How to make a Spanish G&T with a Rosé wine float

Get a nice buzz on with Jeanette


When I lived in Spain, I didn’t eat any olives. I know, I know. I was an uneducated heathen with bad taste.

But hear me out. My point of reference was attending family birthday parties, and my crabby Aunt Judy used to put out really disgusting canned olives as hors d’oeuvres. They tasted like a cross between dog food and cardboard (don’t ask me how I know this), and the idea of olives - because Aunt Judy’s olives were my only point of reference - turned my stomach.

About two years after I moved back home, I learned that there’s a big difference between Spanish olives and Aunt Judy’s olives. I could have kicked myself. I had access to some of the best olives on the planet - and I didn’t eat a single one. 

Just as I didn’t eat olives while I was in Spain, I also didn’t drink any Spanish G & T’s. Again, my only point of reference was the sole gin and tonic I was gifted by one of my colleagues at a dive bar we went to while I was interning as a police reporter: The gin was subpar, and the tonic was syrupy white soda with a fake quinine aftertaste. Yum.

Since my experience with G & T’s before I visited Spain was that they taste like garbage, I didn’t order a single gin and tonic the entire time I lived there.

Boy, did I miss out! Though neither gin nor tonic nor the cocktail was invented in Spain, the Spanish take it to another stratosphere. In Spain, bartenders match the gin with a tonic, then add in citrus, bitters, spices and herbs and even a splash of wine. None of these ingredients are exotic, but when combined together, they elevate the simple gin and tonic to a work of art.

If you’re entertaining, you can set out a few gins, a few tonics, as well as citrus fruits, bitters, spices and herbs to let your guests build their own. Or, you can just do it yourself and wow your guests - it’s a foolproof cocktail that easily impresses. 

It’s a simple, buildable drink that is perfect for sipping on the patio. Just don’t pair them with Aunt Judy’s olives.


45ml botanical gin (like The Botanist, Hendrick’s, etc.)

90ml tonic water (like Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic water)

1 squeeze of fresh lime juice

2 dashes citrus or orange bitters

1/2 teaspoon pomegranate arils

3 to 4 berries of choice (blackberries, raspberries, etc,)

1/4 teaspoon pink peppercorns

1 to 2 grapefruit wedges or lime wheels

2 sprigs of rosemary or thyme 

20ml Spanish Rosé wine

In a large goblet filled with ice, pour gin, tonic water, lime juice and bitters. Stir together a few times until chilled. Add pomegranate arils, berries, pink peppercorns, grapefruit wedges or lime wheels and herb sprigs. Then, pour wine over the back of a barspoon or regular spoon to float the wine atop the cocktail.

Note: Usually red wines are used to float atop cocktails, but Rosé wine better pairs with gins and tonics, and with the pink peppercorns and fruits, it adds a light layer of pink that swirls prettily into the cocktail. 

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