The Gin and Tonic is a drink that is surprisingly easy to improve with the addition of a little splash of this or that. The biggest improvement to the drink though is buying better tonic water, as we've discussed previously.
Then it's just a matter of what else you want to add.
- Bitters. A single dash of bitters adds a touch of spice and can take the edge off the sweetness of some brands of tonic water. A fun variation I saw in a cocktail contest was bitters frozen into ice cubes, so that the drink changes flavor as the ice melts. This is a great drink for experimentation with all those different types of bitters on the market: orange, celery, grapefruit, etc.
- Citrus. Many people squeeze a slice or wedge of lime into the drink. Try it with lemon sometime, or orange.
- Herbs. Increase the drink's aromatic qualities with a sprig of rosemary, basil, or another herb. One friend recommends borage leaves, which give the drink a cucumbery quality.
- Fruits. Try adding a few slices of summer fruit like peaches or pears into the drink. Grapes are nice in the drink too- and you can freeze them and make grape ice cubes. Berries are a great addition, and even if they don't enhance the flavor too much the drink will look more delicious.
The idea for this blog post was inspired by the recipe below, which was created by Ervin Trykowski, a manager at The Finnieston in Glasgow, Scotland. He uses a Scottish gin called Caorunn that's new on the US market, with the addition of some apple slices and apple juice.
Adapted from a recipe by Ervin Trykowski
2 fl. oz. Caorunn Gin
2 fl. oz. Pressed Apple Juice
4 fl. oz. Fentimans Tonic Water
Stir ingredients over ice. Add thinly sliced apples and lemon wheels for an in-drink garnish.