The best gins and tonic waters in search of an author to make the perfect Gin & Tonic
Let’s start by saying that ranking the best gins is a ridiculous and meaningless style exercise, each of us has a different palate and preferences, so we don’t want to crown any gin, but offer you a roundup of spirits to titillate your curiosity.
Having said that the ranking would also be unlikely for the price issue. There are top-notch bottles with which you can’t go wrong. Monkey 47 gin is so good that you could even mix it with gasoline and frozen orange juice and it would still be drinkable (joking). But we want to explore the undergrowth of the scents and flavors of all the most important and deserving gins. Even the strangest and most particular ones like the earthy Plymouth gins, which are not necessarily the noblest or expensive.
But what would gin be without its half, its bride: tonic water? So it is good to choose quality gin, but also pay attention to tonic water, which plays an important role, since such strong and elaborate products can cover the flavor of gin.
Hendrick’s and Henry Thomas tonic water
Hendrick’s Gin is perhaps one of the best for value for money. It is a fresh gin with a pyrotechnic nose, but delicate flavor. You will find amazing scents of roses, pepper, ginger, flowers, forest resin, and even spices, but they are declined with grace. They add arabesques of elegance without being obsessive. In the mouth, it is equally straight, sharp, but always precise and never aggressive. The matching tonic is quite clean, not expansive, but with a tenacious bitter taste. The Henry Tomas is uncomplicated, but with such a multifaceted gin, you just need a drop of bitterness.
Death’s Door Gin and Fentimans tonic water
Death’s Door gin is a masterpiece of great structure and aromatic cleanliness. Despite being part of the American gin family, it is not explosive or histrionic but maintains a very solid profile. The aromas are consistent: cereals, resin, and juniper, coriander and fennel. The botanicals are only these three, but the intensity is enveloping and the silky palate of splendid amplitude. For such a clean gin we chose a delicate tonic water, with excellent freshness and citrus aromas, such as Fentimans.
Gin Primo with Romagna salt by Federico Lugaresi and Indi & Co tonic water
It is a particular Gin that at the first sip can displace because of its salty attack to the palate. But then it opens in delicate shades, the faces of the various botanicals peek out and here comes juniper, rosemary, lavender, lemon verbena. We have to be honest, we drank it for two days to try to understand this spirit, but in the end, the response was highly positive. Salt is the engine, the trigger that stimulates and from which all the other flavors and aromas start. We were in difficulty: we had never tasted such a whimsical gin, but the tasting was one of the most stimulating. It is a great gin set in a mineral frame that takes on a thousand facets. Of course, it is salty, often, you can almost bite the salt, but if you add a sharp and fragrant tonic like Indi & Co tonic water you will make a superb gin and tonic drink. We also tried the Mediterranean Tonic Water to test the harmony of the “two seas”, but it was a total fail. Too many flavors and neither of them could emerge from that vortex…
Panarea Island Gin and Mediterranean Tonic Water
Panarea Island Gin is born from the sun of the Aeolian Islands and manages to capture all the flavors and the sunny aromas of the Sicilian coast. It is a niche gin, it is emerging now, but finally, someone has managed to bring a ray of sunshine and joy into the resinous gin landscape. Of course, the classic juniper flavors are there, only that it winks a lot at the Sicilian terroir and the sea with savory flavors of ginger, cedar, citrus and a clean finish of white pepper. In the mouth, it is agile, sharp, but well defined: not too structured, but with good variety. Choose Mediterranean Tonic Water and harmony in the glass is assured. If you don’t find Panarea Island Gin, you can always refold on the classic Mare gin or Malfy.
Wenneker Elderflower Dry Gin and Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water
The Wenneker as we can already deduce from the name is a gin among whose botanicals we find elderberry. And the whole sip revolves around delicate, floral and spicy scents. Once again we are dealing with a thin, elegant gin, not a bruiser. Don’t expect structure, exaggerated forest calls or thousands of earthy suggestions. This is a small garden in bloom. And then even the tonic must have a certain elegance and lightness. The chosen one is the Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic Water.
The Botanist 22 and Monaco Tonic Water
The Botanist gin is one of the most extreme, pungent and herbaceous spirits you can use to make gin and tonic, but it is very particular. Produced with 22 botanicals that grow on the famous island of Islay, home of some of the most coveted and peated Scotch whiskey. Personally, I find it splendid, but it is not easy to approach, the scents it releases are an endless symphony: juniper, licorice, mint, camphor, flowers, pepper, roots, violets, chamomile. It is like taking a walk in an apothecary. In the mouth, it is full, spicy and moves gracefully without never stopping. Try it, but with a discreet tonic, almost shy like the Monaco tonic, good, with a delicate perlage.
VL92 gin combined with J.Gasco Bitter Dry tonic water
And after so many ethereal and graceful notes of flowers and small gardens of Eden, we move on to a good punch in the face. We have two rocky products with sharp edges that will cut your palate with quinine strokes. Vl 92 is a symphony of earthy scents with a thousand roots and some hints of lemon. The tonic water J. Gasco is direct, bitter and proud of it. If you like strong and neat flavors, this is a pair to try for an old-style gin and tonic.
Koval gin with Pure Tonic Cortese
Koval Gin is one of the most precious and refined spirits on the artisan gin scene. We could spend hours telling you that it is a masterpiece, where a thousand scents warble and intertwine creating a fresco of admirable beauty. Ad it would all be true. The Koval is not cheap, 40 euros for the half-liter bottle, but it is certainly one of the most suggestive and mysterious gins that there are. The nose is very floral, full of ginger and pepper, light cardamom, mint, sage and then the resinous tones of juniper to act as an adhesive. In the mouth, it is spicy but chiseled, with great persistence, the right spiciness and with an infinite finish. Few muscles: all played on elegance. The Pure Tonic Cortese adds a delicate touch and is an excellent gregarious for such an expensive gin. The review.
Gin Tanqueray no. ten matched with the 1724 tonic water
Gin Tanqueray no. Ten is the most prized version of the classic Tanqueray, enhanced with chamomile and citrus fruit. A small touch that still manages to add finesse and depth to a solid, but very spartan gin, played on the classic English botanicals. In the mouth, it is scratchy, powerful and well-balanced. If we add one of the finest and tonic waters, we will be able to create an excellent gin and tonic. Very fresh, clear in its hints of wood, softened by a bitter taste of the 1724 tonic water, one of the least aggressive on the market.
Gin Aviation paired with Schweppes Premium Mixer Original Tonic
Gin Aviation is another purebred stallion: aromatic, powerful, yet elegant, with a fabulous persistence. Full of flowers, ginger, petals, tropical fruits, anise and freshness that gradually condenses into an irresistible spiciness crescendo. It is not the usual gin, there is not much juniper, it is not rough or sharp, but a kaleidoscope of perfumes. Throw in a tonic that smells of juniper and is not too strong like the Schweppes Premium Mixer Original Tonic to give a resinous touch.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin paired with Q Tonica
Gunpowder Irish Gin was born in one of Ireland’s most remote and lonely lands, from a careful selection of botanicals that include juniper, citrus, cardamom, various roots, spirea ulmaria and the famous gunpowder tea, a precious and fragrant Chinese tea. The stills are made of copper, very ancient, the production is painstaking: in short, storytelling is not lacking. But the flavor is also really amazing. It is a very fragrant gin that smells mainly of black tea, juniper and lemon, fascinates with its mysterious touch, aromatic cleanliness and persistence. It is neither strong nor decidedly spicy, it is delicate and straight. In the mouth, it has beautiful precision, freshness, lightly spicy finish, and excellent harmony. Medium body, but elegant. The water tonic must be equally delicate, not too mighty, otherwise, the subtle Drumshanbo’s nuances will be submerged by the tannin of the quinine: the Q Tonic is the right product. Organic quinine collected in the Andes, little sugar and not too aggressive bubbles.
The Barmaster Gin and East Imperial Burma tonic water
Two bold and very sharp products. The gin Barmaster is very ethereal and pungent in pure Bombay style. East Imperial Burma is also one of the most bitter and at the same time sugary, so it is a high voltage wedding. There is love, passion, a lot of joy, but coexistence is never easy.
Bulldog and Goldberg tonic water
A classic pairing for a rocky and spicy and very sharp gin tonic. The Bulldog is a rude gin, cheeky and very aromatic, but clean, with clear and not too varied, but very decisive aromas. In the mouth, it is full-bodied and fresh, perfect for mixing with the Goldberg tonic, one of the most citrusy, delicate and precise. This water tonic has a lot to offer: gentle touches, a sweet undertone and a powerful quinine punch that emerges in the finish.