Growing up we never celebrated Christmas. On the day we got together as a family but we never bought gifts for each other and we certainly never ate turkey.
This all changed when I was 18 years old. Christmas mania kicked in within weeks of starting University, and I started to hear all these wonderful stories about Christmas stockings and festive rituals.
My parents were more on board than I could have imagined and I woke up on Christmas Day to my first ever stocking. We had scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for breakfast, prepped the veg and got ourselves dressed and ready for the day.
Whilst we waited for the rest of our family to arrive my mum made me a gin and tonic, and the rest as they say is history. If it’s 1pm on Christmas Day you’ll find me with a gin and tonic in my hand. Always served in the same glass. And always with a slice of lemon.
So when I heard Bombay Sapphire were reinventing the gin and tonic, I questioned what needed reinventing. It’s a classic drink, easy to make and even easier to drink – so why mess with it?
Throughout the year I’m a fussy gin and tonic drinker. Different gins warrant different garnishes. I’m a tonic snob. Please don’t give me a single measure of gin in a huge glass.
But then I remembered Christmas Day. My G&T is made with whatever gin is in the cupboard, topped up with supermarket tonic and always served with a slice of lemon. And it’s always the best G&T I’ve had all year.
So yeah, I’m open to a bit of reinvention. And by a bit, I mean a lot. Which is just as well because I recently tried six insane gin and tonics that explored what can happen when you throw a bit of imagination in when you mix two simple ingredients together.
Bombay Sapphire tasked six mixologists from some of my favourite London bars to reinterpret the ultimate gin and tonic. The results were innovative, slightly crazy and absolutely delicious.
A new Gin and Tonic
George Simmons from Heddon Street Kitchen
Yes that is a Bonsai Tree with hanging tonic droplets. And yes that is exactly what you’ll receive at your table when you order one at the bar. Seriously.
Andy Mill from Cocktail Trading Company
Gin and Tonic is a cocktail steeped in history, and Andy’s cocktail focuses on the journey it’s take over the last 20 years. And yes, once again this is exactly how your drink will be served.
Nettle Beer Collins
Marcis Dzelzainis from Sager & Wilde
Alcohol historically cured all manor of ailments (hot toddy anyone?) and Marcis’ concoction focuses on the health benefits of tonic back in the 1920s.
Gateway to Bombay
Dean Shurry from Chiltern Firehouse
Shurry’s drink gives a nod towards India, the birthplace of the gin and tonic.
G & Ice-T
Dav Eames from Gilbert Scott
This is the only thing I want to drink right now in this bizzare London heat. I mean how good does thyme and elderflower tonic snow sound?
Constanca Cordeiro from Peg & Patriot
After an insane day at work can you think of anything better than popping over to Peg & Patriot, ordering one of these, slipping a pair of headphones on and escaping into nature? This is a cocktail inspired by the garden that comes with its own soundtrack so you can really escape for a little while.
You have six months to try all these delicious cocktails. On your marks, get set…
P.S. some photos from inside the Bombay Sapphire Distillery coming soon!