Patience Gould reports on the penultimate round of the Ultimate G and T Test.
The last round – before the final – of the Ultimate Gin & Tonic tasting took place in March, at the redoubtable Portobello Star, which is in London’s Portobello Road and is owned and run by Jake Burger. The panel again consisted of Jake Burger, Geraldine Coates and me, Patience Gould. There were three gins in the frame: International Beverage’s Scottish ‘brew’ Caorunn, Bacardi’s ultra premium Oxley along with “the noted gin of Notting Hill”, Portobello Road, which was created by Jake Burger.
The gins weigh in with abvs respectively of 41.8%, 47% and 42%, and of course the tonics under the spotlight are Waitrose Own Label, Schweppes and Fever Tree. The tasting was blind and the split between gin and tonic is 50/50 – ice is included but no fruit.
In the end this proved to be the closest of all the rounds – but on the day the best G&T combination was B2! This turned out to be Oxley & Waitrose Tonic, with Portobello Road & Fever Tree just one point behind, and Caorunn & Schweppes, only half a point away.
As it was so close this was the first time that all three gins have been selected, and as in round two all three tonics were in the frame. These results do show that there are tonics which do go better with certain gins, and with so many more tonics now available it is well worth shopping around to find your favourite combination.
And now it’s to the final of finals! The top three from this round will be joined by the winners of the previous heats which means the line up will be Plymouth Gin & Fever Tree Tonic, Plymouth & Waitrose, as well as Tanqueray & Waitrose, with from round two Hendrick’s & Schweppes, Beefeater 24 with Fever Tree, and Beefeater 24 with Waitrose.
The final tasting will be conducted in exactly the same way that is blind; the split will be 50/50; there will be ice but no fruit and the venue will be the Portobello Star. The winning three will be announced at a party hosted by Gintime and held appropriately at Jake Burger’s gin palace! The date and other details will be announced shortly – so: “Stand by Your Beds”!