It was great to finally catch up with Sarah Mitchell (now the new Bar Manager) at Graphic last night, both Sarah and the bar are firm favourites of mine. It was Monday so I suspected some Gin thing or another might be occuring. As it was I wandered in to the the aftermath of a Harpers blind Gin tasting - about 50 were tasted in total apparently - by various Star Tenders. So more great catching up with Esther Medina, Tom Foxwell, Joe Stokoe, Roberto Fiorillo, JJ Goodman...... I also met the last (allegedly) in the long line of a great family of bartenders - Mike Nicolian - who's now working at Graphic!
Gin's most common serve is with tonic and it's vital that the characteristics of the Gin are complimented by the tonic not lost by it. You could have the best Gin in the world but mix it with (crap) the wrong tonic and it's a waste of Good Spirit.
We sampled 3 Tonics each with 1 part Gin to 2 parts Tonic with no ice or garnish which masks the taste.
BLOOM and Schweppes Tonic - Although Bloom is delicate it's not without its wonderful charm and we want this to shine through. We all (Sarah, Esther, Mike and myself) found this combination far too sweet. I've tried BLOOM with Schweppes Tonic before and thought it very tasty and very sherberty but it did have ice and lemon in it. So this was very interesting to see how well they actually fitted together - too sweet.
BLOOM and Fever Tree Tonic - This worked really well, much drier than the first and the floral and citrus notes of BLOOM were clearly present. The tonic wasn't too sweet or bitter and tasted fresh and clean. By far mine and everyone elses, favoured combination.
BLOOM and Fentimans Tonic - I love the Fentimans range and had previously tried the tonic but in isolation - no Gin. This combination however did not taste like Gin and Tonic at all, it tasted like Fentimans. In fact we wondered what Gin would be able to cut through such a massive flavour profile in the tonic - Junipero perhaps? Plymouth Navy maybe?
The Final Twist - For BLOOM it's got to be Lime, we tried lemon as well but we prefered the punchiness of the lime combined with the uplifted floral notes of BLOOM.
Soooo, I'll have a BLOOM Gin with Fever Tree Tonic and a Lime Twist please!