Experts reveal exact formula for perfect G&T ahead of World Gin Day

Research has revealed the exact formula to enjoy the perfect G&T ahead of tomorrow’s World Gin Day (Saturday, June 11). The study shows it is all about the glass, the shape of the ice and never stirring more than twice to enjoy the UK’s traditional tipple at its best.

Spirits company Quintessential Brands and food and drink scientist Natalie Alibrandi have also come up with the ultimate food pairings to go alongside some of their popular gin brands Greenall’s, BLOOM and OPIHR’S London Dry Gin to make the most of this classic drink.

The all-important glass : The ideal type is a Copa de Balon, bulbous in shape and sitting on a stem similar to a red wine glass, the design allows it to hold plenty of all-important ice while the tall stem keeps warm hands from melting the ice. The balloon shape allows botanical aromas and vapors to be contained within the glass, for a more aromatic drinking experience.

The tonic: A tonic water with higher carbonation is best, so check the label. A carbonation level of 4.5 CO₂ is ideal, as lower carbonation will have lower CO₂ retention and lose desired bubbles and mouthfeel over time. Cans and glass bottles maintain better carbonation for tonic and other mixers rather than plastic bottles, which tend to have more permeability to air. Recyclable, single-serve, mini cans or glass bottles are preferable, and the tonic should be poured slowly – never stir more than twice to avoid the drink losing its fizz more quickly.

Ice: It should be fresh and recently frozen to deliver the best G&T taste – and the more ice cubes the better, allowing a slower melt with less likelihood of dilution. The less ice surface area exposed to the warmer G&T liquid, the slower it melts: the most common ice shape is the rectangular cube made in ice trays, but this has a large surface area and melts quickly. The optimal ice shape is crescent, which is much more solid so keeps its shape longer and melts slower.

Temperature: Gin should ideally be kept in the freezer, with the glass chilled and ice freshly frozen. By ensuring these three parts are very cold the overall gin and tonic will warm at a lower rate. A cold beverage numbs the taste buds and creates a smoother tasting alcohol rather than having a sharp bite at the aftertaste.

The shape of the glass is one of the most important factors for a great G&T

Garnish: Gin contains terpenoid compounds which are responsible for its complex flavor profile – terpenes are the scent molecules found in plants and are what adds to the unique aroma and flavor profiles of different ingredients. Surprisingly, the findings revealed that the most common terpenes found in London Dry Gin were best complemented by the unusual garnish combination of mango and pine.

Natalie Alibrandi said: “The optimum drinking weather is at a temperature of 21C and above – not too hot to melt your drink, but warm enough so that the G&T is cooling and refreshing. To make sure a gin and tonic is enjoyed while bearing in mind all variables it should be consumed within 30 minutes.

“The carbonation level will have reduced by nearly half after 30 minutes, while the ice will likely melt within 15-20 minutes.”

The perfect food pairing for gin can depend on the different flavor profile of the spirit. For a floral or fruity gin such as BLOOM Gin, pair it with a citrus dessert such as chamomile and lemon baked apples. For a spiced gin such as OPHIR European Edition Spiced Gin, pair it with foods such as salmon or an herb-based pasta dish, to enhance the herbal and citrus notes of the G&T.

For a classic London dry gin, such as Greenall’s Original London Dry Gin, a strong, smoky cheese board provides the ultimate combination. Joanne Moore, Gin Master Distiller at Quintessential Brands, said: “A G&T is the UK’s no.1 alcoholic drink for a reason, but the way it’s served can really take it from nice enough to outstanding.

“We’ve been making gin since 1761 and we want consumers to get the most out of our award-winning gins.”

Top tips for the perfect G&T:

  • Chill gin (-18C)
  • Chill a Copa de Balon glass (-4C)
  • Chill tonic water (5C)
  • Make fresh ice – crescent ice cubes are better
  • Use small units of tonic water with higher carbonation (4.5 CO₂), ideally from a single-serve can or glass bottle
  • Create the ideal garnish using a piece of lemongrass, dried mango and sprig of pine
  • Fill the chilled glass to the rim with fresh ice cubes
  • Pour 50ml chilled London Dry Gin into the glass
  • Pour 150ml chilled tonic water into the glass
  • Add the mango and a sprig of pine
  • Gently stir
  • Enjoy (within 30 minutes or your efforts will go to waste)
  • Lastly, do not use a straw, as sipping from the glass provides more aroma and enhances the experience.

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