine tablets, 6 crushed lemongrass stalks, the zest of 3 limes and 3 ruby grapefruits, a teaspoon each of rose and orange blossom water, 2-4 tsp citric acid (they suggest starting with 2 tsp and then fine tuning the acidity once you've stirred in the sugar), 1-2 tsp malic acid and 450g caster sugar. All of this, aside from the sugar and malic acid, is heated to infuse. It's then cooled and the sugar and malic acid are dissolved in the mixture.

I haven't made it yet and, tbh, the fact that the minimum quantity I can easily make is 4L and that it only keeps for only 2 weeks kind of puts me off. I mean, I'm assuming portioning it into tubs and freezing it wouldn't do the flavour any favours.

I like the looks of this recipe, It's got lots of add-ins for complexity. And I just bought a bunch of lemongrass yesterday at the Asian Market

Is this used as a syrup and mixed with additional soda water or is it meant to be carbonated?

Also, it seems that quinine may be available over the counter in Australia, but it appears to be prescription only in USA. Not a big deal as I've got a stash of cinchona bark, but tablet sound really easy.

He doesn't say anything about adding soda water (the recipe for the gin and tonic contains gin, the tonic water, a bit of Campari and nothing else) or carbonating it, but in the photo there's a soda siphon lurking there.

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Further up the thread, someone mentioned a gin and tonic served at The Violet Hour with lavender syrup. So last night, I made a gin and tonic with Boodles, Fever Tree tonic, two dashes Scrappy's lavender bitters, and finished it with an orange twist. I was so caught up in my enhancements that I totally forgot lime, but it was really good without, so... Definitely worth a try.

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While not an enhancement in the sense covered by most of this thread, I have finally set out to enhance my normal gin and tonic in the last available way - the tonic water. I have toyed with the ratio's, gin brand, and garnished, and even tried the splashes of liqueurs liked mentioned above. My current recipe is 1.5 Oz Beefeater to 3 Oz tonic, with a half of a lime squeezed and dropped in.

After years of hoping that one of the premium brands of tonic water would show up in town, I finally broke down and got the premium tonic water sampler pack off of Amazon. So here we go

Fever Tree - by itself I found it quite light and fizzy, but not significantly different than any of the mass market brands. In the G & T I thought it brought out the lime more than ones I've had in the past, but there is not major taste difference. I mean it is still a G & T.

Q-Tonic - by itself I immediately detected a sort of musty quality - definitely a type of bitterness, but not what I expect from tonic. Confirmed in a G & T, has a slightly off taste. The kind of bitterness I associate with 100% cacao chocolate rather than citrus pith. Not horrible, but not my ideal in any sense.

Fentimans - by itself rather sweeter than the other two, but not cloying. In the G & T it is less complex, but very pleasant. It could use some extra bitterness, but otherwise I quite like it. Smooth, blends with both the lime and gin. Honestly might be my favorite.

Final decision

While an interesting experiment I cannot honestly say any of these is miles ahead of Canada Dry, Seagrams, or Schwepps. If Fever tree or Fentimans were locally available, I would likely spring for them, but with exorbitant shipping costs, I can settle for mass market brands.

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I post about this in the bitters/nitrogen cavitation thread, but I've had great results with homemade tonic. I've crafted something that resembles Tomr's tonic by the usual method: simmering cinchona, lemongrass, citric acid, and various other herbs -- and then using agave to balance it out. This worked great -- and is as good as Tomr's (but probably better given the fact it's homemade).

However, my most interesting result was last night when I scaled down the ingredients and used an isi whipper to infuse the gin (St. George's) directly with the tonic ingredients. Took all of about 5 minutes from start to finish -- including the infusion and drink building -- and the end result was one of the best G&T's I've had -- if not the very best. The key I've found to homemade tonic is to balance out the sweetness with the tart, citric-acidness of the tonic. I add agave to my tonic mixture, but I've found it to more effective to simply add a dash or two of agave to the shaker and build the drink on the syrup. I also like basil and mint muddled with the syrup. But I'll say again -- the nitrogen infused, cinchona/lemongrass/citric acid gin was fantastic. It had even more of "tonic" taste than my 2-hour simmered version -- and I understand that I'll be able to make it on the spot and experiment with additional aromatics (peels, herbs, etc). A dash of grapefruit bitters (Fee Brothers) also worked nicely on the final drink.

Obviously, the best part about crafting your own tonic is to control the ingredients and especially the sweetness. I do like Fever-Tree when I'm in a hurry, but when I have the time, I understand that a tiny bit of agave goes a long way -- and works nicely against the other ingredients in a homemade tonic (simmering or -- for me, at least-- the new nitro-cavitation method). For soda water, I've got one of those fizzy water makers -- I forget the name -- but I'm able to fizz up charcoal filter tap water to the max and it seems to work especially nice in G&Ts.

My plan later this evening is to pull some pellet hops from my homebrew fridge and then use the hops in place of the lemongrass in the rapid infusion. Hops might make it interesting, but pellet hops will take some experimentation. I suspect fresh hops might be the better route.


Edited by cschweda (log)

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Gin & Tonic with 33 Portland dry gin and Fever Tree bitter lemon. I am a big fan of the Fever Tree tonic, so I wanted to try their bitter lemon. I like the taste but the first sip struck me as overly sweet (although the nutritional info tells me it has the same sugar content... go figure!).

 

Gin & Tonic with 33 Portland dry gin and Fever Tree bitter lemon

 


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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I am not sure if this is on topic, but I have been enjoying frozen gin and tonics this summer.  The only tonic syrup I could locate was Jack Rudy.  I also use the orange bitters, although I am not sure they aren't completely lost in the lime juice.

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