This Telegraph columnist gets slightly dramatic about his garnishes…
A classic episode of Mock the Week - Frankie Boyle describes what would be a legendary Gin and Tonic!
Observe, the Limited Edition Bombay Sapphire bottle. An absolutely stunning design by Webb deVlam for the 250th anniversary of the discovery of the gin’s original recipe.
Take A Sip Of This:
The word ‘gin’ derives from the Dutch word for juniper, genever.
Stay tuned for more stimulating morsels of gin-related facts. Particularly keep a close watch out for more about juniper plants and their fine, fine uses.
Last night, I entertained to Matt the idea of a gin and tonic. I’ve been rather on the cheap lately so its been a little while since I last made one. Problem was (or so I thought), I had forgotten about the bottle of tonic water that I placed in the freezer to chill a few days earlier! So I had taken it out and let it sit for a good few hours. It was a lovely sight! This frosted 2L bottle of yellow-labelled goodness, sitting there, ready to burst!
Another reason why this gin and tonic was perfect was the fact that I had limes in stock. I never have limes when I need them! And these weren’t just any limes, either. I was walking to work one day and this woman skips over towards me and hands me a 4-pack of limes! I quickly discovered that she was working a promotion for Corona, but these four limes were certainly not going to be used to sterilise the rat piss off a bottle of Mexican bong water! They were going to be given the highest honour. To be the subtle accent in a picture-perfect gin and tonic. In both taste and in colour.
Now, the limes were cut, the Tanqueray was measured - and I always measure by eye - it was then time to open up this throbbing bottle of Schweppes! Being quite familiar with the tendencies of jostled or slightly compromised bottles of tonic water, I took it over to the sink. I started to twist off the cap. The bubbles began to rise to the bottle’s neck, so I twisted back. I waited, and then tried again. Each twist of the cap was carefully timed out, like I was trying to crack a safe. A little bit of air escaped each time. I knew that there was going to be some spillage, as there was still a large amount of it that was frozen solid. So, I eventually removed the cap completely and like a bubbling cauldron, the tonic water slowly poured out over the edges of the bottle.
I rushed the it into the other room where the two awaiting rock glasses stared back in anticipation. I signalled to Matt to observe this amazing sight, which was now continuing to bubble inside the bottle. I remarked to him, “This is going to be a very special gin and tonic!” I poured tonic into his glass first. It frosted up immediately. No ice cubes were required tonight! It was going to be 100% pure gin and tonic with no dilution. Mine was prepared next and presented itself in the same manner.
For a good few moments, neither of us had the temerity to take the first sip. We instead commenced a five minute discussion about the sleekness of the drink and its classic mien. Back and forth, we provided this awaiting beverage with a basket full of favourable compliments, like a celebration of the life of a cherished friend. Or, in this case, the life of a volatile bottle of tonic mixed with export strength gin and giveaway limes.
After a careful, yet fervent ‘cheers,’ we took in our first sips of this “very special” gin and tonic. It was spectacularly crisp and tasted exactly as it should have, with the perfect amount of lime. At this point, we both switched off our brains for a little while and let the gin do the driving. There’s something so very wrong, yet so very satisfying about that previous statement. But this is a perfect opportunity for you all to reflect on your last gin and tonic and how it tasted, where you were, and where it took you. For Matt and I, it was a wonderful experience and I look forward to many more as summer approaches.
Follow Matt on tumblr @ http://fuckyeahselftape.com/
CHAMBORD GIN FIZZ
Shake first four ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled Collins glass. Top up with soda. Gently stir and enjoy! Courtesy of http://www.gintime.com/
Shake first four ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled Collins glass. Top up with soda. Gently stir and enjoy!
Courtesy of http://www.gintime.com/
One of my favourite bars in the world, ‘Graphic Bar,’ located in SOHO in London has the largest selection of gin in all of the UK. Have a look and see how many of these you’ve tried.
Now, this title can be interpreted in a couple of different ways, and that is exactly what i’d like to see happen. “Its all downhill from here?” That is a silly adage that will hopefully compel you to examine the way you drink…
So, I just cracked open a brand new bottle. I twisted the cap and got exactly what I expected: the clicking sound of the plastic seal and the tear of the paper insignia. This is a really significant moment and it changes now what this bottle means to me. Before, it was untouched, perhaps immaculate even. It was mine, but, also not mine. It belonged to itself. It was available to me, but I had to make it that way.
Remember when you were a kid…or a teenager…or last week, when you’d be poking around in your parent’s liquor cabinet? You can take a bit here and a bit there from their already opened bottles, but dare you open a new one?! Break the seal? Dare you not!
Okay, so this bottle has been opened. Now what? Well, so much has changed. Why is it “all downhill from here?” Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I suppose it could be both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. Think about this cliché literally - you went uphill, which was probably arduous and bothersome, but hey! You’re at the top now and the hard part is over. “Its all downhill from here,” isn’t it? Okay, sure. But let’s think about it the other way around. The fallacy “Its a slippery slope” opens up a new perspective. So, you’re at the top. The apparently difficult portion of your journey is complete, right? Not really. How the hell are you going to get down? Getting down a hill can be quick and fun. Getting down could be the reward you were seeking in the first place when you decided to go up. But you didn’t anticipate these slick conditions, did you? This might end up being a regrettable decision for you after all. But how does this relate to my bottle of gin?
Allow me to be intimate with you and share with you some of the details of this particular bottle of Bombay Sapphire that I have just opened. It was purchased in Gatwick Airport, UK in October 2010. As some of you probably know, I prefer to get my gin from the greatest place on earth, the Duty Free Shop (an addict’s paradise) because of the lower prices and the fact that you get it at export strength. So this bottle has traveled a long way to be here. It was chosen by me and it sat proudly on my desk until now. Now, its a different bottle. Its on deck! Once opened, it will never be the same again. So, what’s the problem with that? Nothing at all! Is it all downhill from here? Yes! This bottle is now open and available for me to access any time I need it. Before that, I saw it in its perfection and beauty and avoided opening it due to the fact that there was often another bottle already open (or two, or three). That is definitely not the case anymore. Now that its open, it will be drank, and very soon, it will be no more.
“Its all downhill from here,” though! Do you now see what I mean by this? I traveled far and wide to buy this wonderful bottle of gin. I let it sit there and I admired it for months. Other bottles have come and quickly gone, but now, it was time to open another. This one. I was finished waiting. It was certainly not easy, but I finally made it to the point of no return. The cap had been removed and, like that feeling you get at the top of the first hill of a roller coaster, it was about to get exciting! But alas, this fun won’t last forever. I’ve already had three gin & tonic’s while writing this segment! So, although breaking the seal of a new bottle takes a bit of courage, the results are both extraordinarily pleasing, as well as incredibly disappointing. This once perfect and crisp bottle of gin has now began to age and each time I look at it, the level has dropped just a bit more. The results are delicious, but they are unfortunately not timeless. In fact, that first G&T is starting to push it’s way back out into the world! I beg your pardon, for just a moment…
Well, there certainly could not be a better transition into my next point than that! Three (and a half) magnificent gin cocktails later, and my body had run out of storage space. This was it. It was time to “break the seal!” Not a triumphant moment for too many people. The longer you hold out, the better the drink makes you feel! And that first trip to the toilet after a proper session of drinking is often rather monumental. Much like “A League of Their Own” character Jimmy Dugan’s seemingly record-breaking piss that shocked Rosie O’Donnell and impressed Madonna, this little visit of my own was also of considerable length.
So, now what? Keep on drinking, right? Well, certainly! But there’s no way in hell i’m going to be able to conquer three more of these wonderful morsels without visiting the toilet again, probably two or even three more times. I’ve broken the seal! It’s all downhill from here! I have to time things out very carefully now! If I decide to go anywhere, I need to know how long it will take me and where the nearest toilet will be just in case! I’m now like a land-mine or an irritable infant on a long-haul flight. You never know when I’m going to go off! You’ll also notice that when one drinks quite a lot and ‘breaks the seal’ they care less and less about the state of public toilets. No doors on the stalls, busted urinals and a sink with no hand towels? Who cares, because I am dyin’ for a wee! Downhill? Absolutely!
Alright, so the seal is broken in more ways than one and it is understood that it is indeed “all downhill from here.” I certainly have not attempted to embed any sort of lessons or morals into this entry but if anybody has found one, I think that is excellent! The wonderful thing about breaking open a new bottle of gin is that you can do it over and over again! I have a pretty fine looking bottle of Tanqueray sitting right next door to this newly active bottle of Bombay and it is just dying to spread its wings! I can certainly say, it hasn’t got long to wait.