When I say ‘gin in a tin’ what does that mean to you? Images of drinking bad ‘ready to drink’ g&t’s on the train, or perhaps lukewarm pre-mixed cocktails in a field at a festival? If like me you’ve grown beyond the supermarket own brand pre-mix gin and tonics, then you’ll be interested in my latest research to find the perfect premix gin-in-a-tin!
*Full disclosure some of the products I’m show casing here are samples given to me for free. As ever all opinions are my own and I’m under no obligation to write about these brands – I just like them and want to share!*
The perfect gin-in-a-tin for Summer
What is a gin-in-a-tin?
If you’ve never heard of the term ‘gin-in-a-tin’ before, this refers to a ready to drink gin and tonic, usually packaged in a can or ‘tin’. Although these pre-mixed gin and tonic drinks can come in glass bottles, cans are usually easier to find, carry and recycle. They are ideal for Summer trips, picnics and BBQs, as you don’t need to worry about glasses and multiple bottles. The ready to drink gin and tonic cans are ideal for festivals where they don’t allow you to take glass in.
It’s also a bit of a British tradition to have a cheeky gin-in-a-tin on a train trip (note that you can’t do this on any Transport for London trains, read here for how you *CAN* legally drink on the tube!).
Franklin & Sons
Franklin & Sons don’t just make tonic water, they have a full range of stand alone drinks and mixers that are begging to be used to make epic drinks. They’ve also done some superb collaborations with different gin makers to produce ready to drink gin and tonics in a tin. The classic gin and tonic is the Portobello Road gin and Franklin & Sons natural Indian tonic. Refreshing and ginny, as you’d expect, but at 5.5% not terribly strong.
This one is a bit different using raspberry infused gin and the Sicilian lemon tonic. This creates more of a cocktail flavour, as a twist on the straight up gin and tonic. I liked it and the others at the picnic also liked it. Perfect for a hot summer’s day when you want a fruity berry-citrus flavour. Also at 5.5%.
Another ‘classic’ gin and tonic pre-mix combination – except Caorunn is a subtler gin. In this can it still tastes like a gin and tonic, however I don’t get as much juniper up front as some of the other gin-in-a-tins despite being 6%. So one for the lover of a more subtle G&T. You can buy the Franklin & Sons pre-mixed gin drinks online. I’ve not yet seen them in a physical store, so I’m not sure where else they are stocked.
Sipsmiths have entered the ready to drink arena the only way they know how: with class. Having worked with a tonic maker to produce a pre-mixed gin and tonic that lets their Sipsmith London Dry gin shine through, they really created a winner!
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❓what’s your favourite drink at a picnic❓ . [ad as gifted] . Mine is definitely the new @sipsmith ‘gin in a tin’ . I tried the cans out at a recent picnic (see my stories!) and was pleasantly surprised! . The London Dry gin and tonic was junipery from the opening of the can – a brilliant pop of juniper balanced with the tonic . The gin and light tonic wasn’t as good – something just doesn’t work as well with the low sugar version. . Having sampled these against other brands – I think @sipsmith have come up with a real winner! At 7.3% it’s a proper g&t – perfect for picnics or train rides in true British fashion! . #whatskatiedoingblog #traveltipple #gininatin #sipsmith #sipsmithgin #traingin #london?? #londongin #gininacan #picnicdrinks #ginspiration #❤️gin #ginlush #gintasting #gintime #ginstagram #ginforthewin #ginformation #ginoclock #gintastic #whynotgin #imbibegram #imbibe
I love that they have a slightly stronger ABV at 7.3%. The juniper you can smell as soon as the can is opened, which for me is the best bit here. The balance with the tonic has been done so that this is a tasty sip straight from the can, without ice and a slice. All very cleverly done.
Whilst I prefer their regular Indian tonic water version, there is also a lighter tonic version. Unfortunately this loses something in the flavours when the sugar is replaced by artificial sweeteners.
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[ad as gifted] In the park drinking my @sipsmith tinnies before they get warm/I get too sticky ? . ❓how are you coping with the heat today❓?☀️? . #drinksinthepark #parklife #whatskatiedoing #sipsmithgin #gininatin #picnicdrinks #premixginandtonic #ginspiration #❤️gin #ginlush #gintasting #gintime #ginstagram #ginforthewin #ginformation #ginoclock #gintastic #whynotgin
You can buy both the regular and light tonic versions of the Sipsmith ready to drink gin and tonic in various stores online and in person at Tesco’s and other retailers.
Brentingby ‘Pink gin’
A pretty pink can and pretty pink insides, but this is no sugar laden sweet gin!
Brentingby Pink is a proper juniper led gin, with the colouring coming from an infusion of hibiscus, one of the botanicals in their London Dry gin. In this gin-in-a-tin Bruce from Brentingby combines the pink gin with Cardamom tonic from Peter Spanton. At 8% this is more like double measure strength and this shows in the flavour.
The Peter Spanton tonic really balances with the Brentingby gin and adds an overall dry mouthfeel from the cardamom. One for cardamom lovers (if you don’t like cardamom then give this one a miss!). You will be able to buy these pre-mixed cans from the Brentingby website later this year.
That Boutiquey Gin Company
Whilst Boutiquey focus has been on gins up to now, they stormed the market with their pre-mixed drinks at Imbibe this year:
Obviously I had to sample the gin ones at the very least…
The Moonshot gin was at respectable 7.2% abv, however with the citrus tonic I felt that was all you tasted. I certainly couldn’t say that I could pick out Moonshot gin in this mix. I mainly tasted the citrus tonic, which was pleasant on a hot day in the park this bank holiday!
Obviously it wouldn’t be Boutiquey without some off the wall varieties. One that went down well was the Yuzu gin collins. Marrying their Yuzu squeezed gin with a jasmine lemonade, this was really interesting. At 5% abv it wasn’t super boozey like the Moonshot gin and tonic. But instead delightfully refreshing and citrussy!
This one I could get on board with, unlike the next one……
The Strawberry gin fizz is a combination of their unique strawberry and balsamico gin, with vanilla and orange blossom cream soda. Not liking cream soda, this wasn’t for me. (To be fair the strawberry balsamico is best drizzled over ice cream, but I don’t want to drink it!). Another fairly low abv and mainly for those loving the super sweet side of things. I haven’t tried the cherry gin and cola yet either – as I’m not really a cola drinker. As soon as I find a
victim volunteer to try this I’ll let you know!
I also have to shout out the Pineapple gin mule from Boutiquey gin:
This is quite a fun combination of their spit-roasted pineapple gin, with lime juice and ginger beer – mule style. Whilst I had the opportunity to enjoy this ‘freshly made’ on World Pineapple Day, the ready made gin-in-a-tin versions is great too. Nothing like a gin and tonic at all, this is one for the non-gin drinkers!
The Boutiquey cans are also larger than the regular pre-mix gin and tonic, which could be good for that extra long train journey or not having to get up at the picnic/BBQ! You can buy these cans at Master of Malt and other online retailers.
Marks & Spencer
I couldn’t really do this post without a mention of that British High Street classic: M&S. With a food and drink presence at most major railway stations Marks & Spencer are likely to be your go to place to stock up on train tinnies. As they’ve recently added to their gin-in-a-tin range, my sister and I checked them out on a recent train from Bath.
A posher option – M&S craft pre-mix gin and tonic
The new options in the small batch ready to drink gin & tonics are Spice and Zest. At 8% these are double strength and promise to highlight different botanicals in each using the gins previously developed for M&S by Charles Maxwell.
The spices include coriander – a hard working backbone to many a gin – and ginger, along with liquorice, Angelica and rosemary. I’m not sure I could tell all of that in this pre-mix gin and tonic – but it was a nicely balanced drink.
Secondly this zesty little number
Now the Zest one was definitely more citrusy, with lemon being the citrus main flavour, coming from the lemon balm herbs used to make the gin. There’s also floral jasmine and more savoury fennel included in the botanicals – but again these aren’t discernible in the end gin and tonic.
I think I’d prefer the Zest over the Spice any day – but I wouldn’t say no to either! Available at most M&S food stores.
Maybe you don’t like gin that much *shock-horror*, well then check out this pre-mix sherry and tonic from Pedrino! Whilst I drank this with extra gin, it’s a delightful spritz to have by itself. Although I do prefer it in a glass with lots of ice, rather than straight out of the bottle, it can be done.
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Afternoon g&tea at the Soho Hotel @firmdale_hotels – keep swiping ⬅️ to see it all: . We enjoyed our @tanqueraygin 10 gin and tonics with @pedrinospritz tonic . I definitely covet the gin trolley they have there! ?? . The spread for afternoon tea included savoury sandwiches, sweet treats and my favourite scones with clotted cream and jams ??? . I also had some special tea to make this a proper British afternoon tea . Our bartender photobombed some of the pics – he is my favourite kind of gin enabler ??? . @lolcbrown tasting the tonic and giving it her approval ? . #thesohohotel #whatskatiedoingblog #afternoontea #ginandtea #tanqueray10 #pedrinotonic #ginspiration #reGinned #ginmagazine #mysecretlondon #londonlife #londonview #lovelondon #instalondon #mylondon #londonbylondoners #londonblogger #igerslondon #london2do #london4all #thisislondon #london??
If you don’t like the bitterness of the quinine in tonic, then perhaps try one of these mixers instead:
Made by Talula White, as she was looking for a mixer to drink with her favourite drink = whisky. With everyone else drinking vodka soda, or rum and coke, she didn’t want to be drinking her whisky as fast as their mixed drinks. So a mixer was required!
As well as the mixer for whisky she has branched out into mixers specifically made for gin/vodka, rum and tequila/mescal. These are all quinine free and are quite lovely to drink on their own, as well as with spirits.
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[ad as gifted] Kinda on trend for #ginadaymay today with garnishes included, but I think this can also be my post for #mixer too. . Talula from @sekfordedrinks started with the aim of producing a mixer for whisky, but this soon progressed into mixers for rum, tequila and then into an alternative to tonic for gin and vodka . The ‘garnishes’ you see aren’t all garnish – some of them are the ingredients going into these carbonated mixers. . The whisky mixer has orange, rosemary and gentian bitters. The orange notes really work with the smokiness of the whisky (or bourbon!) . The rum mixer is a great blend of lime, mint rose and cacao – like a mojito spritzer. . The tequila mixer was my favourite ‘stand alone’ drink. Made with roasted prickly pear, fig and cardamom, it’s perfectly balanced for a stand alone drink or great with tequila – I’ve yet to open the mescal . And finally the gin or vodka mixer – with aromatic raspberry, rose and sage. This tastes lovely and fruity and I like the sage notes on the nose. I want to try this out with many different gins to see what my perfect serve would be! It also works well as a spritz serve . ❓will you be trying these mixers out❓ . #whatskatiedoingblog #sekfordemixers #sekfordedrinks #ginspiration #❤️gin #ginlush #gintasting #gintime #ginstagram #ginforthewin #ginformation #ginoclock #gintastic #whynotgin #imbibegram #imbibe #instacocktail #happyhour #instadrinks #drinkstagram #womenwhodrink #spirits #spiritsblogger #drinkup #booze #feedfeed #garnish
Low sugar alternatives
Perhaps you prefer your mixers without a lot of sugar in them, or are trying a low sugar diet? I would recommend swapping out a pre-mix g&t, for a miniature of gin and a can of sparkling water. Whilst not a gin in a tin or ready to drink, this is a good way to cut down on sugar and make a drink longer. It also helps to avoid the bitter quinine in a tonic.
Cawston Press is a great shout for this, having recently added their sparkling water with a twist cans to their range:
A lovely camping solution to warm drinks is a sloe gin with a flavoured sparkling water – this raspberry one would work well for this.
I also like to make a Summer or Fruit cup with ginger ale. Go for a low sugar version with this ginger and lemon sparkling water.
I also love this Cawston Press Rhubarb juice drink. Mixed with apple juice and sparkling water, it’s not as light as the sparkling waters above, but it’s still a lovely tart mixer that works really well with dry juniper forward gins.
What if you’re not drinking?
Then obviously you don’t *need* a pre-mixed cocktail. However if you want to get a non-alcoholic version of your favourite gin and tonic, then check out The Duchess:
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If, like me, you’ve hit London Cocktail Week too hard, then why not relax with a virgin g&t like @drinktheduchess . Completely alcohol free and low in sugar, this gin flavoured tonic is a great replacement if you’re not drinking – whether through choice or not! . ❓anyone doing a sober October or Stotober this month❓ . #drinktheduchess #gifted #virginginandtonic #ginspiration #noalcoholneeded #nonalcoholicdrink #nonalcoholiccocktail #ginandtonic #whattodrinkifyouredriving #whattodrinkwhenyourenotdrinking #whattodrinkwhenyoureexpecting #noalcohol #soberoctober #stoptober2018
The Duchess is sugar free as well as being alcohol free.
Another non-gin based ready to drink non-alcoholic cocktail is the Cubre Libre from the Temperance Company (Teetotal drinks):
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Office tonic (& gin!) tasting was a success ?? . We had a great line up thanks to our sponsors @fentimansltd @fevertreemixers and @cotemperance . The non drinkers appreciated tasting a breadth of different mixers, including the surprisingly good zero-alcohol Rum and Coke from @cotemperance – the drinkers confirmed that it really smelt and tasted like rum and coke! . The drinkers also enjoyed matching their gin with different tonics including the different citrus of the @fentimansltd latest range: Pink Grapefruit and Mediterranean Orange; or just mixing it up with ginger ale from @fevertreemixers instead. . Safe to say that my brief history of gin and tutorial on how to taste it went down a treat too! ☺️?? . #gintasting #workdo #mixers #ginandtonic #gintastic #gintonic #reginned #imbibegram #imbibe #instacocktail #happyhour #instadrinks #drinkstagram #womenwhodrink #spirits #spiritsblogger #drinkup #booze #feedfeed #ginspired #ginspiration
All of my colleagues that I taste tested this on didn’t realise that it wasn’t actually rum and coke! And my non-drinking friends appreciated some drinks they could drink alongside our gin and tonics.
So which will you be trying? Let me know in the comments below!
Ps my fave gin is the Sipsmith’s 😉