Cocktails with Lisa: Why You Should Be Drinking Texas-Inspired Spanish Gin and Tonics This Summer

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What are Spanish G & T’s?

 Spanish G & T’s are to cocktails what is paella is to Spain.

Spanish Gin & Tonics are very fashionable in Spain and considered the national drink of Spain.  In recent years they have become popular in bars across America.

Gin, the already aromatic distilled spirit, is mixed with a good quality tonic water ( Fever Tree is my favorite)  and infused with herbs, berries, citrus peels as well as flowers. These refreshing cocktails are served in large ballon glasses aka Copa glasses so the drinker can enjoy the aromas more fully.

Gin is a distilled spirit with flavors added such as juniper berries, which is the presiding flavor. Botanicals are added to further enhance the aromas and flavors that gin it’s unique flavors. There are many varieties that are added usually depending on where the gin is made.

This is why I love gin so much!

Some of the more familiar botanicals are juniper berries, aniseed, coriander and herbs such as Angelica, rosemary, sage, and chamomile as well as many others may be swirling around your favorite gin cocktail. Grapefruit, lemon, lime or orange may be in your favorite gin and lets not forget one or more roots or other flavors of ginger, licorice, fennel, clove or almond.

All these gorgeous aromatics come together in harmony to create a unique cocktail. In a Spanish Gin and Tonic, these flavors and aromas are further enhanced by adding fresh rosemary, grapefruit, orange or lemon peels, as well as black peppercorns and pink peppercorns, which reflect the flavors of the gin. Pink Peppercorns, which are not actually pepper, are spicy and floral and add a delightful and delicate flavor and aroma to the G & T.

Texas-Inspired Spanish G & T’s 

Texas-Inspired G & T’s are the absolute perfect cool and refreshing cocktail to enjoy in this Texas heat. We love sitting outside in the afternoon while grilling or smoking our supper and sip on the flavorful and cooling cocktails.

They just make the evening a little better.

Waterloo No. 9 Gin is a Texas gin locally made not too far from where I live at Treaty Oak Distillery.

It’s one of my favorite gins for making Spanish Style G & T’s.

Along with the traditional  juniper, coriander and anise, local botanicals and ingredients are infused in this gin to make it reflect or Texas terroir. Grapefruit zest, pecans and lavender are all harvested in Texas and give it that Texas character.

When I make Texas-Inspired Spanish Gin and Tonics, I always the best tonic waters by Fever Tree and serve them in the Copa glasses, just as they do in Spain. Trust me, it does make a difference and if you can’t find them, use a balloon wine glass.

I create a lot of varieties of this G & T and some of my favorite ingredients to use are:

Pink peppercorns, dried juniper berries, black peppercorns, Texas-grown fresh rosemary from my garden, grapefruit zest and a cinnamon stick are my favorites. I usually like add these to the gin several minutes before I add everything else to let the aromatics begin infusing into the gin.

Although this is my go-to recipe, I’ve made Hibiscus-infused G & T’s with fresh strawberries and dried hibiscus flowers or purple Butterfly Pea Flower. During the fall, I infused gin with Butterfly Pea Flower, orange slices and star anise. Both were huge hits for my pre-dinner cocktails.

Basic Recipe is simple

2 ounces of Waterloo No.9 Gin in a Copa glass (or ballon wine glass), lots of crushed ice and fill up with tonic water is the base. It’s best if you add the botanicals to the gin before hand, to get the infusing started.

Dried Hibiscus or Butterfly Pea Flower can be ordered online. In order to infuse the gin, add a couple of pinches of the hibiscus OR butterfly Pea Flower (depending on which one you are in the mood for) into a bottle OR portion of gin. Do this a few hours before. Strain to remove before making the cocktails.

*Be sure to rub the rosemary a little to release some of the rosemary oils.

Check out the photos below of some of my most popular Spanish G & T’s.


hibiscus-infused gin, rosemary and fresh strawberries

Butterfly Pea Flower infused gin to make purple gin, with orange slices and rosemary

Gin infused with Butterfly Pea flower, orange and star anise

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