But, selecting a non-alcoholic gin is just the first step in perfecting your gin and tonic. While we all know how to make gin and tonic, there are a few things you can do to raise your gin and tonic game. So, if you want to make the best non-alcoholic gin and tonic, this guide is for you.
For me, it’s important to start with the best-tasting non-alcoholic gin — something that has all the flavour, aroma and mouthfeel of a traditional gin. Four Pillars has come to the rescue by creating a premium gin alternative that makes the perfect non-alcoholic gin and tonic.
Four Pillars started making craft gin in Australia in 2013 and soon developed a cult-like following along with a reputation for making the best gin for gin and tonic. These days, they are considered a world leader in the gin-world, frequently taking out awards such as International Gin Producer of the Year. When I heard that Four Pillars was releasing Bandwagon, a range of non-alcoholic gin, I jumped with joy.
Four Pillars wanted Bandwagon to have the same character and taste as their original gin-range, so they started by creating alcohol-free versions of their most popular gins, Rare Dry Gin and Bloody Shiraz Gin. The goal was to make the best non-alcoholic gin possible so that fans of the brand and non-drinkers alike can enjoy a great-tasting gin and tonic — without the alcohol.
It took some time for Four Pillars to perfect the recipes, but it was worth the wait. Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon both have the unique flavour combination you’d expect from Four Pillars and a complexity often lacking in a non-alcoholic spirit. This means you can enjoy them just as you would in a classic G&T — mixed with the best tonic, the best garnish and a generous handful of ice.
As the second major ingredient in a gin and tonic, it’s unsurprising that the type of tonic you choose will make a huge difference to the flavour of your non-alcoholic gin and tonic.
With so many types of tonic water available, we’re really spoilt for choice. My pick is Tonic No. 8 from StrangeLove which is made with premium Cinchona Extract, Bitter Orange, Lemon Peel and a hint of Juniper. The flavours will beautifully complement the botanicals in the non-alcoholic gin, making the best tasting non-alcoholic gin and tonic.
A standard short cocktail glass works simplistically well if you’re mixing a classic non-alcoholic gin and tonic. But if you’re using two or more types of fresh ingredients, I recommend using a balloon wine glass to let people see and appreciate the effort you’ve made. And if you’re working with coloured gins such as pink gin or butterfly pea gin, I like to use a highball glass to show off the different colour hues.
Ice cubes or crushed ice is generally the way to go. But if you’re looking to jazz up your ice while adding some complementary flavours, try making some flavoured ice cubes by boiling some herbs in water for two minutes, letting it cool then freezing it. Pop these elevated ice cubes into your gin and tonic and as time goes by, the ice will melt and keep changing the flavours of your non-alcoholic gin and tonic, making it more delicious with every sip.
Slices of lime or lemon are a great staple but you can always switch things up with a grapefruit or orange slice for a bittersweet finish. If you want to make your non-alcoholic gin and tonic fancy, simply use dehydrated wheels of any of those citrusy ingredients. For a twist, try muddling fruit or adding a few peppercorns for an extra bite. But if your fruit bowl is looking a little bare, you can always head to your garden and use sprigs of mint, basil, rosemary or thyme for a herbaceous kick.
Putting everything together
I start by putting ice in a glass to keep everything nice and chilled. I then pour my Four Pillars non-alcoholic gin over the ice followed by the tonic. If I’m using coloured gins, I like to tip my tonic in as to not stir the colours too much — trust me, it’s visually more appealing when you serve it. Finally, top with your garnish of choice and you’re good to go.
Now that you’ve got the basics right, I’d like to share two of my favourite ways of making Four Pillars Bandwagon G&Ts.
Pink Bandwagon Dry G&T
The best garnish for a Bandwagon Dry and Tonic is a nice big juicy slice of grapefruit and a few pink peppercorns. The bittersweet notes from the grapefruit work deliciously well with the oranges that were used in the making of this non-alcoholic gin. The result is a refreshing non-alcoholic G&T with aromatic citrus and peppery top notes.
Add around 45-60ml of Bandwagon Dry to a balloon wine glass with ice and 100ml of your favourite tonic. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and pink peppercorns.
Blackberry Bloody Bandwagon G&T
When in season, I like to muddle blackberries into my Bloody Bandwagon non-alcoholic gin with a generous squeeze of lemon. It works well because the sourness from the lemon perfectly complements the sweetness of the Shiraz grapes and blackberries. The result is a complex, fruity and well-balanced G&T that is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.
Muddle a couple of blackberries at the bottom of your glass and add a generous squeeze of lemon. Add around 45-60ml of Bloody Bandwagon with ice and 100ml of your favourite tonic. Garnish with a lemon slice.
Your G&T game will never be the same
I hope this guide to elevating your G&Ts with Four Pillars Bandwagon has given you a good insight into enhancing your non-alcoholic gin and tonic experience. If you’re keen to explore more gin and tonic recipes, then check out my mocktail section for the best gin mocktails. You can also sign up to my newsletter where I’ll share reviews and special offers.If you’re as impressed with Four Pillars Bandwagon as I am then I’d love for you to leave a review. You can do this on my website or via Instagram — please tag me so that I can share your posts. I can’t wait to hear what you think of this game-changing non-alcoholic gin!