Should we use flavoured Tonics in Gin?
Last night a very good friend of mine “Elsje” – (a fabulous South African name), invited us round to her place to open her new bottle of Gin – “Gunpowder Irish Gin”.
She’d been waiting all week for us to come over and sample it, so the anticipation was electric!
I was intrigued when I heard that the Irish consumers have a “perfect Serve” of Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic with a Garnish of Grapefruit and Raspberries!
It’s seemed a bit OTT, but was willing to give it a go!
My wife though it look fabulous, as she is very driven by sight and sentiment!
A blind test was setup in 3 glasses.
No.1 – Peter Spanton – Cardamom
No.2 – Fever Tree Natural
No.3 – Fever Tree Elderflower
She proudly bought them all out, and asked us to choose our favourite.
The objective was to judge the tonic’s, and what if anything they added or took away from the Gin!
Initially I liked 1 and 2. I got to the third one, and sorry to say Ireland – it was bloody awful! It tasted like lolly juice, and completely destroys the beautiful drink!
Going back to 1 and 2, I initially preferred no.1, until I had a few more sips and started getting an aftertaste that didn’t sit well.
I switch my vote to no.2, and hope I chose wisely!
Luckily for me, the great reveal just proved a point!
Gin doesn’t or shouldn’t need flavoured Tonics. (End of discussion!)
In my opinion it’s a ploy by the Tonic companies to sell more tonics!
You have to ask yourself a question.
Do you want to taste the gin on a level playing field, naturally as it was intended by the distilleries? Or do you want to taste an overly flavoured gin, with additional variables thrown in for good luck? Why add more cardamom to a gin that already has it, vice versa why add it to a gin that doesn’t need it? Your Drink ceases to be a Gin & Tonic and morphs into a mix of sugary flavour water and gin you can no longer distinguish!
We will always recommend a neutral Tonic for your gin. The brand is your choice! Refer to my Fever Tree vs Schweppes blog.
So what about the Gunpowder Gin?
Well it was fabulous. Some strong flavours coming through which is what I like and definitely you can taste its unique botanicals that set it different to other Dry gins on the market. With its Green Gunpowder tea, Caraway, Star Anise seed and Cardamom coming through at the beginning, and a fresh citrus flavour at the end.
I would give it an 8/10 so far it’s my best Irish Gin