The production of gin and tonic has become, for some time, an art. Gin, due to its bitter and slightly dry taste, combines very well with spices and fruits of all kinds. By adding these botanical components to the mix, their flavors and aromas intermingle, enhancing all of the gin’s innate botanical nuances. In this way, it is possible to create hundreds of combinations, which make the gin and tonic a personal drink with infinite possibilities.

The gin and tonic has become the fashionable cocktail, although a few years ago gin was a “grandparents” drink, since due to its bitter and strong taste, young people preferred other more palatable combinations such as the famous “vodka with lemon “or” whiskey with cola. “

However, from the bars of the best clubs, gin was claimed as an ingredient and gin and tonic as the star cocktail. This new fashion was a revolution in the hospitality industry, which saw in the gin and tonic, a combination with a neutral and slightly bitter taste, a field full of possibilities for experimentation.

Great bartenders and chefs from all over the world began to try mixing spices, creating flavored tonics and even distilling new gins, with exotic and different aromatic and botanical bases. The result was the possibility of creating cocktails of all possible colors, flavors and aromas.

All this is possible thanks to the spices and botanical ingredients with which the gin and tonics are accompanied. These ingredients must be used with care, as it is not about turning the gin and tonic into a salad, but about finding a balance between the flavor of the gin and that of the spices.

But be careful, since the ingredients to mix always depend on the chosen gin, for example, a very dry gin will benefit from a touch of lemon, while a fresher or botanical one will benefit from pepper or cardamom.

The classic ingredients

Lemon or citrus rinds

Citrus has always been the inseparable companion of gin and tonic. We have all seen our parents and grandparents drink the typical gin and tonic with its lemon wedge. The best gin to mix with citrus is dry or any type of London Dry Gin, as they benefit from citrus touches. Although traditionally accompanied by a lemon slice, peel or twist, it can also be combined with grapefruit or orange.

Juniper berries

Juniper berries are the main ingredient in gin. These deep purple berries have natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which make gin a natural and healthy drink, provided it is drunk in moderation.

These berries have a sweet, slightly citrus flavor with a bitter final touch, and are a perfect accompaniment to traditional gins, Dry Gin and aromatic gins as well. Simply crush them a bit with your hand before inserting them and let their juices mix with the gin and tonic.

Cardamom

Cardamom combines very well with less dry and more aromatic gins. It is a plant with digestive properties and a citrus aroma. It offers a very intense olfactory touch, which enhances all the aromas of the gin, thus offering a very pleasant balsamic experience.

Hibiscus flowers

The hibiscus flower is also a common ingredient among gin and tonic lovers. It has a very mild flavor, almost like an infusion. The dried leaves must be infused for about 5 minutes with the alcohol to release the natural oils and so that they stain the liquid red. The hibiscus flower goes well with almost any gin on the market, as long as it is not mixed with citrus.

Perfect spices for your gin and tonic

Cinnamon

Only gins with a spicy base, especially those that have cinnamon itself among their ingredients, marry well with this sweet and slightly spicy species. In this case, the cinnamon should be added along with the ice, before adding any other ingredient.

Pepper

Jamaica peppers are usually added to the gin and tonic, which have a very spicy and slightly sweet flavor, black pepper, more spicy and minty, or rose, which is usually sweet to spicy. Whole or slightly crushed grains are usually added and go very well with very dry gins, such as London Dry Gin. Although pink pepper, it also goes well with aromatic gins or based on floral ingredients.

Vanilla

Vanilla is a spice that is used as a flavoring, since it has a very characteristic and strong smell. Its flavor is sweet and, at times, it can be reminiscent of chocolate. In cocktails, vanilla is used in essence or in branch and it should only be combined with very dry gins, since the sweet flavor can be cloying when combined with aromatic or floral gins. For this same reason, it is a good companion to other ingredients such as citrus.

Cilantro

Coriander is also often present in the base botanical blends of most gins. It is a spice with a slightly sweet taste, with a citrus aroma reminiscent of lemon. In cocktails, coriander is used as a grain and is slightly crushed by hand to release the essential oils. Coriander goes very well with most gins, whether dry or aromatic.

Star anise

This Chinese spice is often used as a decorative item, although it actually has many digestive properties. With dry gins, it provides that peculiar aniseed flavor, which helps to highlight the rest of the flavors of the drink.

Fruits that mix well

Blueberries

The blueberries will not only add flavor to the gin and tonic, but they will also turn the drink red. It is very important to add them as is, without breaking or crushing them, since if you do, the gin and tonic will turn into juice. They go well with any type of gin, as long as it does not have blueberry as its base ingredient.

Licorice

More than a fruit it is a root, but the important thing is that it provides a characteristic aniseed and sweet flavor. It is slightly balsamic, which enhances the flavor of the tonic, especially in contrast to its particular bitterness. It should be crushed a little and added together with the ice, so that when you pour the gin and tonic they absorb its flavor. It pairs wonderfully with strong, hard-flavored gins.

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