Everyone knows about the gin and tonic. It’s one of the best summer cocktails ever conceived and you’d be hard pressed to find a cocktail more refreshing on a hot day. You have the juniper and botanical flavors from the gin, the citrus flavors from the lime, and the bitter, quinine flavor of the tonic. Bliss.
So who could possibly improve on this recipe? The Spanish, that’s who. And once you’ve tried their version you won’t go back to the basic gin and tonic until at least September.
“The story goes that the drink’s resurgence originated in Barcelona at a restaurant called Bobby Gin,” says Bulldog Gin’s Christine Moll. “The chefs were looking for a post-work refresher, or something to sip while breaking down the kitchen after service.”
The kitchens were hot and the palates of the staff were discerning. They came up with a drink that pays close attention to how the flavor profile of the gin is complemented by that of the high quality tonic, adding garnishes to highlight each.
“Spanish Gin Tonics [the ampersand is omitted in Spain] are typically adorned with fresh herbs, beautiful flowers and fruits and is served in a copa, which is essentially a red wine glass or goblet,” says Moll. “Think of this as the more outgoing sibling of the English staple.”
The cocktail quickly took off and moved from back-of-house standard to front-of-house fashion statement among trend-setting patrons, the large glasses served alongside an assortment of bright and colorful garnishes. One of the cocktail’s biggest fans is famed chef Jose Andrés. He likes the drink so much that he even created YouTube videos to explain the intricacies of the cocktail to the rest of the world.