Right now, you could say there’s a ‘Gin Craze’ sweeping the UK. Last year, us Britons consumed an average of 28 Gin & Tonics per person.
That’s about a bottle each. It seems quite a lot, doesn’t it?
Surprisingly, that’s not even close to the amount the average Briton drank during the great ‘Gin Craze’ of the 18th Century when each person quaffed down an average 10 litres per year.
And the folks over at BTW Drinks, this week’s Vendor Spotlight, think they know why.
And if you’re a Gin & Tonic lover, you’ll want to pay close attention, as you’re about to discover something rather good.
How good? Well, I think it’s the best ‘upgrade’ to the Gin and Tonic since the 19th century.
With the UK’s eyes squarely on the vast array of new craft Gins, a couple of London Gin aficionados found themselves focusing on the tonic water instead. And I’m glad they did.
Nick Crispini, the owner of a London Gin bar “214 Bermondsey”, finds the taste of commercial tonic water overpowers the diverse flavours of Craft Gins. Along with fellow Gin lover Lawrence Mason, he decided to investigate further and ultimately BTW Tonic Syrup was born.
Tonic Water originated in Briitish colonial India (hence the name ‘Indian Tonic Water’). British officials stationed there needed to take quinine as a prophylactic for malaria but because quinine powder was so bitter, they mixed it with soda water and sugar. The result was ‘tonic water.’
Nowadays, commercial tonic water is made with far less quinine, is usually flavoured with high fructose corn syrup or sugar, and may also contain artificial flavours such as aspartame. You can extract quinine from South American Cinchona bark, and some of the large manufacturers bleach the bark to ensure their tonic water is clear. (Not a pleasant thought is it?)
BTW do things differently. They use a slow process of heating the bark in water to extract the quinine. No bleach and nothing added. The result is a tonic syrup which is a dark gold colour.
When you make your G&T, you add the tonic syrup and carbonated water to taste. (You can also use it straight in cocktails.)
And the difference is like night and day.
Instead of the usual cloying bitter-sweet aftertaste of the modern tonic waters, you experience a clean, crisp taste with no masking of the underlying Gin botanicals.
Best of all, you need to drink all of your favourite Gins with BTW Tonic Syrup to taste just how different they are.
Yes, I just gave you a brilliant excuse to drink a heap of Gin over the next few weeks.
You’re welcome. Hic, hic.
(Delivery is currently free, so stock up for the festive season and grab as many bottles as you like.)