How to drink Gin? Best alternatives to Gin & Tonic

Gin is synonymous with tonic, but it can be so much more. Short drink or long, sweet or dry, cocktail or short - here are some fantastic alternatives to tonic to tickle your tastebuds and make your forays into Gin far more adventurous. 

Savoury goodness
Gin and Bitter Lemon
It’s a safe bet that your grandmother’s favourite tipple is a Gin and Bitter Lemon, and for good reason. Lemon tonics are making a comeback - made with real lemons, they’re less sugary these days, and decent ones won’t have any added sugars.

Naturally, they work incredibly well with citrus-lead Gins - like Cotswolds Dry Gin - helping to enhance the Gin’s botanicals. With age comes wisdom, so we’re joining in with grandma, and predicting this will be a favourite for years to come.

Gin and Ginger
- has a certain ring to it. It not only sounds good, but tastes great, too. The savoury tang of ginger ale, mixed with its dry heat, is a wonderful balance for spiced Gins, such as Opihr Oriental Spiced London Dry Gin.

Mix as you would for a Gin and Tonic, and garnish with a slice of orange - the citrus will lift the flavours and cut through the spice like a knife through butter.

Gin and Ginger Ale - Photo: Flickr/paparazzi_culiao

Bloody Mary
We couldn’t have a list of savoury drinks without including a twist on the iconic Bloody Mary - saviour of hangovers and brunching best friend since long before we can remember. Gin’s very own Bloody Mary, otherwise known as a Red Snapper, is made in much the same way as its Vodka counterpart - with tomato juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce, lemon juice, celery salt and pepper.

Use a punchy, juniper-heavy Gin such as No.3 Gin, Tanqueray No. Ten, or Sipsmith London Dry Gin.

Dry drinks for all palates
A classic Gin cocktail, the Tom Collins has been around since the late 1800s. A great choice for those who love the taste of Gin - this cocktail is simple and clean, and can be a great way to drink Gins with intense flavour profiles. Make it by mixing two parts Gin to one part fresh lemon juice and one part sugar syrup in a highball, fill with ice and top with soda water.

Arguably the other most famous Gin cocktail is the Martini. There are hundreds of variations on the iconic drink, from Espresso to Apple, but the traditional Martini should be made with Gin and Vermouth alone.

Dry, Dirty or with a Twist - however you take your Martini, purists will choose a great Gin to match. Plymouth Gin or The Botanist are great Gins with classic, strong flavour profiles. The classic Martini is two parts Gin to one part Vermouth, but it’s really up to you how you have it. Us? In the famous words of Noel Coward “A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with Gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.”

The Sweet Stuff
Sloe Gin with tonic - Photo: Flickr/lachlanhardyIn the run up to Christmas, Sloe Gin becomes ever more popular, be it sipped over ice, swigged neat from a hip flask, or enjoyed in front of a roaring fire. But add a lemon tonic, and it becomes a long, refreshing drink, bursting with flavour Sloe Gin and lemon may well be our new favourite winter tipple; all the sweetness of the Sloe Gin, with a sour, citrus twist that cuts through the liqueur.

We’d recommend two parts Sloe Gin to three parts lemon, but dial up the Gin if you prefer sweeter drinks. However you have it, this drink. kicks. ass.

Next time you’re reaching for the Gin bottle, rethink your mixer. Go down the road less travelled, change your tack, awaken your senses and go nuts. With Gin, almost anything goes.

By Emma


About the author: Emma is a huge enthusiast of all things juniper based – a ginthusiast, if you will. When not at her day job in marketing, she can often be found in various Gin joints across London, Martini in hand.

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