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My food vice… BTW: Bermondsey Tonic Water

Over 250 years on from William Hogarth’s grim depiction of profligate gin consumption, happy days are here again as London enjoys a gin renaissance with numerous small distilleries springing up all over town. While some connoisseurs take their delicately crafted spirit neat, I prefer a dash of tonic water, but was never a fan of the chemically enhanced yellow-label varieties which overwhelmed the taste of the gin. I recently discovered Mother’s Ruin’s new BF: BTW. Bermondsey Tonic Water is handcrafted in small batches derived from a Victorian recipe containing an infusion of natural ingredients, including cinchona bark quinine. Developed last year exclusively for basement cocktail bar 214 Bermondsey, it comes only in concentrated form, with a premixed version available soon. Add 25ml to the gin and top with soda water; it gives your drink a golden hue, tastes amazing and is miles better than the alternative.



Autumn food trends: Hip G&T, fast cake and a new ‘new Nigella’

William Sitwell

Published at 12:01AM, September 11 2014

Home-made tonic water
There’s been a gin craze in the nation over the past couple of years, in case you hadn’t noticed. More brands of gin can be had now than you could shake a cocktail stick at. But for the purists the craze has been a hollow sham, on account of the tonic water and its poor quality. The answer is to make your own. It’s less astringent, it’s softer and gentler. 214 Bermondsey, set in an old antiques shop, is a gin bar that makes Bermondsey Tonic Water. It’s a syrup (the quinine comes from the bark of the cinchona tree), which is added to carbonated water for each cocktail. That’s means no mass chemical extractions of quinine alkaloids and a rather better G&T.