The British have always been big gin drinkers and the always popular highball cocktail, gin & tonic, has long been a standard drink especially during the summer months.
It’s being enjoyed by drink lovers around the world as it enjoyed a resolute renaissance. The juniper elixir is now produced in all corners of the globe and the gin industry is thriving in the British Isles.
The cocktail was introduced by the army of the East India Company in India. In India and other tropical regions malaria was a chronic problem but Dr. George Cleghorn discovered that quinine could prevent and treat the disease. The quinine was put into tonic water, but the taste was awful so British officers in the early 1800’s started adding water, sugar, lime and gin to the quinine to make it easier to drink, thus gin and tonic was invented.
During the time of the Raj, the cocktail became a stand drink among the tea planters as they retreated to their clubs. As G&T gained in popularity with the planters it gradually made it way back to the UK.
Two of life’s greatest pleasures are gin and tea, so it makes sense to put them together in the name of the ultimate thirst-quenching experience.
Mixing tea in cocktails isn’t new, in the 1800’s tea was used to lengthen drinks and once again it is popular with bartenders who claim that tea works really well with gin because it has lots of botanical flavors to play against.
Tea infusions are easy. Most importantly is to select a good quality alcohol as cheap liquors will still taste astringent after infusing. Loose leaf teas work best for infusions, as they have a fuller flavor.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 2 tbsp loose leaf Earl Grey tea
- 9 fl. oz. gin of choice
- Tonic Water
- Lime/Lemon Wedge
- Crushed Ice
- Pour your gin in a jar with a lid and add the tea leaves. Allow to infuse for about two hours. (The longer you leave it, the more pronounced the flavor.)
- Once it is infused, strain out and discard the leaves. Return the gin to the jar. (Gin and tonics are typically served over ice, so we recommend refrigerating your gin before serving)
- To mix the drink, you’ll want to use about 2 oz. of infused gin and between 4 and 6 oz. of tonic depending on your desired potency.
- Get your glass ready by adding ice. Once it’s chilled, pour in the gin, then the tonic. By adding a lime or lemon wedge at the end will supply a citrus “pop.”
- Stir vigorously in the glass. Cheers!