One of my 2011 goals is to get rid of excess (of all kinds) in my life.  This weekend that meant a major cleaning and organizing of my spare room that has become cluttered with clothes I will never wear again, books I won’t read and tchotchkes that no longer are of interest to me.  A gin and tonic is my go-to libation to get me through less than desirable household tasks like cleaning, so today I continued my gin and tonic experiment with Blackwood’s Distillery Small Batch gin and Fever-Tree tonic.

I recently received a fabulous thank you gift in the form of Blackwood’s Distillery Small Batch gin.  Of course this gin contains juniper berries, as well as other typical gin ingredients such as coriander, citrus peel, and orris feature in the mix.  However, the juniper flavor is lighter than many gins.  Instead, its potent flavors come from the plants that flourish in the distinctive northern maritime environment of Shetland, such as wild water mint, angelica root, sea pink flowers (that grow along cliff tops that are a favorite hang out of puffins in the summer) and Meadowsweet.  It is good stuff.

For my tonic I chose Fever-Tree Tonic Water.  Made in England since 2005, this tonic features a high quality quinine sourced from the Rwanda Congo that is blended with other botanicals including marigold extract and Tanzanian bitter orange.  The company takes it name “Fever Tree” from the colloquial name for the Cinchona Tree, the source of its quinine.  Aside from a deliciously bitter quinine flavor complemented by subtle yet noticeable citrus notes, a distinct characteristic of this tonic is its bubbles—this is one heavily carbonated liquid.

Combining these two very distinct and abundantly flavorful liquids (in a 1:3 ratio gin to tonic) made for an overtly botanical drink.  There are a lot of flavors going on here, making it a G&T that is sipped more slowly than most.  Unlike all the unwanted stuff in my spare room, I wanted to savor the various aromas, tastes and bubbly sensations so it sustained me through a couple hours of work.  Part 2 of the experiment was a success. Cheers!

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