After a long hot day who doesn’t love to enjoy something cool, fizzy and refreshing to kick off the evening? I’ve been a fan of gin since my early 20’s when choices were limited and accompaniments traditionally amounted to Schwepps tonic, ice and perhaps lemon if you were out out.
From its humble beginnings in the early 17th century in Holland gin was thought to have been produced as a medicine and was sold as such to treat complaints such as gout and gallstones. Jump forward 100 years to our capital city where it was cheap and readily available, gin had its uses. It was thought to render men impotent and women sterile, however far darker and within living history (for some) drinking a pint of gin and having an extremely hot bath was recommended as a way to induce a miscarriage in 1950s Britain. Scary thought.
Fast forward to the current day and it’s a different story entirely. Given there is a lot of new kids on the cool & fizzy block (Prosecco stand aside please), gin is enjoying something of a revival and has been for a good few years. What I’ve come to see however is that gin-snobbery is actually a thing, not only for the gin but also which tonic you choose to dilute it with and what fruit you choose to chop into it. Through the wonderful and giving medium of Instagram, I have witnessed and elicited discussion on which type of gin I am drinking and have jumped onto the Fever-Tree bandwagon to show off that I am not merely a Tesco slimline tonic kind of girl, hell no! I like my tonic to be a BRAND goddamit!
It’s all bullshit, I can’t taste the difference…. maybe that’s because I like my gin like my men (and indeed coffee)….. STRONG. I’ll admit that there is a difference in the types and taste of gin and if I was going to just drink the tonic naked then yes I could probably taste the difference but please….. STOP with the tonic snobbery!
More interesting than which tonic you use I would offer, are the solids you can add to it. I necked a couple of swift gins on Sunday afternoon with cucumber in them, most refreshing. I’ve also dabbled with grapefruit, another zingy choice but it shouldn’t really resemble a fruit bowl, we are getting into the realms of a Pimms at this point. I once had an interesting conversation with a mixologist regarding the addition of lemon and how you get a much stronger whiff of lemon if you rub the skin around the rim (if you’ll excuse the double-entendre). Every day’s a school day!
Is the sun over the yardarm yet? Bottoms up!