Rethinking the Gin & Tonic

Recent years have marked the rebirth of gin. In 2016, the UK saw an increase in gin sales by 16%. But imbibers may be surprised to learn that the Brits are not No. 1 when it comes to the consumption of gin. That honor goes to the Philippines, followed by the United States and Spain. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association reported that gin exports to the US were “up 553% in the past decade.

In Spain, they’ve not only seen a gin revival but also a makeover of the classic Gin & Tonic. The Gin Tonic, as it’s known in Spain, is often enjoyed as an after dinner drink. The drink is far from the 2-step concoction that we know here in the US. The Gin Tonic often features seasonal infusions that highlights gin’s botanical notes.

Inspired by the “Gin tonic” bars of Spain, American bartenders have given the G&T an upgrade incorporating fruits, citrus peels, and spices. And it’s not just the ingredients that are getting revamped, but also the glassware. Gone is the standard highball glass. In its place is the bulbous red wine glass.

Why the change in glassware? Taste and smell go hand and hand. The rotund wine glass traps the gin’s herbaceous aromas making for a more enjoyable sip. The new glassware also serves to minimize dilution. With a highball glass the heat of your hand aids in melting the ice, resulting in a watered down cocktail.

Gin & Tonics are perfect for warmer weather and alfresco dining. You can create your own Gin tonic bar by offering guests an array of ingredients proven to complement the dry flavors of gin. Ingredients like:  Basil, Blackberries, Cilantro, Cucumber, Ginger, Honey, Lemon, Lime, Mint, Pomegranate, Rosemary, and Sage.

Or try one of these delicious recipes:

Blackberry Mint Gin Tonic

1.5 oz Dry Gin

2 sprigs of Mint (one for garnish)

4-5 Blackberries

Tonic Water to fill

  • In a wine glass muddle mint with blackberries.
  • Add gin.
  • Fill with ice.
  • Slowly stir in tonic water.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint.


Rosemary Lemon G+T

1.5 oz London Dry Gin

2 sprigs of Rosemary

3 peels of Lemon

Tonic Water to fill

  • In a wine glass combine gin, rosemary, and lemon.
  • Fill with ice.
  • Slowly stir in Tonic Water.


Orange Basil G+T

2 oz Old Tom Gin

2 Orange Slices

3 Basil Leaves

Tonic Water to fill

  • In a wine glass combine gin, Orange slice, and basil.
  • Fill with ice.
  • Slowly stir in Tonic Water.

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