This is your quixotic Keepitcoming Love. Tonight I made a classic G&T with Bulldog Gin and Q Tonic, with the aim of discovering whether premium products would distinctly enhance my gin and tonic experience. Upon my first sip, I noticed that both Bulldog and Q Tonic make a quietly elegant statement about their quality. In terms of style, this was an excellent pairing. It’s not so much about what they do, so much as which aspects of more commercial gins and tonics that they’ve studiously avoided. I went into this experiment ready to pooh-pooh these products for being marginally better than my old stand-bys, Beefeater and Polar Diet Tonic Water, but I have to admit that the difference is palpable and I am very impressed.
I mixed 3 ½ ounces of Bulldog with about 7 ounces of Q Tonic in one of my new Collins glasses, along with crushed ice and lime wedges. I drank it from a lovely glass straw (courtesy of Glass Dharma). You may be thinking at this point that the proportions of my drink sound rather generous. Perhaps. But I only did it because Bulldog is so smooth. Making this drink, I felt as if Smoov B himself had whispered in my ear, “Babygirl, I know you’re a lady who appreciates a stiff G&T, so I personally flew to London to bring you a brazen breed of perfectly balanced boutique gin, and I combined it with an organic, lightly agave-sweetened tonic water kissed with handpicked Peruvian quinine, because I need you to be my lady tonight …babygirl.” (Smoov B co-opts packaging copy to seduce the ladies, that’s right).But seriously, I really liked Q Tonic. It’s naturally sweetened, with only 38 calories in a serving, and it has a perfect sweet-bitter ratio. I also appreciated its small bubbles and gentle petillance. Commercial diet tonic water seemed saccharine and overwrought in comparison. The only drawback is that one eight ounce bottle costs approximately $2.75. I may purchase this for special occasions, but due to cost alone, I do not think I’ll be adding it to my repertoire.
Next, I wanted to see if Bulldog could hold its own outside the forgiving confines of the G&T. I made a martini-style cocktail to enhance its herbal flavors without masking them. I muddled 2 ½ ounces of gin with some crushed ice and chopped fresh basil leaves and a teaspoon of wildflower honey, then strained it into a glass. Still very smooth and mixable, went down easy even in this format. Could I distinguish the vaunted “natural poppy” or “dragon eye”? In a word, no. But Bulldog was still well above average, and I loved the visually sleek, yet weighty, black glass bottle design, reminiscent of vintage Guerlains.
At the end of the day, is the advantage of drinking cocktails (versus wine, single-malt whiskey, etc.) the convenience and savings in cost that comes with doing it economically, or is perfecting the pursuit of the best cocktails an end in itself? If you agree with the latter point of view, I would highly recommend both Bulldog Gin and Q Tonic.
Labels: 9, beverage, booze, drink, keepitcoming's cocktails