In honour of International G&T day, try some botantical beverages that take it up a notch

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Via: Philippa Langley

Happy International Gin And Tonic Day, everyone! 


You don't need us to tell you that the botanical spirit has enjoyed something of a renaissance over the past few years. It's no longer "Mother's Ruin" or the choice for the over-60s – from London's Sipsmith to Scotland's Caorunn, sales of the stuff have been up 18% over the past two years.


Factor in the new James Bond Spectre release later this month – and the subsequent inevitable speak of interest in the martini – and it's clear our love of the tipple is going nowhere fast. 


Here are some ways you can make the fragrant drink take a step away from the same old mix-ups.


1. Marmalade martini 

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Via: Home House 

This sharp, sweet, citrus-led take on the martini from the mixologists at Home House private members' club has got 'Friday' written all over it. 


Serves 1
You'll need:

  • 200ml marmalade
  • 30ml Tanqueray gin
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 20ml fresh apple juice



1. Scoop a teaspoon of the marmalade into the bottom of a martini glass.


2. Shake all ingredients, including the remaining marmalade, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.


3. Strain the liquid into the glass on top of the marmalade. Enjoy!


2. Damson gin 

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Via: PR 

To make an extra special G&T, mix up some damson gin and pair with tonic and ice using this recipe from Kylee Newton's The Modern Preserver (Hardcover, RRP £20, Vintage Books). Or top with champagne, fresh lemon juice and ice for something seriously decadent. 


Serves 1
You'll need: 

  • 600g damsons or sloes, either fresh or frozen
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract, optional
  • 1 litre 36-40% gin



1. Prick the damsons/sloes with a toothpick.


2. Put the damsons/sloes in a sterilised wide-rimmed 1.5-2 litre jar that's been cooled and dried. Stir in the sugar. Add a teaspoon of extract if you want, cover with the gin, stir gently and seal.


3. Leave to macerate in a dark place at room temperature for up to three months, gently rocking the mixture daily for the first week to dissolve the sugar, then once a week thereafter.


4. After this time, strain the infused gin (keeping the boozy damsons/sloes, if you like, to make a jam) through a muslin-lined fine-mesh sieve then pour into cooled, dry sterilised bottles and seal.


3. Cucumber and borage gin and tonic 

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This bright, refreshing take on the G&T from Veggies & Gin is fun, frivolous and everything you want in a cocktail.


Serves 1
You'll need:

  • 25ml gin
  • Smashed and sliced cucumber
  • Cubed ice
  • Handful of borage flowers
  • Tonic water, to top
  • A dash of fresh lime juice, optional



1. Mix the gin into a glass with the smashed and sliced cucumber.


2. Add the cubed ice and the borage flowers. 


3. Top with tonic and add a dash of fresh lime, if you want.


4. Gin with nettle and thyme 

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This one is simple but super effective. Not to mention, it looks beautiful.


Serves 1
You'll need:

  • 35ml dry gin
  • 35ml nettle syrup
  • 35ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Soda water, to top up
  • A lemon wedge, to garnish
  • A sprig of thyme, to garnish



1. Mix the gin, syrup and lemon juice in a tall glass.

2. Add the ice, and mix.


3. Top up with the soda. Add a lemon wedge and a sprig of thyme.


5. Cucumber gin lemonade

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Fresh, bright and all things nice, this recipe from A Beautiful Mess is a total winner. 


Serves 1
You'll need:

  • 85ml fresh lemon juice 
  • 85ml fresh cucumber juice 
  • 55ml gin
  • 55ml simple syrup (caster sugar dissolved in water)
  • Crushed ice
  • Soda water, to top
  • Lemon wedge, to garnish
  • Cucumber, to garnish



1. In a tall glass, combine the lemon juice, cucumber juice, gin, and simple syrup. Stir.


2. Add ice and top off with soda water. Taste and add more simple syrup if more sweetness is desired. Garnish with lemon and cucumber slices. Enjoy! 




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