For the creation of a good gin and tonic the interaction of gin and tonic water is crucial – that obvious. But which tonic water goes with which gin? What is the perfect gin and tonic combination? We are asked this question very often – understandable, after all there are currently over 100 German gins. And even in the tonic water sector the selection is hard to keep track of. Now it would of course be great if there was an easy answer to this question. Unfortunately we have to disappoint you. As with many things, this is a question of individual taste.
The good news is that trying out all the different gin and tonic waters is really fun! Imagine a gin and tonic tasting with friends: First, the individual gins are tasted pure – it will soon become clear that the differences are enormous. From classic juniper, to herbal or citrus, to fruity floral, there is sure to be a suitable gin for every taste. Afterwards you can try yourself through different tonic water variations.
But what exactly is tonic water and what does it taste like? In the production of tonic water, quinine is added to carbonated water, which is obtained from the bark of the chincona tree. Additionally, sugar and other botanicals or fruit acids can be added. Tonic Water can be roughly divided into the following categories:
Classic and Dry Tonic Water
When it comes to a classic tonic water, the bitter note of quinine is in the foreground. It is usually accompanied by citrus notes. The more quinine a tonic water contains, the more bitter the taste. One refrains here from using other botanicals.
Dry tonic water contains relatively small amount quinine and sugar, so the taste is very mild and less sweet. Especially reserved gins can be mixed well with Dry Tonic Water, as their gentle aromas are not displaced by those of the Tonic Water.
Classic and dry tonic waters provid a pleasantly balanced gin and tonic. Floral or fruity tonic waters, on the other hand, are more prominent in a gin tonic.
Floral and Fruity Tonic Water
Floral tonic waters are characterized by a fresh and flowery aroma. Fruity tonic waters are usually also quite sweet. If you want to emphasize the floral or fruity notes of a gin, for example, you can mix with a floral or fruity tonic water. The other way round, juniper accentuated gins can be paired very well with floral or fruity tonic water to counteract the gin in the drink with a complementary note.
Tangy and Tart Tonic Water
With tangy tonic waters, fine herbal aromas are in the foreground. They provide a tart note and let the classic bitter and citrus notes fade into the background.
Once you’ve tried a number of different gins and tonics, it’s time to get mixing. We are sure that at the end of the evening everyone will find the perfect gin and tonic combination for themselves. Make sure to fill your long drink glass up to the top with ice before pouring in the gin and tonic water. This ensures that the drink stays cold until the last sip without diluting.
Gin Tonic Garnish
Last but not least, the question of the right garnish arises. Just like the perfect gin and tonic combination, its a matter of taste. But for orientation it helps to know which botanicals are used for the production of the selected gin and which flavours you want to support or complement with the garnish. For an example we use orange blossoms for our THE DUKE Munich Dry Gin, and that is why an orange zest as a garnish for the drink harmonises wonderfully with it. You are probably wondering why gin and tonic is often garnished with cucumber. There is a simple reason: marketing. A well-known gin producer uses cucumber as a gin botanical and celebrates this with various marketing activities. This made it a trend to garnish with a slice of cucumber, but this does not fit every gin and tonic combination.
THE DUKE Gin & Tonic
To help you find the perfect tonic water for our three gins, we have some tips for you.
THE DUKE Rough Gin
Our Rough Gin is a real Juniper Hero! By reducing the botanicals to only 5, the juniper aroma is given even more room to develop. Added to this are coriander seeds, orange peel, hops and malt. This gin is perfect for experimenting. Even when adding a flavorful floral, spicy or fruity tonic, the juniper aroma remain dominant in the drink.
Tipp: THE DUKE Rough Gin + classic Tonic Water (not too sweet) + 2-3 thin apple slices as a garnish.
THE DUKE Munich Dry Gin
Our classic Gin is made from 13 Botanicals: Besides juniper berries, coriander seeds and bitter orange, it gets its finely spicy aroma from ginger root, cubeb pepper, arnica root, lavender, lemon peel, hops and malt – just to mention a few. With this gin, the juniper and citrus notes are in the foreground, accompanied by other fine herbs and spices.
If you want to emphasize the herbal aromas in the gin, a tangy tonic water is is the pick. For those who like it more classic, we recommend a not too sweet classic tonic. But also floral aromas in the tonic water, such as lavender or rose blossom, are suitable.
Tipp: THE DUKE Munich Dry Gin + classic Tonic Water (not too sweet) + Orange peel as a garnish.
Mixing drinks is extremly fun! However, there are situations where it can be a little impractical to have to take the individual ingredients with you – just imagine a spontaneous evening by the river or lake. With these situations in mind we have created 4 organic bottled long drinks in cooperation with Aqua Monaco. With them you no longer have to do without a high-quality drink in any situation. Have you tried our THE DUKE Gin & Tonic yet?
THE DUKE Wanderlust Gin
Our Wanderlust Gin enchantes you with its floral notes. A total of 20 botanicals are combined with each other, with flower aromas such as poppy, rose blossom, arnica, edelweiss or lavender. The raspberry gives the gin a soft fruity touch. Due to the complex aroma, one has to be a little more careful when choosing tonic water. If the tonic water is too intensiv or too sweet, you run the risk of overlaying the gin with it. Therefore a not too sweet classic or even dry tonic water is recommended.
Tipp: THE DUKE Wanderlust Gin + Dry Tonic + fresh raspberrys as a garnish.
THE DUKE Variations
On our drinks-page you can find not only great cocktail recipes, but also some gin and tonic variations. By adding more ingredients or infusing the gin, for example, you can mix exciting gin and tonic creations. Try it out!