In contrast to dry January, Ginuary is a month-long celebration of gin in all its forms to start the new year. Here, Bottled & Boxed will show you how to make the most of your gin and tonics throughout this month. Whether you’re a fan of a dry gin, a fruity one, or a citrus-flavoured beverage, there is something for you to try out in 2022.
Gin originated in Holland, and was named ‘genever’ at first, as this is Dutch for juniper, which the spirit is traditionally infused with. The Dutch used to often drink it before they went into battle, hence the phrase ‘Dutch courage’. When the English brought it back to Britain, its name was shortened to ‘gen’ which later became ‘gin’.
The gin and tonic was invented across the colonial British territories, as English people would drink tonic (which contains quinine) to combat malaria, and add gin to it in order to balance the bitter taste of the tonic water. They later added lime in an effort to protect against scurvy, and the drink that we know today was born!
To celebrate the UK’s love of this classic cocktail, try pairing your gin to your tonic instead of the other way around, to make more interesting versions of the drink. Here’s our rundown of some great pairings to get you started and give you some ‘ginspiration’.
Cucumber tonic and cucumber gin
Many tonic waters are made with hints of cucumber flavour, as this hydrating taste is a very popular choice to combine with the bitterness of the quinine in tonic and the juniper flavours of gin. But, by using a cucumber-infused gin to make your cocktail as well, you can create a particularly refreshing tipple. Try using a cucumber gin and a cucumber tonic, or using a classic tonic water with cucumber gin and adding a slice of fresh cucumber to complement the taste.
Dry tonic and strong juniper flavours
Dry, classic tonic waters work best with gins that are infused with stronger juniper flavours, as this combination results in a classic gin and tonic — but one with a stronger flavour. Those who enjoy very dry drinks will adore this combination, and it can be ideal to have as a palette cleanser in January after the richer drinks and food of the festive season.
Elderflower tonic water and berry gin
If you enjoy gins that are infused with berry flavours like blueberry and raspberry, try mixing your gin and tonic with an elderflower tonic water. The elderflower picks up on the floral notes coming from the juniper in the gin and combines nicely with the sweetness coming from the berries. This a drink for those who love sweeter cocktails and can be a great way to finish a meal.
Rosemary and thyme tonic with orange gin
If you’re looking for something different to try with your orange gin, look for ways to incorporate herbal flavours to your cocktail. You can either find a tonic water infused with rosemary or thyme, or if that’s not possible, pick up a classic neutral tonic and infuse it with the herbs before making your gin and tonic. Just add sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, or both to the bottle of tonic and leave it in the fridge for a few hours — or overnight for a stronger flavour. Then, mix up your gin and tonic as usual, and add a sprig of one of the herbs as a final garnish. This is a great way to explore doing some infusing yourself, and the herbal flavours will really shine next to the citrus taste of the gin.
Lemon tonic with ginger gin
For those who enjoy some citrus and spice, lemon tonic can provide a great base to pair with some ginger gin for a zingy twist on this classic cocktail. Try adding a slice of lemon as a garnish for a real citrus kick. This version of a gin and tonic is great for an afternoon drinks occasion, and offers something a bit different for those wanting to break out of the usual traditional recipe.
“Whatever your taste, you’re sure to find a gin and tonic recipe that will give you that perfect pick-me-up. Try matching your gin to your tonic this Ginuary to explore some new flavour combinations and change up your usual tipple — whether you prefer sweet, fruity drinks or dry classic ones, you’re sure to discover a new favourite.
“Try making use of the wonderful range of botanical flavours on offer. Botanicals not only offer a great taste experience, but they also offer some health benefits. One of the main ingredients in gin is juniper, a berry rich in vitamin C, and any added botanical flavours such as citrus and other berries add to the antioxidant and vitamin C count even more. Remember however that drinking to excess can far outweigh any health benefits, so please drink responsibly.
“After the festive season, gin is a good choice for those looking for something lighter, with a higher antioxidant content than indulgent drinks such as Baileys. So, Ginuary is a good time to explore ways to utilise this fantastic spirit.”