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It’s official: G&T is the drink of the summer!

A worldwide renaissance is taking place when it comes to gin and tonic – this classic cocktail is becoming the beverage of choice across the board. The trend has seen the development of flavoured craft gins, special cocktails, fun gin-themed events and dedicated bars. Leading the way with characteristic flair is Protea Hotels Fire & Ice Hotels in Cape Town and Gauteng; they’ve created an entire movement around the trend – the OTT G&T.

Quick facts:

  • Sales of gin are currently growing by 15% worldwide year-on-year
  • This is mirrored by a 12% growth in sales of tonic water, compared with an average 5% growth of other mixers
  • In South Africa there are more than 75 local gin brands produced by 50 local gin distillers
  • Gin bars are springing up across local entertainment hotspots on Cape Town, Joburg and Durban.

This trend isn’t limited to gin and tonic in its traditional incarnation, gin cocktails have evolved to see mind-boggling garnishes added for a spectacular twist: jalapeno, lime, cucumber, blueberries, ginger, black pepper, basil, apple, cinnamon and many other additions are putting the zest into this summer favourite.

Local gin producers are loving the attention they’re getting, and enjoying being able to inspire new fans of this special drink.

“Our bars and urban spaces are enjoyed by guests and neighbourhood friends who pop in after work; we want to give them what they expect – what better way to support local industry than by relaxing with a crowd of fellow gin-lovers? The Over the Top Gin and Tonic is at the heart of giving visitors what they want and adding a spin on top of it. – Avukile Mabombo, Group Marketing Manager, Protea Hotels by Marriott

Ginning and winning

The three Fire & Ice properties (Cape Town, Menlyn and Melrose Arch) recently organised an internal OTT G&T competition among their bartending professionals to see who could produce the most inventive, delicious creation – resulting in each of the cities gaining an official OTT G&T recipe (and the winning bartenders scoring a prize). Visitors and fans of the hotels also stand a chance to win a cocktail by tagging a friend who needs an OTT G&T.

A special gin and tonic menu has been created for each of the hotels, featuring a selection of international and local craft gins and a range of premium tonic waters, along with the winning recipes.

Why not gather your friends and head to your local to find out why drinking a G&T is the thing to be doing this summer?