We all know already that there is a huge Gin trend happening in Ireland, largely due to the release of many delicious Irish craft gins to the market.
Many bars are now catering for this craze by increasing their range of gins for gin
connoisseurs to test out their palates and make a bar a new home. I commend these bars for taking the jump and making space on the valuable shelves behind the bar, in full view of all the regulars.
BUT, there are a few bars out there that do not know their gin to their tonics and I would like to inform them, that even though you are stocking the best gins in the world, even one that is made on the top of the highest mountain in the world by and old man with a secret recipe and he only made 5 bottles, the selection isn’t complete without the tonics to compliment them.
Yes it’s very important, if you hand out a handcrafted, well loved and beautifully tasting gin, and serve it with a supermarket tonic, its a waste. Please respect the Gin you serve! You can even charge extra for the tonic if you wish, as people would prefer get the best.
Here is a list of tonics I personally recommend to stock in behind the bar and to serve as a single bottle with the gin. I am in no way associated with these companies, they are simply my own favorites.
Poachers Irish Tonic Water
The Irish made tonic water taking the gin scene by storm. There’s no better presentation than serving handcrafted Irish gin with a handcrafted premium Irish tonic. Creating a 100% Irish G&T will please both tourists and patriots alike. Recently after breaking into the UK market it should be stocked behind the bar like a supermarket stocks Brennans bread.
Possibly the biggest success story in the premium tonic world. No bar should stock gin without a Fever-Tree choice. Famous all over the world, Mixologists and Connoisseurs have a strong affection for Fever-tree as it can really compliment and enhance the gin is joins with. A great addition for any bar looking to benifit from the trend and be taken seriously.
Contact for stocking info contact Stephen on 0860080831, or Richmond Marketing 016233222
Not as well known, but its one of the fastest growing brands, Thomas Henry is a German company with great core values. A great premium tonic that easily pairs with a wide range of gins it;s definitely on to stock. You’ll find a few Irish gin distillers asking to only pair their gins with this one. Watch this space.
Fentimans is the grandaddy of Tonic waters, its been around a while due to its premium quality and robustness in complimenting anything its put with. Its well known by all ages of gin drinkers. If you like the vintage style when serving the perfect serve then this gin is a great one to pair with a gin due to the classy bottle design. Mix’s very well with a wide range of gins. It overpowers any other weaker gins and holds its fizz very well.
Contact Pitmans for details on stocking it on firstname.lastname@example.org
Stock the above Tonics for starters.
These 4 are what I recommend for starters to stock behind the bar at all times, and advertise that you have them all! People get very annoyed, especially me when I ask for a G&T and get handed a gin with a pre-poured supermarket tonic. I would have happily paid extra for the premium one.
Good Practice for stocking Gin in your bar
- Have a separate gin menu with prices, and on that same menu have a selection of tonics. Let people choose them separately, or if you’re brave, pair the tonic to each gin and recommend the pairing to the customer. The supplier should be able to guide you here.
- There’s no problem charging higher or lower prices for gins or tonics depending on how rare or premium it is.
- When serving the gin, usually the customer likes to pour their own tonic, so you can put the single bottle of tonic beside the glass with gin and ice, but if you have a barspoon, (long twisty spoon) look extra cool by having the barman pour the tonic down the spiral spoon into the glass for the customer. This is good practice as it keeps the fizz longer.
- PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, know your Garnishes, each gin prefers a different garnish depending on its botanicals, for example, Hendricks with cucumber, Gunpowder gin with grapefruit slice, Bombay with a wedge of lime. Please don’t serve every gin with the same fruit salad of strawberry’s, raspberries, apples, cucumber, lemon and orange slices in the one gin glass, you wont be able to taste the actual gin! If you want to learn, organise a gin tasting night, the mixologists that come can give you a quick lesson.
- On that note, try host monthly gin tasting nights. Support the different local gin companies with local offers etc.
If you want to be different, here are a few great tonics that are hard to find in bars around Ireland, stocking these might give you the edge!