Michael Lowry: Hi! I am Michael Lowry with Total Wine & More. The classic gin and tonic is a model of simplicity. Gin, tonic ice and a twist of citrus typically lime; the bracing combination of citrus, sweet, sour, and bitter are why this cocktail has remained a perennial classic.
The gin and tonic is a global passion, but nowhere more so than in Spain, where they have raised the simple combination of ingredients to exciting new heights. Spain is a gin paradise and they serve their gin and tonics in large glasses, usually balloon shaped, called Copa de Balon. These large glasses were brought in to fashion by chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants like El Bulli.
This modern gin and tonic is served with lots of ice, garnished with a wide variety of citrus and botanicals to enhance the aromas and flavors of the gin and the tonic water.
Some bars in Spain uses slices of ginger, thick peels of pomelo or grapefruit, sprigs of rosemary, lavender or even crushed basil leaves.
The key to creating these modern gin and tonics is to start with a large glass and high quality ingredients. Here we will show you one of our favorite variations of the gin and tonic. First, take your glass and add lots of fresh clean ice, chill the glass by swirling the ice a few times.
Add 2 ounces of gin and then gently and slowly add about 2 ounces of tonic; pouring it down side of the glass in order to retain the effervescence. Here, we are using a thick slice of ruby red grapefruit peel. You want to twist the citrus above the glass to sprits its fragrant oils and then pass around the rim before dropping it into the glass. To finish give the mix a gentle stir with a spoon. We encourage you to experiment with other combinations of citrus, tonic, and herbs. You can crush fresh strawberries into the mix, add Kaffir lime leaves, muddled Thai basil. The only limit is your imagination.