Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tonight we Tanqueray and tonic

For me, gin and tonic was the white-spirit bar drink graduation from vodka, lime and soda. Sophisticated, classic and tasting a million times better, it was an easy step up to G&Ts.

Tanqueray gin at a media event, Zeta Bar, Hilton Sydney, George Street
Tanqueray London Dry Gin recently launched a rather sexy global campaign, 'Tonight We Tanqueray', expounding the virtues of starting a night out right - with a Tanqueray and tonic, or T&T more conveniently.

Keep an eye out for the classy billboards and taxi adverts, or indeed, throughout November in Sydney, the Tanqueray Fleet of London black cabs that you may well be able to hail to start the night out.

Tanqueray and tonic
Also launched this month, select bars across Sydney will be serving T&Ts in huge bespoke green stemmed glasses that could almost double as a bowl.

The glassware apparently brings out the botanical flavours of the gin, and keeps the drink cooler for longer with the addition of lots of ice.

Tanqueray brand ambassador Barry Chalmers
Tanqueray's Australian brand ambassador is Barry Chalmers (of The Roosevelt and previously Eau de Vie) who detailed the history of gin and Tanqueray one fine Friday afternoon for a group at Zeta Bar.

Tanqueray gin kit
Created in 1810 by Londoner Charles Tanqueray, I've always known gin to have fantastical botanical characteristics. In Tanqueray they are specifically: juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica root and liquorice.

Given the historical belief in the medicinal properties of juniper berries (prescribed for tapeworm by the Egyptians) and that also of quinine-based tonic water (historically used as malaria treatment), I've deduced that gin and tonics must be good for me too, especially when garnished with a wealth of fresh fruits and herbs.

A classic T&T ('recipe' at the bottom of this post) will have Tanqueray gin, of course, ice, tonic water and a lime wedge squeezed and for garnish. Bartenders are now riffing on the classic with their own tonics and ideas on garnishes for T&Ts with a twist.

Hand-chipped ice
One nifty trick to a mixed drink like gin and tonic is ice. Lots of ice in a drink is not a bad thing at all. Plenty of ice means the temperature of a drink is lower overall and less likely to melt ice, as opposed to less ice in a drink which warms faster and hence melts ice faster too.

Huge blocks of hand-chipped ice are all the rage with bartenders nowadays, and is rather gorgeous in a rocks glass and a nip of your poison of choice.

Soda bottles

Barry's Bespoke Tonic
The next ingredient is tonic of which there are now artisanal options available in addition to your classic supermarket brands.

Taking it a step further, Chalmers has concocted his own Barry's Bespoke Tonic especially for the Tanqueray event, using quinine, grapefruit and lime zest, lemongrass stalks, rose water, orange blossom water, sugar and citric acid.

Lime wedges and other garnishes

Mint leaves and other garnishes
Lastly, a garnish. While lime is still a standard requirement, there are a myriad of additional fruit and herb options that complement the aromatics of Tanqueray gin.

On offer for our session was lemon and lime, an assortment of berries, ruby grapefruit, cucumber, mint and coriander.

My bespoke Tanqueray and tonic
My DIY T&T comprised Barry's Bespoke Tonic on a huge lump of ice, lime, strawberries, blueberries and coriander. It ended up being a pretty mix that exuded exotic summers.

I'm not sure that the whole blueberries added much to taste, but Barry's Bespoke Tonic was a real flavour sensation. Who would have thought that a T&T I made myself would be the best one I've sipped to date (thanks Barry!).

Throughout the T&T session we were responsibly served canapes from Zeta Bar, including a deliciously stunning, tongue-numbing gin and tonic sorbet.

White anchovy on crispy bread, onion puree

Duck rillettes en croute, cornichons and caper mayonnaise

Tartlet of spanner crab with pickled mango

Compressed rockmelon, asparagus & tomato relish

Prawn tempura, preserved lemon mayonnaise

Goat's cheese tartlet with pickled vegetables

Mushroom arancini with garlic sauce

Sesame crusted tuna with babaganoush crispy crostini

Tanqueray and tonic sorbet

Custom Tanqueray and tonic glasses

The Classic Tanqueray & Tonic - recipe (1 standard drink):

30ml measure of Tanqueray London Dry Gin
Premium quality tonic water
Fresh lime wedge and a lime wheel

Fill the glass two-thirds with ice. Place a lime wheel on top and pour 30ml of Tanqueray through the lime. Follow it through with tonic, then take the lime wedge, rim the glass, squeeze the drink.

Tanqueray ice display
See more photos from the event on my Facebook page and one of the very awesome 'Tonight We Tanqueray' advertising campaigns below.

Food, booze and shoes attended the Tanqueray event as a guest, with thanks to One Green Bean.

Zeta Bar on Urbanspoon


Mr C @ The CK Diary said...

Wow those are some nice looking canapes, especially liking the mushroom arancini and anchovy.

gaby @ lateraleating said...

For some reason I never thought of garnishing G&Ts with fruit or herbs. Good idea! And also good tip on the ice.

cquek said...

Fabulous post!

Not Quite Nigella said...

The duck rilletes look so good! I wish I could drink more :)

Trisha said...

Oh wow! I must say I've never tried G&T's before but that bespoke drink looks refreshingly sophisticated!

Tina said...

Hi Mr C - Delicious! And perfect drinking/finger food :)

Hi gaby - Yeah, who would have though there were options beyond lime and cucumber?

Hi Lorraine - Sometimes I wish I drank less...

Hi Trisha - Oh? You must! It's an experience the first time! :)


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