Alexandre Gabriel, president of Cognac Ferrand which produces Citadelle Gin, explains why gin is a naturally refreshing spirit, and how to make the best gin and tonic.
Q. Why is the gin and tonic cocktail making a comeback?
A. Gin and tonic has been a grand classic forever. It’s a great-tasting and thirst-quenching drink. Sometimes, we take for granted great things, and this is what has happened to the gin and tonic. It took one of the key gastronomic countries, Spain, to revisit it completely with a fresh and sophisticated approach.
Q. What makes it a refreshing summer drink?
A. Gin’s main component is juniper berries, which, when the gin is well made, [makes it] refreshing and thirst quenching. Citadelle gin is distilled in a special way, whereas we showcase juniper berries along with 18 other fine botanicals. These additional 18 botanicals are not there to overwhelm the juniper, but to enhance it.
Q. What are tips for making a great gin and tonic?
A. Drink it in a wineglass with the right amount of Citadelle gin, the right hard ice (please, no ice chips), and the right amount of a great tonic. Citadelle gin is distilled artisanally in a small copper pot still over an open flame. It is the only gin still made this way. It creates a gin that has a great taste with a great mouth feel and texture that works wonders in a classic gin and tonic.
Gabriel suggests the following recipe for the perfect gin and tonic.
1 oz. Citadelle gin
4 oz. tonic
Lime or lemon peel
Place a lime wedge in a glass over ice, then pour in the gin and tonic. Add some lime or lemon peel and grate some tonka bean over the top.
Q. Do you have a favorite bar for a gin and tonic?
A. Pour Vous in Hollywood, Calif. (5574 Melrose Ave.), is a great bar that makes a lot of great gin and tonics.