Ten perfect G&T pairings
To mark International Gin & Tonic Day today (19 October), we’ve rounded up 10 great gins and their perfect paired tonics.
The global gin market could be worth US$22,927.4 million by 2023, with growth led by gin festivals and the consumer desire for premium craft products, according to analysis from Future Market Insight.
Not a big fan of tonic? Here are 10 award-winning gins that are great served neat (or with a ginger beer, if you’re that way inclined).
Thirlings Dry and Marlish English Tonic
We often talk about terroir with whisky, but less so with gin. This pairing of Thirlings Dry from Ad Gefrin, England’s northernmost distillery, and Marlish Tonic makes the most of Northumberland’s flavours.
Thirlings’ botanicals include heather and pine from the Northumbrian hills, elderberry and dill from the hedgerow, and Irish moss and sea buckthorn from the coast, while Marlish is created from a source of spring water on the county’s Marlish Farm.
Hernö Pink Btl and East Imperial Tonic Water
This is pink gin but not as you know it – because it’s not actually pink. Hernö Pink Btl Gin’s was given a Master award at The Gin Masters 2023 and, despite the fact it’s colourless, it has notes of strawberries and rose petals, as well as nicely balanced ripe citrus.
Those citrus notes can be emphasised by pairing with East Imperial Tonic, which has top notes of Thai lemongrass and lime. Or serve it with a pink lemonade, if you really must drink pink.
Cygnet 22 and Double Dutch Indian Tonic Water
Katherine Jenkins-backed Cygnet 22 won Silver at The Gin Masters 2023 and has 22 botanicals (hence the name), from rose petals and white peppercorns to bee pollen. Such a flavoursome and distinctive gin shouldn’t be overpowered by its mixer, so we’d suggest keeping things traditional with Double Dutch’s Indian Tonic Water.
Trinity English Garden Winter Gin and Mulberry Creek Tonic
In collaboration with Green Room Distillery, chef Adam Byatt has created a series of gins inspired by the seasons for his Michelin-starred London restaurant, Trinity.
It claims to be the world’s first peated London Dry gin, with the team collecting the peat from Islay and smoking it back at the London distillery. Its botanicals include clementine, Douglas Fir, pinecones and heather. Mulberry Creek Tonic’s heavily citrussy notes pair brilliantly for a fruity, smoky winter drink.
Bathtub Gin Damson & Bay and Artisan Drinks Co Agave Lemon Tonic
Another Master at this year’s Gin Masters, Bathtub Gin’s Damson & Bay has a “plump fruity nose” and “jammy damson on the palate”.
The Artisan Drinks Co’s Agave Lemon Tonic will cut through the sweetness and add some zing for an incredibly fruity and flavoursome take on a G&T.
The Botanist Gin and Lixir Refreshingly Light Tonic
We know slimline tonic can be divisive, but hear us out on this one. The Botanist has 22 botanicals, foraged on the island of Islay, from lemon balm and wood sage to sweet camomile.
Its layered complexity is best explored with a tonic that’s willing to take a back seat – which is why we’d pair it with Lixir’s ‘crisp and clean’ light tonic, which the brand says has 60% less sugar than a traditional variety.
The Botanist also suggests garnishing your G&T with brambles and rosemary for an autumnal version.
Wenneker Rosemary & Fig Dry Gin and Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic
A Gold winner at this year’s Gin Masters, Wenneker’s Rosemary & Fig Dry Gin is a small batch gin whose botanicals include orris root, coriander, angelica and cardamom, as well as the eponymous rosemary and fig.
Those savoury, herbaceous notes would go perfectly with Fever-Tree’s Mediterranean Tonic, which is made with rosemary (in case the gin wasn’t enough) and lemon thyme for a light, fragrant mixer.
The King of Soho London Dry Gin and Franklin & Sons Rosemary & Black Olive Tonic
We were sceptical when we first heard about this tonic water, but the bitter and savoury notes of the black olive work well to balance out sweeter flavours.
The King of Soho London Dry Gin has notes of grapefruit and sweet orange peel, with a peppery spice on the finish. Pair it with the black olive tonic and add a strawberry garnish for a surprising (but delicious) sweet-savoury combination.
Mintis Gin Blackcurrant and Sanpellegrino Tonica Oakwood
Italian brand Mintis Gin is made using Pancalieri mint and local fruit. The brand recommends serving it with Sanpellegrino tonic to create the perfect Italian G&T – and we think its sweet Blackcurrant variety would be able to stand up to the distinctive bitter notes of Sanpellegrino Tonica Oakwood. Woody, fragrant and fruity with a little spice – what more could you ask for?
Silent Pool Rose Expression and Luscombe Elderflower Tonic
This pairing is all about the flowers, with Silent Pool’s Rose Expression offering delicate rose notes with a finish of citrus and spice. Luscombe’s Elderflower Tonic is made with hand-picked flowers and natural spring water and is the perfect accompaniment to build on the gin’s floral notes.