Our Ultimate G&T Tasting Experience is certainly throwing up some unexpected results. Ten gins, three tonic waters and a panel of gin freaks consisting of Jake Burger of the Ginstitute, acclaimed spirits writer Patience Gould and Geraldine Coates, Editor of Gintime came together for the second tasting session. Patience Gould reports on the outcome.
Round 2 of the Ultimate Gin & Tonic Tasting took place the Monday after the end of London’s Olympics – so there was plenty to talk about! And I might add there was plenty to talk about at the end of the tasting.
The selected gins this time around were the Pernod Ricard-owned Chivas Brothers’ Beefeater 24, which weighs in at 45% abv, William Grant’s Hendrick’s at 41.4% abv and Bacardi’s Bombay Sapphire (40% abv)– the tonics remained the same that is Fever Tree, Waitrose Own Label and Schweppes – remember the overall aim is to look for the best combination – not the best gin or the best tonic.
The tasting was blind and gin enthusiast Jake Burger was once again in the chair as it was staged at his headquarters, the Ginstitute in London’s Portobello Road. The G&Ts were mixed 50/50 with lots of ice – but no fruit and expectations were riding high.
The results this time were very interesting indeed as the three tonics all featured in the final places – unlike Round 1 when it was one to Fever Tree and two to Waitrose. The winning combination was Hendrick’s and Schweppes, followed by Beefeater 24 with Fever Tree, and Beefeater 24 (again) with Waitrose.
As with No.3 Gin in Round 1, Bombay Sapphire did not get into the winning frame, but clearly the super premium gin is better with another tonic, we’ll have to wait and see! I know for a fact that Bombay Sapphire 46% abv makes a winning Martini and I still remember my first Aviation Cocktail made with the gin at London’s St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – that most certainly would have scored “douze points”!
So to date we have two winning combinations to go up to the pre-Christmas final, Plymouth & Fever Tree and Hendrick’s & Schweppes. Round 3 will take place in October, so watch this space.
About the Ginstitute
171 Portobello Rd Notting Hill, London, W11 2DY, UK
Located above the Portobello Star in London’s Portobello Road, the Ginstitute is a haven for gin enthusiasts. The brainchild of Jake Burger he has created London’s smallest museum which pays homage to gin and its rich history. There are pre-prohibition bottles on display together with other historic memorabilia including a gin stove and a rare edition of Harry Johnson’s Bartenders Manual – widely considered the drinks bible. Here, in this snug little Victorian gin palace, you can enjoy Jake Burger’s own gin, Portobello Road No 171S, among others of course, and soak up the rich atmosphere that is gin.