Despite gin's traditional English roots, the classic gin and tonic mixed drink has a distinctive Latin heritage. For starters, tonic water's principle character is the taste of quinine, a malaria-fighting agent founded in cinchona bark from South America. And the gin and tonic – or gintonic, as it is commonly called – is the national cocktail of Spain.
A properly made gintonic with natural, high-quality ingredients is likely to change a gin skeptic's mind about the spirit, which can be complex and range in flavors depending on production techniques and style.
TLK asked Jorge Figueredo, general manager of Jaleo, a Spanish tapas restaurant by José Andrés in Washington, D.C., how to make the perfect gin and tonic. Jaleo features six signature G&Ts with six very different gins, small batch tonics and a house-made tonic syrup made from cinchona bark, coriander, lemon verbena and citric acid. There's even a G&T sorbet on the menu, which pays homage to Spain's after-dinner G&T digestive. And, in case you were wondering, Tanqueray 10 gin holds its flavor the best when frozen, according to Figueredo.
Don't struggle to choke down an average gin and tonic again. Here, five tips for making the perfect cocktail.