Food & Drink

We blind-tested premixed G&Ts to find out the best on the market

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Dan Masoliver
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What’s the best premixed gin and tonic out there? There’s only one way to find out… drink them all

It’s gin. It’s tonic. It’s in a can (or sometimes a bottle). It’s now a bank holiday fixture. But which tastes best? 

We enlist the expertise of G&T connoisseur Vitor Lourenço, head bartender at the Gin Bar at London’s Holborn Dining Room, to find out.

Gordon’s Gin & Schweppes Tonic

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250ml, 5% ABV, £1.80

“In a bar, we would usually divide gin into four main profiles: citrus, floral, herbal and spicy. How you classify it comes down to the kind of botanicals used during the distillation process. With this one, I’m getting some citrus and herbal characteristics, evocative of lemon thyme. I like this one a lot. It would be amazing on a sunny spring day.”

Marks & Spencer Gin & Tonic No01 Spice

250ml, 8% ABV, £2.50

“It’s really smooth – slightly citrusy and mild in flavour. It’s also very sweet. I know some people like that, but I’m not a big fan of sweet drinks. You wouldn’t want to pair it with food. You know how if you eat too many sweets it puts you off your dinner? Well it’s the same with drinks: too sweet and you won’t want to eat, which isn’t ideal if you’re having a picnic or barbecue.”

Fentimans & Bloom Gin & Tonic 

275ml, 6.5% ABV, £3

“This one is the driest, by far. When you first taste it, there’s a hint of citrus, but it’s there for less than a second. Then the juniper takes over – the typical ‘gin flavour’ found in your classic London dry gin. But don’t get me wrong, I love dry gins. They’re so versatile; you can play around with pretty much any garnish you like. If you hate sweet drinks or powerfully flavoured gins, this one is perfect for you.”

Lonewolf Gin & Tonic

330ml, 8.8% ABV, £3

“Wow, this is super-herbal. On the nose, you can detect all sorts of different aromatic herbs, but the one that comes up strongest is coriander. In the mouth it’s aromatic and herbal – probably the most complex of the lot. But it’s a bit too sweet for my tastes. If it were a bit drier, it would be in my top three. I don’t know if they’re trying to mask something – a high alcohol content, maybe.”

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My Classic Gin & Tonic (Asda)

250ml, 4% ABV, £1

“Slightly sweet, but not too much, and pleasantly dry – a good balance of flavour. Basically a classic G&T. Straight away, the flavour that hits you is grapefruit; it lingers in the mouth, too. It’s really smooth and while it’s sweeter than some of the others, that big citrus flavour balances it out beautifully. This is a really well-executed product. I would happily finish the whole can.”

Adnams Copper House Dry Gin

250ml, 5% ABV, £2

“This one tastes like tea. Really, it’s like drinking earl grey in G&T form. It’s an amazing flavour – we create a lot of cocktail recipes using teas. Here, the floral and herbal flavours hit you straight away, then give way to liquorice, angelica root, juniper and lemon. It’s really refreshing and exactly what I’d be looking for from a product like this. I’m genuinely impressed.”

MG Spirit Gin & Tonic

275ml, 5.5% ABV, £2.45

“Really interesting. It’s the only one that I’d classify as spicy. I’m sensing star anise and cinnamon. Generally speaking, the thing that takes a G&T to the next level and turns a good G&T into a great one, is the garnish. Adding a bit of fresh chilli, to push this one’s spiciness, would make for a really nice twist. But even as it is, it definitely stands out as different to the others.”

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Tesco London Dry Gin & Tonic 

250ml, 5% ABV, £1

“The floral palate, which includes chamomile, lavender and rosemary, hits you straight away. Juniper is coming through strongly, too – it’s super-dry. In tinned products, the tonic has a major impact on the overall flavour, and I can guarantee it’s making a big difference with this one. I’d guess it’s high in quinine, adding to the dry-mouth feel. I could drink two or three of these on a long train journey.”

Our G&T connoisseur Vitor Lourenço

(Images: Pixeleyes)