Summertime is virtually synonymous with the G&T - whether you're at a picnic, a pub garden, or a park, few things are as suitably refreshing. But if you want to give your gin and tonic a bit of a twist this season, we have some creative advice…

The G&T would seem to be a straightforward drink (its two principle ingredients are right there in the name, after all). But for those looking to get a bit creative with the traditional format, allow us to make some suggestions for a truly special gin and tonic. From uncommon garnishes to homemade tonic water, these inspired touches ensure truly standout sipping.

Ice

Few consider the importance of ice when building their G&T, but in some ways it’s the most essential ingredient of all – use too little or ice that’s too warm, and you’ll be left with a tepid and watered-down G&T.

The best way to ensure your ice is high quality? Make it yourself. Freezing pre-boiled, distilled water in muffin tins – or even in large loaf pans, which you can later hack into smaller pieces – makes for ice that’s clear, extra cold and free of off-flavours. For a special gin and tonic, you can infuse your water with fruit juices or rosewater to impart some delicate flavour. And for the aesthetes: making floral ice cubes with edible flowers ensures an impressive presentation.

Tonic

Though classic tonic water rarely goes amiss, you can imbue your G&T with fresh flavour by choosing a tonic with a bit of zest. We fancy Fever-Tree’s offerings: from the floral Elderflower Tonic to the herbaceous Mediterranean Tonic, it’s a wonderfully simple way to give your G&T its own personality.

For those who love a home project, making your own tonic water is a way to further flex your creative muscles. It’s not as tricky as it sounds: you’ll simply need some fine quality-spices – and a bit of cinchona bark – to make your own unique blend.

Garnish

Lemon or lime? Let the great garnish debate continue without you – there are certainly more ways to dress up your G&T than the classic citrus. Some of our favourite creative garnishes include raspberry and mint, candied orange, plum wedges, edible flowers, strawberries with black pepper – even frozen fruit wedges for the very warm summer days.

Recipes

Inspired? Don’t hesitate to give these creative tweaks a good go. And for more tipple advice, have a look at the three special gin and tonic recipes below:

The Twisted G&T

Build in a highball glass: over lots of cold ice, add 50ml of Sipsmith V.J.O.P., a dash of fino sherry, and top up to the brim with Fever-Tree tonic. Garnish with a lavender sprig.

The Floral G&T

Likewise, build a highball glass with very cold ice. Add 50ml of Sipsmith London Dry Gin, a splash of Floc de Gascogne (or Rose Lillet, if you prefer), and top up with Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic. Garnish with a lavender sprig placed close to the straw so the aromatics are present at every sip.

The Reverse G&T

A Reverse G&T can be made like a Martini – in place of vermouth, swap in a portion of tonic syrup (this is the perfect chance to try your homemade version). Add a spritz of rosewater and garnish with rose petals; serve up in a pre-chilled Martini glass.

Feature images © Jill Chen/iStock/Thinkstock; yulia-bogdanova/iStock/Thinkstock

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