It may make us sound like alcoholics, but the ‘plonk-plonk bubble’ of three hunks of ice slumping into a gin and tonic is a marvellous thing.
Madness says Sam Carter, gin aficionado, who’s here to tell us (and you) how to make the perfect gin and tonic.
“Preparation is key. You need to make sure you have everything to hand so when it comes to making the drink it’s easy and stress free.
Here’s what you need…
1. Large clean highball glass
2. Good quality ice cubes - this will chill the drink quicker resulting in less dilution and keeping it colder for longer.
3. Bottle of your gin of choice (I use Bombay Sapphire due to it’s fresh forest floor pine notes and spicy character).
4. The finest chilled organic tonic water (my favourite is made by FeverTree and using the 200ml bottles means it is always fresh)
5. Fresh green lime
6. Sharp knife
7. Chopping board
8. Bottle opener
9. Long spoon
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1. Start by rolling your lime on a chopping board with the palm of your hand for 10 strokes. What this does is massage the fruit to get the juices flowing. You’ll be able to get a higher yield of juice from each wedge so it’s good for your wallet.
2. Now you’re ready to cut your lime into wedges. Stop! To do this, don’t cut it in half from head to tail but through the circumference of the fruit then, whilst resting the flat area on the board, cut the two halves into four wedges (cut across the segments).
You should end up with eight perfectly formed wedges which are juicy and raring to add aroma and flavour. Oh, and, if you don’t happen to use up all your lime wedges in one go place them in a sealable container and pop in the freezer. This way they are ready to be used next time as lime flavoured ice cubes.
3. Next take one of your perfectly cut lime wedges and between thumb and forefinger, squeeze into the bottom of the highball glass then drop in the wedge.
4. Grab a bottle of Bombay Sapphire around the neck and if you’re lucky enough to have a barman’s pourer in your bottle then turn it upside down over the glass and count to five. This should give you a double measure (50ml). If you don’t have a pourer then you could use the cap. This measures 15ml - measure out 3 of these add one last splash for luck.
5. Next, fill the glass to the top with ice then stir for a few seconds with the long spoon.
Open your chilled bottle of FeverTree tonic water just before you need it so it’s lively then pour 100ml over the ice.
Let the bubbles settle then stir for a couple of revolutions to mix the drink and create a consistent flavour. If needed, add more ice cubes to bring the water line to around 1cm from the top of the glass (not more tonic) then add a second lime wedge (not squeezed) perfectly positioned on the top of your tipple to add aroma and visual appeal, but little extra flavour.
I’m not keen on ‘riming the glass’ with the lime wedge juice as it has a tendency to overpower the drink and also makes the outside of the glass wet and sticky.
Finally add a clear straw to the glass if you want it.
(Image: Rex Features)