The Gin and Tonic Festival held at the Old Biscuit Mill yesterday (Sunday) showed why the G&T rennaisance is here to stay.
The large variety of gin and tonic cocktails that were on offer from the more than 15 local and international distilleries, proved just how versatile this increasingly popular beverage can be.
And it wasn't the usual G&T fare- there were pink drinks, flavoured drinks, drinks mixed with local herbs, flowers and leaves and even gin and tonic tarts that had everyone in a gin craze at the sold out event.
By lunch time the venue was packed to capacity, making it very challenging to move around and get to most of the stands- but with cocktails ranging between R40- R60 for a double shot of gin, nobody was complaining.
The long queues were made bearable by the live performances by musical acts Felix Laband, Christian Tiger School and DJ’s Roastin’ Records while sipping on their cocktails.
Fitch and Leedes launched South Africa’s first pink tonic, making it okay for the most macho of guys to enjoy a pink drink topped with a pink rose petal. The new tonic is carbonated and finely balanced to ensure you get the best taste out of your gin.
Lucy Beard, craft distiller from Hope on Hopkins, says the gentle flavour of the pink tonic works well with their gin.
“Although hints of rose and cucumber are present, this tonic is not overpowering, she said.
“With its gentle flavour profile and beautiful pink hue, it allows the botanicals in the gin to shine through, unlike many other tonics.”
For those who chose not to go for the touch of pink, there were other choices available, like the Empire Royal from the Pienaar and Son distillery company.
This refreshing drink was made with Empire Gin, cucumber, basil, with a ginger syrup and grapefruit salt rim and a Fitch and Leedes Indian Tonic.
Other varieties included the a salted caramel chilli G&T and Dragon's Breath and Passion G&T by Ginifer.
The Beefeater and Botanist stands offered a variety of botanicals to add to your personal taste with a variety of citrus, aromatic and sweet and savoury flavours to choose from. A gentle rub of the herb with your fingers before popping it in your glass releases a new burst of flavour to your drink. The gin and tonic desserts, proved that G&T doesn't have to come in a glass- you can always have your gin and eat it too, with a range of gin infused lemon tarts, cupcakes and brownies.