Food

Why the tonic water you use in a gin and tonic matters

13 gins, 4 East Imperial tonic waters, 26 bars with signature gin and tonics vying for the title of Kuala Lumpur’s Greatest Gin And Tonic.

This yr’s East Imperial Gin Jubilee 2019 is again and greater than ever, and gin lovers are actually spoilt for selection.

The four-day occasion kicks off right now an opening celebration at W Resort’s Moist Deck on Oct 8. It is going to be adopted by 4 days of gin and tonic workshops, visitor shifts and masterclasses in varied venues, earlier than ending with the Gin Lane celebration at KL’s Sentul Depot on Oct 12. (For extra info, go to the Fb occasion web page)

This yr, the main focus could be very a lot on how East Imperial’s tonic waters pair with the 13 totally different gins.

“For this yr’s Gin Jubilee, we wished the drinks to spotlight the significance of an excellent high quality tonic water in a gin and tonic, and we’re proud to say that every one of many 26 drinks have achieved that purpose,” mentioned Shawn Samuel, managing director of Wholly Spirits, the organisers of the Gin Jubilee in KL.

Certainly, the gin and tonic might appear to be a simple cocktail to make, however there are particular components of the drink that you just want to concentrate on.

To begin with, the ratio of gin to tonic. Relying on how sturdy you want your drinks, you may select between one to 3 elements of gin to go together with three elements of tonic.

Nonetheless, a lot will depend on the gin and tonic water you might be utilizing. There is no such thing as a level shopping for an costly premium gin if you’re solely going to combine it with a mainstream tonic water purchased off the shelf on the grocery store. Many of those tonic waters include a excessive quantity of citric acid that provides it that extremely bitter, citrus-y be aware that most individuals affiliate with tonic water.

East Imperial’s core vary of tonic waters embody (from left) Yuzu Tonic, Previous World Tonic, Tonic Water, and Grapefruit Tonic.

However actual tonic water isn’t like that, in response to East Imperial co-founder Kevin Legislation-Smith after I spoke to him finally yr’s Gin Jubilee.

“A lot of the widespread tonic waters available in the market will not be really primarily based on what a tonic water actually is. What we had then was a delicate drink – with synthetic components, plenty of sugar and a excessive citric acid content material – that you would be able to’t think about as a tonic,” he mentioned.

Legislation-Smith’s inspiration for his first tonic water, the East Imperial Previous World Tonic, was his great-grandfather, or particularly, what was in his great-grandfather’s tumbler when he was travelling to East Africa and East Asia round 1903.

“Again then, tonic water was nonetheless getting used as an antidote for malaria. That’s the true custom of tonic waters, and I wished to create one thing that resembled that,” he mentioned, including that he then tracked down the supply of the unique hand-picked components that had been used to make it.

The end result was Previous World Tonic, which Legislation-Smith mentioned has half the sugar content material in comparison with different tonics, and only a pinch of citric acid. “The Previous World Tonic is a product that actually lets the gin shine,” he mentioned.

East Imperial has 4 tonic waters in complete of their portfolio, comprising the flagship East Imperial Tonic Water, Yuzu Tonic, Grapefruit Tonic, and the aforementioned Previous World Tonic. There’s additionally a lately launched Royal Botanic Tonic (which isn’t at the moment out there in Malaysia), in addition to different drinks such because the Soda Water, Grapefruit Soda, Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer

 

East Imperial Previous World Tonic

East Imperial’s official web site calls this “the champagne of tonic waters”, a “true tonic water” with solely “a hint of pure citric acid” and fewer than half the sugar content material of mainstream manufacturers.

By itself, the tonic water is actually quite a bit much less bitter than most tonic waters. That distinct citric acid flavour that’s so outstanding in business manufacturers is lowered to a mere whiff and tinge within the Previous World, complemented with delicate floral notes, all of which assist convey out the softer and extra delicate flavours in a gin higher.

The Gin Jubilee bars that might be utilizing the Previous World tonic of their drinks are: 61 Monarchy (Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin), Bar Shake (Monkey 47), Bar Trigona (Rock Rose Gin), BotakLiquor (G’Vine Floraison Gin), Components (Caorunn Gin), HYDE at 53 M (Gin Agricolo Blagheur), The Pawn Room (Scapegrace Gin).

East Imperial Tonic Water

East Imperial Tonic Water

Prefer it or not, most shoppers and bartenders are nonetheless very a lot used to the flavours of recent tonic waters. Therefore, East Imperial’s flagship tonic water is nearer to that modern model than the Previous World, with added citric acid, increased sugar degree, and the very best quinine ranges out there available in the market.

Advisable to go together with the extra traditional London dry model gins, the tonic additionally contains high notes of Thai lemongrass and manao lime, making for a recent, barely citrusy sensation on the palate.

The Gin Jubilee bars that might be utilizing the East Imperial Tonic Water of their drinks are: Beta KL (The Botanist), Flying Monkeys (4 Pillars Uncommon Dry Gin), Knowhere (St George Terroir Gin), Marigin (The West Winds Cutlass), Mezze (Scapegrace Gin), Pacific Customary Bar (The Botanist), The Sticky Wicket (St George Terroir Gin), Three X Co (Gin Agricolo Blagheur) and WOOBAR at W Resort KL (Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin).East Imperial Tonic Water

East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic

This tonic is flavoured with one thing we Malaysians are fairly aware of – pomelo. This explicit tonic takes the pomelo and blends it with ruby crimson grapefruit, for probably the most zesty amd citrus-forward tonic within the vary. Just like the yuzu, that is additionally nice for pairing with conventional London dry gins and citrus-forward spirits.

The Gin Jubilee bars that might be utilizing the Yuzu Tonic of their drinks are: JungleBird (Rock Rose Gin), Pinchos Tapas Bar (Napue Gin by Kyrö Distillery Firm), Soma (Hendrick’s Gin) and Tickets (Napue Gin).

East Imperial Yuzu Tonic

East Imperial Tonic Water

Yuzu is an fragrant candy citrus fruit generally present in Japan, with distinct zesty flavour, and that vivid, citrusy be aware actually shines by way of within the Yuzu Tonic, which has a really fruity, floral nostril and palate that goes effectively with London dry gins and citrus-forward spirits.

The Gin Jubilee bars that might be utilizing the Yuzu Tonic of their drinks are: Coley (Caorunn Gin), Mrs Jones’ Parlour (G’Vine Floraison Gin), Pahit (Monkey 47 Dry Gin), PS150 (4 Pillars Uncommon Dry Gin), The Locker & Loft (The West Winds Cutlass) and The Vault (Hendrick’s Gin).


Michael Cheang thinks the very best tonic all the time has a big gin in it. Contact him on the Tipsy-Turvy Fb web page (fb.com/MyTipsyTurvy) or observe him on Instagram (@MyTipsyTurvy) or Twitter (@MichaelCheang).

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