For all you gin lovers I’ve found the ultimate intersection of TASTE and COST. This combination is going to blow your mind how good it is! Try all the high dollar gins you want, this best gin and tonic recipe for your money is going to make you feel like a million bucks.
It all starts with KIRKLAND (COSTCO) GIN! Just like its tequila, whiskey, and bourbon counterparts, Kirkland gin is pretty darn delicious. It’s not my favorite when I’m hankering for a nice rush of botanicals, but for its volume and price I don’t think you can find a better deal.
By way of comparison, flavor-wise, my favourite gin is Hayman’s Royal Dock Navy Strength Gin. At 57% alcohol, it packs a wallop! It’s flavour profile is sweet, subtle, and has a beautiful botanical aftertaste. Yum! I am also partial to Beefeater, it has such a balanced flavour.
I recently traveled to Australia and let me tell you they have some really amazing gins down under! Archie Rose, Four Pillars, Melbourne Gin Co., West Winds, Young Henry’s, Brookie’s, to name a few I’ve tried!
Back to our ultimate-best gin and tonic for your money, the other key ingredients to make your gin come alive are the tonic water and lime. Curious, in Australia they kept wanting to make my G&Ts with either lemon or cucumber . . . they must like Hendrick’s I guess.
For tonic water I found that REFRESHE, the Safeway brand, has a really good tonic water. I tried it by accident and found it was clean, a bit bubbly, and overall a better, less intrusive, flavour over brands like Schweppes or Canada Dry.
Instead of the bottles, I get the 12pack of cans as they don’t go flat like the 1-liter and 2-liter versions. You also save money that way. Kirkland gin, Safeway tonic water, and now on to the secret of secrets: the lime flavour! For that we stay at Safeway and their Refreshe products. This time, instead of a lime, we’re going to be using their Collins Mix!
A Tom Collins is similar to a Gin and Tonic in that it has more of a citrusy profile. I don’t like over-citrusy drinks but this Collins Mix is a perfect representation of a lime with just a splash over your gin and tonic water.
I know what you’re thinking: “why not just used a squeeze lime bottle?” Let me answer that by some advice given to me by a fantastic bartender, who, by the way makes the best G&T over anywhere I’ve traveled. He told me NEVER, EVER use squeeze limes to make your gin, it will kill the flavour. Either real limes or Collins Mix, and Collins Mix is my secret gin weapon.
Since this is about cost effectiveness, where taste meets cost in an economic graph, then limes are out. If you don’t use them the same day you cut them open they’re basically useless and start to go bad. A bad lime is worse than pouring hot cooking oil into your gin and tonic – it’s true.
After you pour your Kirkland Gin over ice, add the requisite amount of Refreshe Tonic Water to balance it out, you then add just a splash of Collins Mix. I literally mean just a few drops, less than a cap full! Don’t over pour the Collins Mix, it will diminish the gin’s natural botanical flavour; if you want to mitigate the gin flavour, then add more tonic, not Collins Mix.
At a bar the bartender would add more tonic water to a gin (a tall gin and tonic), never more limes. You would be shocked to see a G&T arrive at your table with 5 limes in it. Well that’s the analogy of pouring too much Collins Mix into your ultimate gin and tonic – remember, the Collins Mix equals the lime.
So there it is, the ultimate-best gin and tonic recipe for your money! It’s now up to you to experiment with your gin to tonic ratios to figure out just how you like it; trust me, find that balance and you’ll see just how delicious this combination is. It took me a few tries myself but now I can pour ’em like a master every time.