Gin and tonic. One of the most easily recognisable drinks in the world, and very easy to replicate. Made at home, at your favourite bar, by your mum, gran, bartender or waiter, there’s nothing you could do wrong with the creation of a gin and tonic.
Or is there?
Fever Tree, a brand that has made head-way in the tonic category, have organised an enlightening tour of three cities here in the UK. Bristol, Glasgow and my own home town of Manchester are the settings for what they have dubbed as ‘The Ultimate Gin and Tonic Tour’, and aim to divulge into the depths of the tonic category, and how we came to know what will be in your hand for most of the evening; the G&T.
The tours are consumer focused, bringing the gin lovers, novices and haters together for an informal chat in some fantastic locations, and yours truly had the opportunity to sneak peek at what would be involved, with a session hosted by Craig Harper, the face of Fever Tree and gin legend within the category, with help from David Barber, the northern representative for Fever Tree and ex Caorunn gin brand ambassador, and Jamie Jones, who in 2013 was crowned Global Gin Connoisseur by G’Vine.
If you’re looking to hit the Manchester trail, The Rosylee Tearooms in Stevenson Square brings together your first tonic and gin combination; Tanqueray with the classic Fever Tree Indian Tonic. Whilst being given the chance to pour your own bottle of tonic over your gin to your liking, Craig walks through what tonic actually is, and how the likes of malaria, World Wars and fluorescent lights have impacted our views on tonic water and what we perceive it as. Don’t let those three words fool you though as Craig explains how we come to the more well-known brands seen today, and ultimately Fever Tree itself, with interesting demos on an original gin and tonic recipe, and the bottles used before the capped varieties we are used to these days.
Cane and Grain in Manchester’s Northern Quarter offers a speakeasy styled bar that is perfect for another gin and tonic, this time being Portobello Road. Jamie gives some fantastic insight into the brand itself, the category of gin and the timeline that has given us some highs and lows, including the famed ‘Gin Lane’ and the rise of the latest ‘gin craze’. Comparisons between tonic waters, especially the Indian styles and lighter versions, are also explored, an experiment rarely done at home I can imagine, and gives a different view on the styles available, with Craig explaining why the market for tonic waters is growing as the palates of consumers is changing.
Lastly, Mr Cooper’s House and Garden takes the gin category to the ‘New Western’, and gives Jamie a chance to explain the new craze that has given us the likes of Bloom, Monkey 47, Tanqueray 10 and Gin Mare. It also though, highlights the need for the perfect garnish and how gaining the right ingredient can make all the difference to your gin and tonic experience. Blending the likes of Bloom with Fever Tree Elderflower tonic offers a lighter experience than the Indian tonic would do, giving the botanicals within Bloom (chamomile, honeysuckle and pomelo are within amongst others) a fighting chance to tantalize, instead of being cut down to size and perhaps not giving the full impression you would expect. Or how about Gin Mare, that comes garnished with a sprig of thyme? Perfectly compliments the basil and rosemary for example, and accentuates the thyme botanical within the gin itself.
Essentially, Fever Tree are looking to break down the gin and tonic, explaining the origins, the flavours and aromas, whilst giving insight into the many gins available, and the perfect Fever Tree and garnish to accompany. Why would you want to miss out?!
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.