Friday, 20 February 2015

6 Alternative Gin and Tonic Garnishes You Must Try

Photo: Barbara Wells
At the end of a long week, I'm very much looking forward to kicking back with an ice cold G&T, pyjamas on, ready to watch the Eastenders live episode and laugh at all the inevitable mistakes.

But - shock horror - I'm all out of limes. Hold your duff duffs, though - there are plenty of far better garnishes than the traditional 'ice and a slice'. Here are some of my favourite alternative gin and tonic garnishes:


Photo: Didriks
Basil

It's as simple as floating a leaf or two amongst the ice - but give it a bit of a slap first to release the incredible aromas.

Drink it with: Ideal for more citrussy gins, or gins with lots of herbal or grassy botanicals. Try Gin Mare (£35.25, The Whisky Exchange)


Rhubarb

The glorious flavours of rhubarb are a perfect match for a fruity, juniper-filled gin.

You can either use an entire sugared stick of the stuff, or use a vegetable peeler to shred a ribbon of rhubarb from a stick and twirl it through the glass for a super pretty drink.
Apparently, if you soak the rhubarb shred in some icy water it will make it twirl naturally...

Drink it with: Junipero gin (37.19, The Drink Shop)

Photo: Didriks

Lavender

Fragrant, heady lavender is a popular choice for fancy cocktails at the moment, but if you don't have time to faff then just stick a sprig of it in your G&T for a pretty, aromatic garnish. Just make sure you wash it first...

Drink it with: Ideal to bring out the flavours of more understated or lightly floral gins. That said, we know of a lovely country pub that uses lavender to garnish Monkey 47 - the amazing gin made with 47 different botanicals...



Blood orange

The cocktail world's blood orange frenzy has yet to die down, and it's easy to see why. A delicious wedge of this deeply colourful and flavoursome fruit is a summery garnishes that's very hard to beat.

Pair it with a powerful gin like Death's Door (£41.65 at The Whisky Exchange)

Photo: Didriks


Cucumber and rosemary

Yes, we've all had gin with cucumber - literally every person in the entire world has.

But if you add a sprig of rosemary, it makes your G&T a whole lot more interesting. It's even better if you muddle a little bit of gin and cucumber in the bottom of the glass first so you get a rosemary-infused gin and tonic.

Especially nice with the likes of Hendricks (currently £24 at Sainsburys) or The Botanist (£33.83 at Master of Malt)







Apple and black pepper

On a personal level, this is my winner - and it's so damn easy.

I first had this when at The Whippet Inn in York and it blew my mind. Don't be too wimpy with your pepper either - mine had a more than generous sprinkling of the stuff and was all the better for it.

Perfect with crisp, smooth, fragrant gins - I had mine with Masons Yorkshire Gin (£39.99 at Master of Malt).





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