Tonic Water: how to chose the best one for your perfect Gin & Tonic?
Do you simply LOVE Gin and Tonic and want prepare the very perfect one? Perhaps you have already informed yourself about the different types of gin, you have tasted different ones, and you know which your very favourite gin is… but, do you have any idea of which the best tonic water to serve with it is?
For a start, you should know that about two thirds of the G&T are composed by tonic water: it is thus fundamental to choose the right one: there are many varieties and each one will have a very different effect on the taste of your cocktail.
The funny thing is that, when you go to the bar or to the pub, the bar tender asks you which your favourite gin is. But has he ever asked you which your favourite tonic water is?!!
For this very reason, we have prepared this small guide which will help you chose the most suitable tonic water for your gin.
For your information, tonic water was ‘born’ back in the XIX. Century, when the British soldiers located in India, consumed some medical quinine in order to prevent malaria. To soften the bitter taste, they mixed it with some fizzy water and with some sugar. Nowadays the quinine is an alkaloid present in cinchona tree bark (a tree that is part of the family of the ‘rubinacee’ trees, and originating from South America) and it is the main ingredient in the tonic water. This alkaloid (an organic vegetal substance) has different medical properties, such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory and, as the English soldiers discovered, it is very effective against malaria.
Well: so how do you chose the best tonic water? Many tonic waters are produced especially for a certain type of gin or for a determined cocktail but in the end, what really counts, is your own personal taste. For our Amuerte Black or Amuerte White we advise you to always use some light tonic water that is simple and not excessively aromatic so that you can better taste our premium gin. An Example? Try Fever-Tree or Cortese..
These are the 4 main types of tonic water:
Classic Tonic Water
This type of tonic water, also called Indian water, has a clean taste that is dry and bitter, and that is often enriched by some citric notes (such as lime, grapefruit, lemon or orange) to balance the bitter taste that derives from the quinine and the dry savour that is intrinsic to the gin.
Fever-Tree: A big classic tonic water characterised by a fresh and light taste, with delicate and fragrant notes, with a minimal aftertaste, that makes it ideal to be served with fruity gin with tropical notes such as Amuerte Black Coca Leaf Gin. for an example. Practical advice: garnish a glass with big ice cubes and with a fine slice of pineapple or of tamarillo.
Pure Tonic Cortese: a classic Indian tonic that is considered as pure as it contains only the very essential (water, mineral salts, sugar and natural quinine tree bark abstract from South America). Italian, pleasant, refreshing, perfect for all cocktails, also very pleasant just straight: ideal for a G&T that is hallmarked by aromatic tones such as Amuerte Black Gin, refined with cardamom, coriander, Sichuan pepper and finger lime.
The botanical tonic waters are aromatized with some herbs or with some edible flowers (such as rosemary, thyme, mirth flowers or linden blossoms) which provide these tonics with a refined note that enriches their traditional tonic taste.
This type of tonics has less calories and the sugar is replaced by some sweeteners that can be artificial (saccharine etc.) or natural (such as stevia).
The Fever-Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water is the first tonic water with a low calorie content that is completely natural. With 85% less calories, the taste remains delicious. This tonic water is able to combine fructose and natural quinine with citric fruit, aromatic botanical ingredients and spring water. This tonic water is perfect served with our Amuerte Coca Leaf Gin.
Indian Light Tonic Water by Schweppes: This is the most famous tonic water, invented by Jacob Schweppe in Germany at the end of 1700 with the first industrial system to introduce carbon dioxide in water; an aromatized tonic water with orange zest and lemon, nowadays also available in a light version. Ideal served with some dry gin such as JC Gin that is spicy with notes of angelica, pepper and ‘tonca’ beans.
Aromatic Tonic Water
The taste of this type of tonic water is often covered by an additional ingredient such as ginger for example. These tonic waters are not really suitable to prepare a good G&T as they rather belong to the category of sweetened drinks, or of soft drinks.
Thomas Henry Ginger Ale: similarly to Jacob Schweppe, even Thomas Henry grounded his company back in 1773. This modern version is hallmarked by an intense aroma of ginger with a modern spicy touch. For connoisseurs of classic long drinks… ideal with lots of ice and a slice of fresh lime.
Try these combinations, taste them… and enjoy your perfect G&T!
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