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12 things you need to know before drinking a G&T

Cosmopolitan (UK) logo Cosmopolitan (UK) 08/01/2019 Dusty Baxter-Wright
a bowl of food on a table: Gin and tonic facts every G&T fan needs to know, like what is gin made from and how many calories are in it. © Getty Images Gin and tonic facts every G&T fan needs to know, like what is gin made from and how many calories are in it.

Before you go out and drink all the gin and tonics this weekend, here are 12 things you should definitely know about your favourite tipple. Like, what is gin made from? How many calories are in a gin and tonic? And can your blood really turn into G&T if you drink too much (ahem). 

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1. First things first, what is gin made from? The creation of the spirit involves distilling fermented grain and a number of different botanicals - predominantly juniper, but also coriander, citrus peel, cinnamon, almond or liquorice.

2. A shot of gin has 110 calories, while the average glass of tonic has 55.

3. Tonic water is more sugary than most people realise, though, and one G&T roughly equates to 14% of your recommended daily allowance.

4. Britain drank the equivalent of 1.12 billion G&Ts in 2016, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said, reporting that the UK bought 283,000 hectolitres of gin last year - the equivalent of 40 million bottles.

Gin and tonic  © Getty Gin and tonic 

5. Oh, and they also said the UK spent over £1.12 billion a year on gin in 2016, before adding that sales had grown more than any other spirit sold in the country last year.

6. The Spirit Business say Gordon's is the UK's most popular gin, and sold over 4.6million cases last year. Since they announced pink gin last year, we've definitely contributed to this.

7. Choosing a cheap tonic water can ruin the taste of gin - even if it's an expensive one. As Greenall’s gin Master Distiller told Good Housekeeping UK, "Distillers like myself put a lot of time, passion and effort into distilling our gins, so cheap tonics can really ruin the experience of a good G&T. Always try to match your tonic to the gin, and a lot of gin brands recommend suitable tonics."

8. Legally, gin has to have a 'predominant juniper flavour,' but there's no limit on how many other botanicals can be used, or how many juniper berries have to be added.

9. Nearly all juniper used to make gin is picked wild and it is rarely taken from cultivated sources, but it's not actually a berry at all. Rather, it's a type of seed cone.

Gin and tonic © Getty Gin and tonic

10. At 2016's International Spirits Challenge, Asda’s London Dry Gin and Waitrose London Dry Gin both came out on top with gold awards, while Aldi’s London Dry Gin won a silver award.

11. According to Sipsmith gin, the best way to taste gins for comparison is at room temperature diluted with an equal measure of water, as it reveals both the qualities and flaws. But then again, who wants to dilute gin to compare it when you could just drink it?

12. The world’s most expensive gin costs £2,000 per bottle. You'll have to cough up £2k for a 700ml bottle of Watenshi, which means 'Japanese Angel', which works out at £70 per measure of gin!

13. People reportedly drank tonic water before they drank gin, and later added gin to it to mask the taste. Surprising, huh? British soldiers stationed in India had to take quinine - used as malaria prevention - and would mask the powerful flavour with gin, lime juice, and sugar.

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