Soggy wedge of citrus fruit not cutting it anymore? Here’s how to take your gin and tonic to the next level…
Along with opaque tights going back in the drawer and the heating tentatively moving down a few notches, a crisp gin and tonic is a sure sign that summer is drawing ever closer.
And while a classic G&T rarely fails to hit the spot, sticking to your regular order could be closing off the possibility of finding a new favourite combination.
We spoke to five of the country’s top female mixologists and asked them for their fresh spin on a gin and tonic.
1. The Red Lawrence
“This cocktail is inspired by the classic gin gimlet cocktail created around 1800 for the Royal Navy,” explains Margaux Picard, mixologist at Hoxton speakeasy Happiness Forgets.
“Lawrence of Arabia was a legendary figure in the Arab revolt and instrumental in the success of the Royal Navy.
“He was very aware of the importance and relevance of the Royal Navy in their operations in the Red Sea, so my drink has a rich, red colour.
“Also, cinnamon and ginger are really popular spices in Egypt.”
- 60ml Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger gin
- 15ml cinnamon and raspberry cordial
- 1 dash of lavender bitter
Stir all ingredients and serve into a coupette (cocktail glass) and garnish with a lavender sprig.
2. Blood Orange Paloma
“Flavoured gins work so well in the classic highball style,” says Samantha Fish, operations manager and bartender at independent Leeds bar Mojo.
“The sharp grapefruit balances the sweetness of the Blood Orange well and the thyme garnish helps to accentuate the botanicals in the gin.”
- 50ml Whitley Neill Blood Orange Gin
- Freshly squeezed lime
- 150ml grapefruit juice
Add all ingredients to a highball glass with ice.
Stir and garnish with thyme and an orange wheel.
3. Butterfly Effect
“Ever tasted a G&T with a touch of parma violet in it?” asks Paula Radulescu, who works at Yumn Brasserie helping to create their bespoke list of cocktails.
“This is a delicious twist on a classic, mixing the aromatic violet flower infused gin with tonic water, garnished with butterfly pea and violet flowers, then finished with Bitters Lavender Spray to cheer up the evening.
“This gin pours a rich royal blue, but when added to tonic water it magically changes colour to a delicate pink shade.
“Nothing signals the beginning of spring quite like this floral gin and tonic, conjuring scents of sweet fresh violet.”
- 50ml Whitley Neill Parma Violet Gin
- 200ml Lamb & Watt light tonic water
- 2 sprays of Bitters Lavender Spray
Fill your glass with ice to ensure it is as cold as possible.
Add the gin and tonic and finish with a couple of sprays of Lavender.
4. The Sweet, The Dry and The Aromatic
“The drink was inspired by one of my favourite classics: a Martinez,” explains Emily Webster, mixologist at Shoreditch bar Callooh Callay.
“In bars, when ordering martinis, most people go towards its dry version, so I wanted to combine the dry finish people are seeking for and the richness and sweetness you will find in a Martinez.
If you’ve ever sprayed grapefruit oils on your tongue, they are so drying your palate can feel numb!
It gave me the idea to turn them into a tincture: infuse grapefruit peels in high strength alcohol for a couple of days.
The sweet vermouth will bring the richness and extra aromatics while the grapefruit peel tincture will create a surprisingly dry finish.
Finally, the saline solution (salt dissolved in water) will bring all the flavours together.”
- 30ml Whitley Neill Grapefruit Gin
- 30ml Sweet Vermouth
- 2x dashes orange bitters
- 2x dashes saline solution
- 2x dashes grapefruit peel tincture (to adjust depending on how powerful they turn out)
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice.
Stir until chilled and then strain into a coupe glass.
5. Raspberry Garden
“This is a fantastic cocktail,” says Francesca Dineen, bartender at cocktail spot The Suburbs in Chester.
“The combination of ingredients outlay perfectly the smells of summer. The elderflower liqueur and Whitley Neill Raspberry Gin complement each other fantastically.
The added ingredients of soda and lemon bring out a perfect summery flavour.”
- 50ml Whitley Neill Raspberry Gin
- 10ml Lemon juice
- 30ml Sugar syrup
- 15ml Elderflower liqueur
Add the gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and elderflower liquor to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake.
Strain and pour over ice into a glass and top with soda water.
Garnish with raspberries.
Upgrade your gin and tonic with Whitley Neill’s flavoured gins