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How to make the Best Gin and Tonic

Coming up in this video, I'm gonna show you how to make the Best gin and tonic. So if you like the sound of that, if you wanna see how I make a really lovely, really refreshing, really amazing gin and tonic, then stay tuned. Hello and welcome back. As I just said at the top, today's video, what this is all about, I'm gonna show you how to make a perfect gin and tonic. Every single time, whether you're at home, whether you're working behind a bar, this video is for you. It is not all that difficult. It really isn't. I'm going to be telling you, a lot of you, how to suck eggs. But, there is some things that certain people get wrong. And I just want to kind of show you a really nice way to make the gin and tonic. And why as bartenders we do certain things. So that is what is coming up.

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The Glass

Now, the first thing. The first thing we have to start off with obviously when we're making our gin and tonic is the glass. The glass is vitally important to this. It pays, you know, you have to feel comfortable drinking out of it. It has to feel right, it has to look good. So the glass is vitally important. Now, here's where we go, because I've actually got three different types of glasses here. It is up to you what sort of glass that you prefer to use. The industry at the moment, where we are in the UK, is all about these big gin balloons. Personally, and I've made no secret about this, I'm not a huge fan of these. To put this into perspective, this gin balloon here is 23-something ounces, 22-something ounces. If you look at that and compare it to a pint glass, a pint glass is 20 ounces. This is bigger than a pint of gin. A pint of gin, that would be really good. And all that's going in there really is a 50 ml double measure. And that is, you know, that is the industry standard. We're not in Spain where they pour 100 ml, 75, 100 ml of gin or spirits in there. We're in the UK, where the very most that you'll get is 50 ml, one double. So I really don't like them. I do use them for events because people love them, and they want them... Me personally, I don't really like them. So I'm gonna put that to one side. That is not a glass that I'm gonna be using. I really like these two actually. This is like a really heavy one. You get this from Drink Stuff. Both, all of these glasses come from Drink Stuff actually. But this is a really kind of heavy crystal kind of tumbler. Again, I'm not gonna use that. I really, really love using these kind of glasses. But I don't really know what to call them. They're kind of tumblers in a certain extent. Now that's just under 14 ounces, so where are we, 2/3 of a pint to put that in perspective? That is exactly the same. It holds exactly the same volume, just under 14 ounces, 13.75. And that, I really love putting my gin and tonic in there. So, we've got our glasses. So that is the first important thing.

The Ice

The second important thing we want is our ice. Now, there is a massive, massive misconception about ice. We get it all the time as bartenders. You guys, customers will come up to me and go, "Oh, less ice, less ice, "we don't want our drink watered down." It is precisely the opposite. First up with ice, you want really good quality ice. I'm lucky I've got this really lovely kind of solid chunky ice. Not the cheap ice that you get from supermarkets. This is kind of the stuff that I use on my events. As you can see, I'm properly loading this glass up with ice. Why, why do I do that? Why do we do that? Now, here's the science. The less ice you have in the glass, the quicker it's gonna melt. So if I only put one cube, maybe two cubes in there, guarantee it within a couple of minutes that is gonna melt, and that water is then diluted down into your gin and tonic. It is diluted down your drink. Okay, have you grasped that? So the more ice we put into our glass, the colder that drink stays, the longer it takes to melt, meaning the less watered down your drink is gonna be. Now I get all the excuses that come up, oh I've, my teeth, I've got really sensitive teeth. That's the word I'm looking for. I've got really sensitive teeth, I don't like cold drinks. That's absolutely fine. If that's a valid reason for you, that's absolutely fine. But the reasoning you give, we don't want our drinks watered down, or you think as bartenders we're short changing you, we're really not. We are trying to give you the best experience we can. So that is why we load a glass with ice. So, I've got that 2/3, 3/4 full of ice just for now.

The Gin

We're moving on to our gin. Now, the gin. There is no right or wrong with gin. The only vitally important thing that you have to do with gin is make sure that you use a gin that you really, really like. Because there's nothing worse than having a gin and tonic with a gin that you don't like. So, there's no right or wrong. Pick your own gin. Pick your favourite gin, whether it's a raspberry gin, an orange gin, or it's a London dry, an Old Tom, whatever your style of gin, whatever your brand of gin is, just make sure that you really, really like it. I'm using this one. You'll come on to this, there's a video coming about this. This is literally five miles away from here, it's distilled five miles away. I'm so happy it's such a lovely gin. It's a London dry gin. Jake's gin. But I'll tell you more about that in a future video. Anyway, so I'm gonna use this. Now, let's say, this glass just under 14 ounces, 3/4, 2/3, 3/4 of a pint. I'm gonna use a double measure. For me, this is a perfect size glass to be using a double measure. Okay, so we've got 50 ml going in there. Alright, now you can see how big that glass is because the liquid, let's put it on the close-up down there, the liquid is still, it doesn't look like there's much in there. You can imagine using that, it's just ridiculous.

How to make a Gin and Tonic
My Perfect Gin and Tonic Recipe

The Tonic Water

Now the next vital thing is your tonic water. Again, this is the only thing I'm gonna say, yes so just on the video about what is the best tonic water. It doesn't really matter at the end of the day. As long as it's a tonic water that you like and enjoy. But if it's a flavoured tonic water, whether it's even a lemonade, or a Sprite or something like that. Whatever mixers, sorry I shoulda used the word mixer, whatever mixer you prefer, make sure it's one that you really, really like. No right or wrong with brands. I'm gonna go with this. This is just my lovely little way. I've got a few tonics that I love working with this. This is Franklin and Son's rosemary and black olive. Really, really lovely tonic water. It goes really well with this gin. Goes really well with a lot of London dry gins actually. But, this is what we're gonna do. Now, with the tonic water, I explained it all in the previous video, but you want something that's really fizzy, really full of flavour, effervescence, you know that's where it brings the drink to life. Now, here's the crucial thing. This is why I don't like these gin balloons. Because, it's all about ratios. For me, to make a perfect gin and tonic, me personally I'm a one to three kind of guy. So, to break that down for you, I've used 50 ml of gin. For me, it's 150 ml of tonic water, give or take. Alright, not exact, but give or take. So, these are two. Most bottles of tonic water in your pubs and bars are 200 ml. If you've ordered the double, they put the whole thing in. That's a one to four. That is perfect if that's your ratio. If you like a one to four gin and tonic, that's absolutely fine. A lot of people and a lot of us at home will drink one to two. I like mine a little bit weaker. I'm a one to three kind of guy. I don't know many people that are one to fours. So let's put that into perspective. That's how bars now. Now just imagine if you just had a single gin in there with loads of ice, and then they poured the whole bottle of tonic in, 200 mls, that is now a one to eight ratio. There's no point in you paying, whatever, however much you pay for that gin if you're out in a bar, whether it was an eight pound, 10 pound gin, there is absolutely zero point you paying for that if they're putting the whole bottle of tonic in. Because you want to taste it. It will be drowned. You might as well have just had the house double, whatever the cheapest gin was. Because it then becomes all about the tonic water, and less about the gin. So for me, perfect ratios, let's just say one to three. Some, very few will like one to four. A lot of you at home, your standard ratio at home will be one to two. You'll throw a huge glug of gin, a bit of tonic water, job done. Now, here we go. So I pour in this in. We get to about there, you see, there we go, I've still only used half a bottle. So we're at one to two at the moment. Okay, I've just done that. Now we're about one to three. I'm now just gonna top that up with another ice cube. I'm just gonna give this a very gentle stir. You don't wanna stir it too much, because you don't wanna lose any of the fizz. You just wanna stir very gently, just to kind of blend the tonic and the gin together. So we've got our gin and tonic.

The Garnish

The last thing, the vital ingredient is the garnish. It's vital in the fact it doesn't necessarily alter the taste for you. It's all about presentation and the other thing, the olfactory nerve right there. Because actually how the drink tastes is the third thing we contemplate when we taste the drink. The first thing we contemplate is with our eyes, how we look at it. Our eyes are already making that assessment. Wow, that looks really, really lovely. So I'm gonna use this. It's kind of not a blood orange, but it's a little bit, they call them red oranges in my little green grocer. They're not quite blood, they're in between. We've got our orange going in there. I'm just gonna give that another quick stir. So that's what I'm saying. The first thing we do is we look at it with our eyes. So we're thinking, wow, that looks like a really lovely gin and tonic. It's already sending signals to our brain that it's gonna taste good. We've not even got it near our mouth yet. Our brain, our eyes, it's in our brain, it's gonna taste it. The second thing we're judging when we're gonna drink this drink is when we get it to about there, it's the sense, it's the smell, and that's what goes through the olfactory nerve. That's the kind of, you know it's processing all that data to say what it smells like. It's already forming those opinions in your head of what it's gonna taste like. So that's the second thing that we need to satisfy. The third thing is then your taste buds. Alright, mm. And that is just a beautiful, not sweet, not savoury, but just kind of just a lovely, classic gin and tonic. The orange kind of compliments very well the rosemary and the black olive in there. Great gin and tonic. It's not about that, it's how you make this gin and tonic. You could garnish that with mint, with lemons, with whatever fruit, whatever herbs that you decide. The whole point in the garnish in some cases is to add flavour. If you're not concerned with how the gin actually tastes, you're more concerned about the finished drink, which is kind of what I'm about. I'm not too concerned whether the gin brought botanicals out in a gin and tonic. I will want to taste the name but when it comes about a gin and tonic for me it's all about that finished drink. So garnish for me is two things. Yes, maybe it's quite a little bit of taste. But actually it's to make it look more appealing, to make me go, wow, I really wanna drink that.


So I hope you've enjoyed that. I hope you now realise why as bartenders we use a lot of ice in our drinks. I guarantee it. I've got to film another three or four videos yet. I'm gonna be in the studio, in here, for another hour or so at least. I guarantee it, the ice is still gonna be frozen and that's still gonna be a lovely gin and tonic in an hour's time, even though it's gonna take me about five minutes to get rid of that.

Let me know in the comments below which glass, which glass do you prefer? Are You a big balloon kind of person? Are you a tumbler or a high ball, or are you a little tumbler? What do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.

And if you've got any thoughts, again, let me know, hit me up. Hope you've enjoyed this video. I'll catch you really soon. Thanks for watching this video. I'd love to know what you thought. So let me know in the comments below.

If you don't wanna miss any of my future videos, then I'd appreciate you hitting that magical Subscribe button that's subscribing to this channel. And if you wanna follow me on a daily basis, then you can find me every day over on Instagram @stevethebarman. I'd love to hear from you, so make sure you send me a DM to let me know you found me over on YouTube.

I've been Steve the Barman.

I'll catch you next time.


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