Part two: Phillip's perfect Christmas tipples

4th December 2015

A G&T is one of my favourite drinks. As well as choosing the tonic carefully -Fever-Tree is my go-to, and I prefer the regular variety but there is a 'naturally light' option - the garnish deserves some consideration. Don't fall into the ice-and-a-slice trap by automatically reaching for the lemon. Read on to find out about the more interesting and fun servings I have discovered.

Not all vodkas are alike. Depending on what they are made from, whether it's rye, potatoes or even fruit such as grapes, there is a difference in flavour, albeit a subtle one. I'm unashamedly a gin man, but I have had an enormous amount of pleasure tasting and garnishing these vodkas. It's been a revelation.

Martin Miller's £26/70cl
I don't know if you would spot from its flavour alone that this gin is made with Icelandic water, but there's certainly a winter freshness to it and a hint of citrus. When you add tonic and a slice of lime, it makes a very elegant and unusual drink.

Portobello Road
You can smell the juniper in this classic style of gin. It's made in a small Notting Hill distillery, which, incidentally, runs a museum called Ginstitute. Add plenty of ice so it melts more slowly, your favourite tonic and, instead of lemon, try a slice of orange.

Zubr6wka Bison Grass Vodka
The stem of bison grass in the bottle gives this a hint of a meadow breeze. So together with your tonic, add a sprig of rosemary- it maintains the 'green' characteristics without overpowering the subtle flavours of the Zubr6wka.

Chase English Potato Vodka
£28.50/lOcl (was £35.50, offer ends 8 Dec)
This vodka is notable for its depth and rich creaminess. The potatoes give it a loamy quality so try it with a cucumber garnish - it brings out the earthiness and adds freshness to the rich texture.

Hayman's Old Tom Gin
£24.50/lOcl (selected stores)
This vintage style of gin is very delicate and a little sweet. Because it has a little bit of a floral flavour and a whiff of roses, you might garnish it with Waitrose Cooks' Ingredients Rose Petals, for an unusual and very beautiful G&T.

Williams Great British Gin
This is made from organically grown pressed cider apples, grown in Herefordshire, and you can really taste them -so it would be rude not to garnish your Williams G&T with a couple of slices of crisp green apple for a fresh, sherbet taste.

Snow Leopard
£27.70/lOcl (was £33.70, offer ends 3 Jan 2016)
On its own there is just a hint of the smell you get when it rains on warm soil.
I added a wedge of lime and some whole mint leaves - be careful not to tear them or they will dominate this lovely vodka. And some of the profits go towards saving the snow leopard. Enough said.

Because this is distilled from French grapes, there's a hint of delicate citrus. And as it's not made from grains like some vodkas, it's gluten free. If you add two sliced red grapes, not only are the flavours spot on, it looks fabulous for Christmas. Simple but very classy.

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  • Phillip you must try Edinburgh Gin,,rhubarb and ginger...delish..add a dash to champagne..for a real treat...merry christmas

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