My friend Sally visited us from Melbourne for about 10 days. I’ve known Sally for half my life; we met when I was studying at Melbourne University. Sally received the Gin Award from Rolland House, the hostel where we lived, so she’s been studying the subject for some years and has parlayed her knowledge into a career organizing banquets and functions for the Athenaeum Club, a private gentlemen’s club (think P.G. Wodehouse and Jeeves). I talked Sally into writing down how to make the perfect G&T for posterity, and here it is.
At the end of a long hot day on the road every doctor should prescribe a G&T to restore one’s positive outlook on life. The preparation of the perfect G&T does however take some effort and even more research. Like many things in life it is all a matter of taste but to help in the research phase I will share some of my own personal findings gained over some 23 years.
Select a highball glass made from a glass that is on the finer side as I think it improves the taste. It is possible to mix a G&T in an old fashioned glass but this requires refills more often.
Add ice, which is important to maintain the temperature, to the bottom of the glass (probably more important on the 3rd or 4th glass as these tend to last longer).
Add the Gin. This is the element that requires extensive research. My personal favourite is Bombay Sapphire which has an herbaceous and complex flavour but I would encourage you to sample as many types as possible. Just like a good scotch or wine there are many flavour combinations. Gordons is really light and crisp, it isn’t very complex or herbaceous. Tanqueray is quite lemony and a bit sharper and more bitter.
The amount required traditionally is 30ml but I have found that it sometimes depends on how much positive outlook you require. Once again this also takes some research to get it right and will depend on the gin of choice.
The tonic is often much under-estimated and is worthy of the time and effort of getting a better quality and having a few bottles in the fridge for those emergency situations. I usually suggest the small 300ml splits as they are one use and avoid the disappointment of a half-used flat bottle. I prefer Schweppes. Do yourself a favour and don’t get the diet style, after all this is for medicinal purposes. During my time in Canada I have found the Canada Dry style of tonic water is a very good substitute.
The perfect G&T should have a half slice of lemon or lime to finish it off, I prefer lime with my Bombay gin but if I can’t get it then lemon. I use lemon with Tanqueray or Gordons.
Take the perfect G&T out onto the porch and consume till your positive outlook on life has been restored.
This has been a life-long project and I have spent many hours of research to get to this point. I hope this has inspired you to start your own research project.