There was a time when the overwhelming power of gin and tonic was questioned. “Other fads will come,” said the well-informed. «Now is the time for the great return of the Negroni», asserted the international barmen with conviction. Yet the truth is that the gin and tonic trend, at least in Italy, is still in great health. To confirm it is also Filippo Colombo, country manager of Fever Treewhich has built a commercial philosophy on the gin and tonic, based roughly on the fact that if connoisseurs are now looking for increasingly particular, refined and strange gins, the same should work for the tonic.
«We started exactly from here», confirms Filippo Colombo. «And that is on the assumption that, in the end, three quarters of a gin and tonic are represented by the tonic. Therefore, the role of the tonic is fundamental: the different types of gin spread like wildfire throughout Europe, and when you spend money on a good bottle, you need to match it with an adequate, high-level tonic».
The secrets of a good gin and tonic at home
In short, every gin has its own tonic, because even when you drink it at home, details can make the difference. «The trend linked to gin and tonic is getting stronger, at least in Italy, and I think it will hold for at least another three or five years, continuing to grow», says the manager of Fever Tree. “But within this trend there is an expanding microcosm: that of the home-made gin and tonic”. More and more Italians choose to drink a good cocktail not only when they happen to be in a bar, but also after dinner with friends or as a couple, in the tranquility of their own home. “It is a very important segment for us”, confirms Filippo Colombo, “made of people who like to drink well and who want to choose a high-end tonic to pair with their gin. Not only that: among the secrets to making a good gin and tonic at home there is also the use of quality ice. Quantitatively the perfect choice would be to fill the glass with ice, to keep the cocktail fresh, carbonated and undiluted. In short, having a homogeneous quantity throughout the glass, which does not water down the drink with a few cubes that dissolve quickly ». «In terms of quality, on the other hand, the barmen recommend, for example, boiling the water before putting it in the moulds. However, it is possible to find ice specially designed for cocktails on the market: that is the simplest and most suitable choice for mixing at home».
Which tonic to use?
And then, of course, the tonic. Which seems like a trivial choice, but it’s not at all, at least according to those of Fever Tree. «We have six different tonic references in the catalogue», says Filippo Colombo. There is the classic Indian, also in the light version. The Elderflower, with elderflowers. The aromatic, with a more decisive touch given by the angostura and the raspberry and rhubarb tonic, with a sweeter taste. In the end, the great trend of the last period, the Mediterranean tonic, which contains half of the quinine, and therefore has a softer and less bitter taste, to which notes of rosemary, thyme, lemon and other Mediterranean botanicals are added. «It is the reference that is growing the most», reveals Colombo. «Today it represents 30% of volumes and is constantly growing, a sign of type of gin and tonic that is more popular right now: a drink with more harmonious, round, easy to drink flavors».
The drinks of the future
If the gin and tonic wins today, the tide could change in the future. At Fever Tree, however, they have no doubts: the tonic will always be the protagonist, perhaps this time with tequila. «Everyone has been talking about the return of tequila in the sector for many years: we have to see if consumers will respond in the same way», says the manager of Fever Tree. «In general, we bet on what we see: for example a great attention to the taste of pink grapefruit, which could lead to a growth of Paloma, a long drink made from tequila and grapefruit soda. And then, why not, the variants of the light aperitif, for example the vermouth and tonic, which has great success in Spainand it could easily be replicated here, considering the great tradition of Turin vermouth that we have».
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Source: Vanity Fair