Using just two ingredients (or more if you want to jazz it up), the humble gin and tonic is one of our favourite drinks both to make and well, to drink. Did you know, however, that it was first created as a medicine after the British Crown took governance of India and British immigrants started to be struck down by scurvy on the ships and malaria when they reached the tropical continents? This was because tonic back then was infused with quinine, an extract from the South American cinchona tree which was also known as the ‘fever tree’ as it helped to ward off illnesses. Add in some lemon for a vitamin C shot to help on the ships and hey presto, the most delicious medicine.
Fast forward to now and whilst the doctor is unlikely to prescribe you a G&T, it’s still a firm favourite in our cocktail repertoire. So this summer Bombay Sapphire, pioneers of the gin revolution, asked the mixologists from Chiltern Firehouse, Cocktail Trading Company, Gilbert Scott, Heddon Street Kitchen, Peg and Patriot and Sager & Wilde to discover the artistry behind the ultimate gin and tonic and create a cocktail inspired by the ten exotic botanicals found in Bombay Sapphire. The drinks have now all been created, which means you can head to any of the bars to try them out.
Drawing on the medical background, Marcis Dzelzainis from Sager & Wilde has created the Nettle Beer Collins, which focuses on the reviving health benefits of the tonics which were so popular in the 1920s. Dean Shurry from Chiltern Firehouse has also drawn on the history of the G&T for his serve, creating the Gateway to Bombay, a nod to the birthplace of the drink, made from barrel-aged fermented tonic with Bombay air. It’s the fresh, crisp taste of Bombay Sapphire that inspired Constanca Corderiro to create Ariana’s Garden; an earthy flavour created using homemade dill syrup, pea shoot infused Bombay Sapphire and jasmine.
Don’t worry you don’t have to go out and try them all in a night (otherwise you really might need a doctor), they’re sticking around until January 2017 and there’ll also be immersive cocktail masterclasses announced soon.