If you’re got friends coming over this weekend, at some point, you’re probably going to reach for a bottle of Gin and add to that some Tonic. But wouldn’t it be so much more fun if you could add some extra colour and flavour to your normal G&T?
Karu Distillery may just have the answer with their G & Tea Premium Cocktail Infusions. Inspired as much by the gin and tonic movement as it has been by tea culture, the Cocktail Infusions are a quick, easy way to add an element of dynamic colour and flavour.
A Very Different G&T
The concept of these bags come from one of Karu’s very own Distillers, Ally Ayres, and her love of Tea and profound fondness for gin and tonic. Ayres had been blending her own botanical blends for cocktails and sharing with her friends for years and has now perfected the mix, so you can do the same.
“I remember one party in particular when I brought some of my botanical blends and made a “G &Tea” and all of a sudden almost every guest wanted one,” said Ayres. “Everyone was really taken by the vibrant colours and just how different they were.
“It still tasted like a gin and tonic but with a totally different edge. The botanicals were chosen to complement rather than overpower the juniper profiles of the gin – basically, they go hand in hand.”
With the botanicals blended by Ayres, they are then sent off to be manufactured into bio-degradable tea bags before coming back to her to be quality checked, individually tagged by hand, packed and boxed.
Ayres points out that while the Cocktail infusions have been designed around their own Karu Distillery gins, the infusions can be used with any gin. She suggests that the infusions can, in fact, be a fantastic way to revisit some of the gins that have been your old favourites but experience them in a whole new way.
How They Work
“We use natural botanicals in our cocktail infusions, and that is what gives them that natural and vibrant colour,” says Ayres. “I explain to people trying them for the first time, that it’s the same gin and the same tonic, the only difference is the botanicals themselves.”
G & Tea Premium Cocktail Infusions work as a room temperature infusion to allow the botanicals to mesh with the spirit effectively. Ayres points out that the process is slowed down dramatically if that ice is added too soon.
G & Tea is not recommended as a hot cocktail, as the botanical infusion is spent faster in warmer drinks
Each box contains 10 bags, with each bag comfortably doing around 3 to 4 cocktails or refills, so it’s a fantastic way to get the best value if you’re sharing with friends.
Ayres and her husband Nick started Karu Distillery back in 2017, and from that time on her interest in botanicals both for distilling their gin and making the cocktail infusions as only grown. “As I learned more about gin and more about botanicals, I soon realised that you could combine the two to achieve a temporary vibrancy you can enjoy immediately.
“The tea bag was a fantastic way to accomplish this and, the idea of a tea bag botanical blend for your gin and tonic became an obsession for me!”
At present. the Cocktail Infusions range consists of two expressions, Vermillion and Amethyst, but Ayres promises the range will continue to expand with more variations being added by the end of the year.
It seems when the humble gin and tonic was conceived in the 19th century by the British as a way to stave off malaria during their occupation in India, they had no idea how interesting a G&T would get.
Colours & Flavours
Vermilion is a beautiful Pinkish Red colour that changes to a lighter pink with the addition of tonic water. Described as more of a “soft” gin and tonic, the floral notes of the Red Rose Petals pair with the sweetness of the Honey Bush tea whilst the Orange and Rosella amplify the tonic water.
Amethyst is a rich royal blue colour that changes with the tonic water to vibrant purple, thanks to the Butterfly Pea Flower. The lemongrass and Ginger Root tea counteract the Earthy tones and offer a “louder” gin and tonic with more of a “sweet & sour” profile.
How To Use Them
The instructions for the Botanical Infusion are simple and only takes five minutes to totally transform you’re G&T.
Simply place your Botanical Infusion teabag into a glass and pour room temperature gin over the top, to submerge the botanicals.
The infusion starts to reveal itself after a minute or so, the longer you leave the tea bag, the more concentrated the flavour becomes.
After 5 minutes approximately, you are ready to add your ice and tonic water and watch the magic happen. If want to add a garnish, Ayres suggests a dried lemon wheel.
G & Tea Premium Cocktail Infusions are available through karudistillery.com.au for $AUD21.95