My Little Tapas Bar at Club Street launches custom create your own gin and tonic from its “Gintoneria” menu, and happy hour has just gotten happier!
A brief history lesson: gin was first invented by the Dutch and produced as a medicine, sold in chemist shops to treat stomach complaints, gout and gallstones. Then the British army in India added tonic water, sugar, and lime in the early 19th century as a prevention and cure for malaria. Classic gin and tonic in most parts of the world is traditionally garnished with a slice or wedge of lime, often slightly squeezed into the drink before being placed in the glass. Lemon is also used sometimes as an alternative fruit.
The Spanish took this cocktail to another level and popularized a variation simply called Gin Tonic (omitting the “and”). Served in balloon glass, the drink is spiced up with fruits, herbs and other botanicals. The popularity of this variation of the gin and tonic has led to the proliferation of Gin-Tonic bars in Spain, where customers can choose their preferred gin, tonic, and garnish from a menu.
Thanks to My Little Tapas Bar, its new Gintoneria menu allows you to try your hand at this concept of custom creating your own Gin-Tonic with tons of exciting ingredients to pick from to add to your choice of gin. There are numerous combinations to come up with from this menu!
Now, I am not a gin and tonic drinker. I remember having my first sip of the classic gin and tonic back in the clubbing days. I didn’t like that it’s a bitter drink, definitely not in sync with sexy music and flirtatious vibes. Besides, it’s a boring cocktail too. Cheap gin (at the clubs anyway) + tonic water + a wedge of lime. Bleh. I also remember the few times I had it, it made me throw up and get a shitty hangover. In hindsight I know better now to blame it all on cheap liquors; you always pay the difference in physical suffering after.
I went to the Gintoneria launch party anyway and checked out some combinations of custom gin and tonics, which turned out to be a whole lot more enjoyable to drink. I think the Spanish has totally gotten the right idea by adding fruity and herb-y ingredients to it. In a new-found appreciation towards the (somewhat) medicinal properties of this cocktail, the bitterness isn’t such a turn-off now as it did for me back then.
Round 1: Lychee Blueberry Mint Gin Tonic
Round 2: Strawberry Basil Vanilla Gin Tonic
Round 3: Orange Cinnamon Ginger Gin Tonic
This custom-create-your-own gin and tonic “Gintoneria” menu is fun. The addition of the herbs, fruits, and botanicals certainly has changed my initial perception of this being a bitter cocktail, and I enjoyed the different combinations which I requested and tried. Not hungover the next day either, phew.
I was alarmed by the humongous balloon glass at first but it made sense afterwards, because not unlike a wine goblet, this bulbous vessel allows the aroma of its content to bloom and every sip is accompanied with a pleasant whiff of botanical or fruity fragrance, elevating the overall experience. This is definitely a lot better than traditional gin and tonic!