Just when you thought you’d meddled with your Gin & Tonic in every way possible, along comes Gymkhana. Forget chunky wheels of grapefruit, aromatic mixers and exotic flavoured gins — because the Mayfair-based, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant has put a new sour spin on the classic serve. Ingenious and creative, it’s liquid proof that there’s always something new to try when cocktail-making.
Gymkhana’s ‘Quinine Sour’ has all the elements of a G&T; gin, citrus and the bitter quinine essence that gives tonic its signature tang. But here, the age-old drink has been given the flourish of a fancier cocktail. And, to up the excitement and exclusivity even further, it’s also an off-menu drink — popular only with regular, in-the-know guests at the Mayfair restaurant.
“The Gin & Tonic was the drink of choice in India during time of the British Raj,” says Gymkhana’s Head Bartender, Tibor Marton, “and usually enjoyed across the country in gymkhana clubs. This is our homage to it, but in the style of a classic gin sour.”
"This is our homage to it, but in the style of a classic gin sour..."
Back in colonial India, quinine tonic was popular for its medicinal, anti-malarial properties — and the gin was initially added to make the bitter taste more palatable.
Today, it tends to be the other way around. So, to make this cocktail in the comfort of your own home, Gymkhana has revealed its recipe to Gentleman’s Journal. Or, if you want to make it a little easier for yourself, the restaurant has also developed a cocktail kit through Ambassador General Store, with nationwide delivery available.
“We’ve added a botanicals of curry leaf for a subtle aromatic note, and ginger which adds the faintest heat,” Marton tells Gentleman’s Journal. “It’s got all the pizzazz of a beautifully shaken cocktail, and all the familiarity of a good old G&T…”
Gymkhana’s Quinine Sour
Ingredients and Barware:
- Champagne coupe, to serve
- 3 thin slices of Chopped Ginger
- 3 fresh Curry Leaves (and 1 extra, to garnish)
- 50ml London Dry Gin
- 25ml Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Simple Syrup
- 3 dashes Tonic Bitters (we use The Bitter Truth Tonic Bitters)
- 25ml (1 part) Egg White (or Aquafaba)
- Whole Ice
- Put the champagne coupe in the fridge or freezer a little in advance to chill it.
- Take the three finely-sliced pieces of chopped ginger and three fresh curry leaves and muddle them together inside your cocktail shaker. Add the gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and tonic bitters.
- Separate the egg, and add the white to your cocktail shaker.
- Close the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds without any ice — this will help create a good foam.
- Open the shaker and completely fill it with ice. Give it a good hard shake for another 20 seconds to chill the cocktail.
- Strain the cocktail into your chilled glass and garnish with a curry leaf resting on the foam.
Want more cocktail inspiration? Here’s how to make Heiwa Shuzō’s Yuzu Sake Margarita…
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