Cocktails in the City: Geometric Gin & San Pellegrino Fun

Now, I’m no seasoned mixologist turning drinks out with quick efficiency day in and day out.

I’m a social drinker – the type who never comes to a friends place empty-handed though.

I’m the heathen that likes sweet drinks and loves being served.

However, I am also experimental when it comes to drinks and dining.

Perhaps, in part due to my travels abroad where fashion intersected with art, gastronomy and hospitality, but I really enjoy discovering delight using my senses – from fragrances that mentally take me places, to the sensual exploration of textures through touch.

However, I profess to being rudimentary when it comes to cooking and preparing drinks.

I very rarely measure ingredients unless I’m baking – a childhood of free reign through the kitchen, and a youth spent in University housing, leading me to stick a finger in bags of spices and such, taste, grab a pinch, and throw it into a pot, and hope for the best.

Listen, I haven’t killed myself yet so I’m betting I’m at least decent with drinks.

When I got my hands on Geometric Drinks Geometric Gin NV a previously untried and unheard of Gin for me – it was another opportunity to generously pour together, crunch up, shake, filter, stir and sip, and do it all again until I found my tastebuds intrigued and my throat no longer parched.

…But I’m also not so serious about my boozing that I have all the instruments of masterclassing a straightforward gin serve with tonic, nor have I the tools for anything more adventurous.

Coupe glasses? Shaker? Fine Strainer? Where?

The result?

A very enjoyable amateur cocktail-making afternoon, spent:

  • Pouring measures of Geometric Gin out in the measuring cup graciously sent through to me by a smart PR company
  • Squinting to assess whether that was way too much of the 43% alcohol, or too little, because I’m too lazy to Google accurate measures
  • Weighing up whether the Gin, or the Tonic, goes first in a glass (my bar exploits settling that particular query as I remember barmen pouring gin over ice, and then drowning it all in tonic)
  • And remembering I didnt have ice block trays so I created an artsy/odd uni-ice block in a plastic container, which required a hammer and warm water to break apart a bit.

The Geometric Gin producer, as well as Gin lovers the world over, will likely heckle me for sullying the rather delightful gin, with ingredients that would otherwise seem not to enhance the gin’s elemental flavours.

My rebuttal? To each, their own.

What’s the point in drinking something you may not wholly enjoy in its original iteration? It’s not an insult to want to tweak, in order to personally suit – you’re still having the product, aren’t you?!

Sure steak is great with the barest preparation, but the lauded menus of the world’s restaurants and households show that the same meat can be enjoyed as a spectacle of different culinary constructions.

I did enjoy the straightforward Geometric Gin with the San Pellegrino Tonic water though…

Retailing for under R500, this gin measures up as a South African output that speaks directly of the local terroir. Those attuned to its Cape tasting notes will experience the markers of SA’s unique geo-gifts; To start, there are the botanicals dancing on the palate and nose – with juniper, clove, the likes of Cape brandy, and even cardamon and cinnamon making an appearance.

Critics have highlighted the “subtly spiced citrus on the nose” of this gin, and I’m rather taken with the prominence of the bucha in this spirit’s creation. While we’re talking flavours and fragrance, you’d be hard-pressed to miss the Cape snowbush and coriander thanks to the smoothness of this quality spirit.

Don’t fear trying your hand at a Martini or an elementary Negroni, using this gin.

It’s sure to be a hoot to your senses.

Even the Geometric Drinks producer, Jean-Baptiste Cristini, is a fan of a Negroni and its ingredients construction, first and foremost.

Truly, the archetypal G&T I had, featuring the bitter quinine backbone of the San Pellegrino Tonica, refreshed without trying too hard to be shocking to the senses in flavour delivery.

When measured perfectly, enjoy this G&T on a warm summers day with only pure ice, or try the drink combo to de-stress after a long day.

Gin’ning without Tonic…

Why not bastardize tradition with a fruit medley of tangy berries, citrus, an actual pinch of salt, and some Dry Lemon cooldrink?!

I grabbed what I had on hand, and spent the rest of my post-work afternoon (following the first classic G&T) in a pleasant buzz of good Gin, sweetness on the tongue, and mellow tunes blasting from my Glastonbury/Coachella Spotify playlist.

A stickler for rules, I am not always.

It was cool to find out my instincts towards berries wasn’t entirely remiss – after all, juniper berries make up part of the Geometric Gin‘s DNA.

With the sheer smoothness of the gin doing its part to temper the sharpness, boldness, and prominence of the other botanicals, my bringing in blueberries and raspberries, a whisper of honey, and a few granules of salt (not to mention the rosemary leaf) meant a riotous glass of alcoholic and fragrant liquid summer.

Want to know what else you can use as a Gin mixer?

  • Prosecco – as a recently trendy drink in South Africa (for its lightness and bubbles), and a steady favourite in brunch spots around the world, Prosecco is apparently well-matched with gin.
    • “It works beautifully with high strength, high flavour gins similar to the famous cocktail, the French 75.” Devin Tomlinson
  • Lemonade or Grapefruit juice – the citrus family and their tartness, really goes with most of the gin’s out there. Bitter lemons/lemonade is even more recommended.
  • Ginger/Gingerade/Ginger Ale – Okay, so I maybe knew about this from constantly mixing Gin and Stoney when hanging with my friends. I had a vague incling it would work, as the spice of ginger is an delicious addition to most things – including gin apparently. Feel free to try it with variation of ginger drinks like Ginger Ale, or go Moscow Mule with added lime & mint. Best serve is with winter gin’s as this is a warming mixer.
  • Cucumber – I’m an enduring fan of SoHo House and their famed Eastern Standard cocktail, first imagined by Tom Kerr in London. The cucumber is a jewel of a match to gin, and best summed up by Eliot Routh for Vinepair (2020): “…this simple garden plant adds a hint of grassy sweetness that doesn’t cloy like some other fruit juices might…Cucumber is also a natural hydrator, which makes it a welcome addition to any long drink.”
  • EARLY GREY! YAY! I have a bonafide addiction to high quality tea, so this is excellent news for me – what about you?

I’ve heard whispers that not all mixers pair well with gin (bummer!), but the only way you’ll truly be able to accept that, is by trying different mixes out yourself.

So what are you waiting for?

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