In our bars we find that quite a large amount, probably around 25% of customers (who get dragged in kicking and screaming by their Gin loving friends) say that “I don’t like gin!”
Our usual reply is, “Yes you do, you just haven’t had the right one” most of their experience of gin is with a certain un-named gin and un-named tonic. In the bar, we can give samples of gins and mixers, which in 99% of cases results in our favourite phrase “OMG I didn’t know Gin tasted like that”
From those that “Don’t Like Gin” 20% prefer a Fruity Gin but still like tonic. the other 80% have the same reaction. They enjoy the first 2-3 seconds of the gin and tonic then screw their face up shouting “I told you I didn’t Like Gin!”
That for us is actually good news as that is the response to the bitter quinine in tonic and we are well down the path of introducing a new customer to the wonderment of Gin.
Hence our guide to where the different Tonics and Mixers stand in Bitterness Levels. We have scaled our rankings at 1-5. 1 being no bitterness and 5 is bitter.
We start with the 1’s
Lemonade. Obviously no bitterness here! We recommend fever Tree Lemonade or Schweppes. Be careful when adding lemonade quantities as it quickly overpowers a dry gin. However, mixed with something like Raspberry Ripple or Boe Violet, it’s quite delicious.
Sparkling Fruit Water. There are lots of fruity waters around these days, however, like lemonade, can quickly overpower a gin. We find the Tesco “hints of” work best as the flavours aren’t so dominant. For a dry gin, try a lemon or orange, or a berry one for the berry gins.
Onto level 2
Here we start moving round the branded tonics and flavours within the brands. Elderflower and Cucumber version’s tend to be less bitter. Double Dutch are a company that recognised that not everybody likes a bitter tonic.
Fentimans Mediterranean Orange Tonic Goes with any Citrus Gin
Double Dutch Skinny Tonic Goes with any Gin
Double Dutch Indian Tonic Goes with any Gin
Double Dutch Cucumber and Watermelon Goes well with most dry gins for a long summer drink
Lamb and Watts Cucumber Tonic. Slightly more bitter than Double Dutch, but still good in a long summer drink.
Peter Spanton No4 Chocolate Tonic Goes well with Mocha, Orange and Chocolate Gins
Thomas Henry Grapefruit Lemonade Goes with any gins containing grapefruit