LEARN HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT SERVES FOR ALL THE LUDLOW DRY GINS
What’s the best way to make a gin and tonic? Take your glass and add a measure of gin before scooping in lots of ice. Then, add your garnish and pour the tonic over it, washing that amazing fresh vitality all the way down the glass. Using a long spoon, give it a quick stir to avoid a first mouthful of pure tonic. Check your cuffs, straighten your collar, and take a sip.
Contrary to those who ask for ‘not too much ice’, the more ice, the colder the drink stays, and the less it will be diluted.
The Tonic to your Gin
Once you’ve chosen your gin, you are going to be confronted by the ever-growing array of tonic waters. While it’s easy to pop the supermarket own-brand in your trolley, it’s worth remembering why there are so many options.
Premium tonic waters are designed to complement the complex botanicals in superior gins by using fewer (if any) artificial flavourings. Light tonic has an unobtrusive taste and is my ‘go-to’ to mix with a range of top gins.
Most distilled gins will have primary and secondary botanicals. Aim to express the secondary flavours with your garnish. Learn more about citrus garnishes here.
FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR THE FABLED ‘PERFECT SERVE’, HERE’S HOW I SERVE LUDLOW DRY GINS
This is a proper, grown-up ‘London dry’ style gin which has maxed out on the juniper content (if they added any more, the gin would go cloudy!). The strength of quinine in an Indian tonic would blitz the beautifully soft notes of hand-picked gorse flowers. Opt instead for a light tonic and garnish with a slice of fresh lime.
Only give this stuff a go if you’re prepared to shave a thick mat of sailor fluff off your chest afterwards. This is a seriously intense spirit, but it still manages to maintain an incredibly complex finish. I’d serve this neat in a tumbler. Maybe with one cube of ice and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Probably my favourite gin of the Ludlow family. The perfect serve for this is undoubtedly a summer’s evening, with a barbeque and live jazz. Since that doesn’t fit in a glass, try this with Mediterranean tonic and pomegranate seeds. Elderflower tonic also goes amazingly with it, but you might like to balance the lighter floral notes with a slice of warming blood orange.
Don’t be afraid to venture into a world beyond tonics. Soda water offers a neutral base, while a ginger ale or ginger beer infuses and complements spiced gins beautifully. Citrusy mixers, like lemonade or bitter lemon, bring a tartness to floral gins, while fruity or floral pressés sweeten and lighten classic dry gins.
Despite the name, this gin is more aromatic rather than spicy. It really does conjure up the warming flavours of the Orient. Nutty and exotic botanicals are complemented exquisitely by a premium ginger ale or ginger beer. Garnish with a slice of ripe fig or fresh lime.
This gin is all about balancing the delicate floral, almost fruity, hibiscus with the warming gentle heat of pink peppercorns. Pair with an aromatic tonic to ignite both in equal measures and to allow those orangey notes to tantalise your tongue. Garnish with dried hibiscus petals to further express those floral notes. Or garnish with a slice of blood orange for a more warming aroma.
If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle of this incredibly special ‘Limited Edition’ gin, then you’ll want to let those beautiful floral and lemony flavours sing. Pair with a premium light tonic, plenty of ice and a couple of lemon slices. At home, I find this gin also goes wonderfully with a Mediterranean Tonic and a small pinch of lavender petals from my garden.