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The tinkle of ice. The scent of fresh-cut lemon and the cool, bittersweet, tongue-tickling fizz of that first sip. A perfectly seamless blend of crisp, junipery gin and thirst quenchingly zesty tonic water, it’s no wonder that Gin and Tonic is one of the most popular summertime drinks.
Certain drinks are irrevocably associated with certain cities or countries. The Singapore Sling and Manhattan are obvious. Cuba has its Daiquiri, Puerto Rico the Piña Colada. Dublin’s drink is Guinness, Rio has the Caipirinha, and for the best Gin and Tonic, you would naturally look towards… Spain?
I was more than surprised when a gin distiller friend of mine told me that Spain makes the best G&T, served in a tumbler or red-wine glass and garnished with citrus peel and fresh spices like star anise or grated nutmeg. The “Gintonic” as it is known, has apparently been the off-duty drink of choice of Spanish chefs for more than a decade now, and their infatuation has gone large with many trendy bars and restaurants offering an entire menu dedicated to gin and tonic. The British may have invented the drink, but the Spanish have elevated it to an art form.
The classic choice for a Gin and Tonic remains a London dry-style gin. This crisp, bold, junipery category includes the brands Tanqueray, Beefeater, Seagram’s, and Gordon’s, to name a famous few but with so many varieties on offer, it would be churlish not to try a few of the lesser known but more exotic brands as well. Ice, slice and a berry or two for you?