The Rebirth of Cool

The new face of the humble G&T

  • February 28 2017
  • Consol

Is there anything quite as crisply refreshing as a good old G&T on a sweltering summer day? Not in our book! Kind of dry, kind of bitter, and more than a little boozy, gin and tonic has been a long-time favourite all over the world for centuries, and we think it should stay that way.

But the times they are a-changing, and what was once the sole domain of sunburnt Brits on safari is being given exciting new twists in the hottest bars across the globe. So, before you order the classic Beefeater ‘n Schweppes (complete with dried-up lemon wedge), stop. Think. Is that really the best that you can do? The answer is a resounding no. We think it’s high time G&T escaped its colonial roots and was reborn as a drink as colourful and diverse as the South Africans who love it!  We chatted to Bruce Beattie (of Social on Main fame), at his oh-so-hip new restaurant, Bolton Road Collection, in the heart of Rosebank’s bustling new art district, to find out what’s driving the rebirth of the G&T.

The colourful, over-the-top of gin and tonics we’re seeing today have been around for a while now. I experienced it first hand during my time working in London, and our gin menu at Social on Main was always a great hit with the Joburg locals. What is new these days, I think, is that so many people are actively reacting against the same old big brands, in favour of small-batch and artisanal distilleries, and combining that with the love of freshly grown produce and herbs that are all the rage today. People love customisation – the chance to put their own stamp on their favourite drinks – and our Gin Locker menu at Bolton Road Collection gives them the chance to do that with every new order.

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Pomegranate rubies

Sweet, tangy and with that famous gem-like colour, pomegranate rubies make a gorgeous garnish for any G&T when scattered between a big pile of ice cubes. Give them a little mash with the back of a spoon before adding your other ingredients for a G&T with a beautiful pink blush.

Cucumber sticks and ribbons

We guarantee that once you try cucumber in a G&T, you’ll never go back to lemon again! They might not taste like much, but the aroma released as they soak in your boozy concoction brings a whole new dimension of appreciation to the botanical flavours of any gin.


Forget the smoothies. Blueberries’ distinct, sweet flavour and amazing purple colouring make the perfect addition to a G&T! They’re also a great match with herbs like basil or mint – just muddle them around with ice cubes before pouring over your favourite mix and topping it off with a big pile of ice cubes.

The combinations are endless, limited only by your imagination and your own personal tastes. So what are you waiting for? It’s never been easier to be an expert G&T mixologist, and with the South African summer in full swing, you’re going to need it!

Consol supports responsible drinking.

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