Gin and tonic

I cannot afford to drink Grand Cru Burgundy every day, so I need something refreshing (and alcoholic) to keep me perked up; gin and tonic is a perfect drink for this. You have to use decent gin, of course, the dilute Gordon’s just will not do. Tanqueray and Plymouth are my standard gins, and both of them have a heroic version (Tanqueray Export and Plymouth Navy Strength) for when a bit more happiness is required. I have tried other gins that are available, but these are my usual purchases.

I like my gin and tonics to be quite strong and quite large. The best place to obtain one of these is the spiritual home of the gin and tonic, the Basque country. On ordering a G&T there a pint glass with some ice in it will be put on the bar and gin will be poured into it. They keep on pouring until you say stop. It is then topped up with tonic water. On my one trip to the Basque country this resulted in many happy lunches and a reasonable number of relaxing afternoon kips. Better than drinking Rioja, certainly.

Perhaps the most memorable gin and tonic I had was in that region at a restaurant called Akelaŕe; it was a gin and tonic on a plate. The gin was a sorbet and the tonic was a fizzy jelly. It was really rather nice and really quite strong. We sat at the table with the best view over the sea. After the G&T on a plate I didn’t mind that the view consisted of fog and driving rain with nothing beyond twenty metres visible.

An important note: G&Ts should be served with lemon. The use of limes is a foul abomination.