The origins of gin and tonic go all the way back to the times of British officers in India. Malaria was rife, until Dr George Cleghorn discovered that quinine was effective to treat and prevent the disease in the 1700s. It was administered to officers mixed with tonic water, but the solution was incredibly bitter. Those industrious British officers soon found that mixing the tonic water with sugar, lime and gin made it much more palatable. And so, gin and tonic was born!
International Gin and Tonic Day marks the popularity of the drink to this day. Gin making has become an art over the centuries, with gin varieties embodying different properties emerging. From rich and robust to floral and herbaceous gins now available, we take a look at the perfect pairings to go with these different flavours.
Gin’s name comes from ‘juniper’ – or ‘jenever’ in Dutch as it was originally known. All gins are flavoured with juniper, but gins that have particularly strong juniper flavourings have a rich and robust taste. Juniper-rich gins include Beefeater London Dry Gin, Plymouth Gin and Tanqueray. When choosing the perfect pairings with these gins, it’s important to keep the gin itself as the focal point of the drink. Choose tonics and garnishes that are light and aromatic, or have just a hint of citrus flavours.
At The Runnymede on Thames, choose Prudence from our gin menu for the ultimate juniper-rich gin pairing. This drink combines Sipsmith London Dry Gin with Fever-Tree elderflower tonic water, garnished with some fresh raspberries.
This group of gins introduce different botanicals during modified distillation processes, creating varieties with a subtler flavours. These gins are all about fragrance rather than strength, and include Hendrick’s, Salcombe Gin’s Start Point and Botanist’s Islay Dry Gin. Select tonics and garnishes that complement the particular botanicals used in the gin brand.
At The Runnymede on Thames, order The Woodcutter’s Daughter for the perfect example of a fresh and floral gin pairing. We use Silent Pool gin in this drink, paired with Fever-Tree lemon tonic water, garnished with lavender and a slice of lemon.
This category of gins incorporate a variety of citrus fruits into the production process to create gins with a very distinctive flavour. While citrus is the main note in these gins, they also incorporate various herb-based botanicals to imbue the gins with a natural fragrance. Gins of this variety include Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater’s 24 Gin and Portobello Road Gin. Matching these gins with tonics that also have a focus on citrus and herbaceous flavours is the best blend.
At The Runnymede on Thames, choose Aperitivo Campestre for a citrus and herb gin pairing. This drink incorporates Gin Mare and Fever-Tree lemon tonic water, garnished with orange and rosemary.