My first memories of gin and tonic are related to when I was out every night all night long.
Giacomo, one of my best friends, was always asking for a gin and tonic, while I couldn’t stand that cocktail. There was no way I would have drank one. Tonic water was too bitter for me, and juniper – the most important ingredient of gin, indeed – felt too stinging.
But it was all about Erasmus nights out and free drinks in the worst clubs of Bologna: good quality alcohol was off-limits in such situations.
I just wanted a Martini cocktail
Almost ten years later I found myself carving for a “stirred not shaken” 007 Martini cocktail and I decided to prepare one at home, but I needed a bottle of gin to follow the 80/20 ratio.
I needed a lot of gin, and I couldn’t go wrong with that.
I went to a big supermarket, the famous Italian Esselunga, and I started checking the alcohol department. I could recognize the labels of the very bad gin bottles I used to see in the clubs, even if they say that lots of owners refill the original bottles with cheaper products. I was so close to buying one of those to understand if this was true, but in the end, I luckily preferred to get one of the most expensive ones: a Bombay Sapphire.
But I ended up enjoying a good gin and tonic
Once I got home, the “stirred not shaken” Martini project crushed against the desire of a good gin and tonic. In fact, I had bought a gin bottle but also two small bottles of Fever Tree tonic water, one of the best on the market. I always keep at least a lime in the fridge: I call it “the parsley of the new millennium” because I think you can put it everywhere! I grabbed a glass, I added a part of gin, two parts of tonic water, lots of ice cubes, and in the end, I squeezed half a lime.
I was surprised, I liked it!
It was slightly acidic but not sour. It tasted like citrus and suddenly the juniper did not bother me. I liked how stinging and fresh it was, I liked its smell.
I understood that I had always liked gin and tonic, but I had always drunk it in the wrong way, in the wrong place.
So, can you put your hand on fire to guarantee that you really don’t like something?
Just try to change the context and see…