To do that, you first need to know your gin. There are two types: the more traditional London Dry gin, and Modern gin. A London Dry has juniper as the dominant botanical, and mustn’t be clouded with artificial ingredients, added colours or flavouring. On the other hand, a Modern gin pays less attention to juniper, letting other botanicals take centre stage. Got the gin figured out? Now know your tonic waters and how they complement your gin. No, they are not all the same, and the answer is not always Schweppes. A G&T is about three-quarters tonic water, so you can see why it matters – a lot. A good one is made with good-quality water and natural sweeteners.
For a London Dry Gin
Try: Fords Gin, $92, from http://www.ecproof.com. It’s unashamedly traditional, beginning with a big whack of juniper, balanced by the characteristic citrus and pine notes. Traces of jasmine turn up within the layers, and the finish is slow and warm, a mixture of floral and citrus.
Best tonic water: Erasmus Bond Classic Tonic Water, $9.90 a pack, from http://www.whisky.sg. This classic tonic water was made to bring out the best in a London Dry gin. The bitterness of the quinine in the tonic water is nicely oﬀ set by the citrus and liquorice notes.
For a Modern Gin
Try: St George Botanivore Gin, $111, from http://www.ecproof.com. With as many as 19 botanicals in it, the juniper is quite faint. You can taste the citrus, but what stands out is its overall fruitiness.
Best tonic water: Fentimans Tonic Water, $3 a bottle, from http://www.bittersandlove.com. It’s sweeter than classic tonics, marked with citrus and floral nuances that play up the lushness of the Botanivore.