Discover Gin and Tonic · Blog

Hamburg is a great place to live. For many reasons but in particular because as a person being interested in spirits and mixers we just get so many chances to meet makers and discover new products.

Today was no different as I was invited by Fever-Tree to meet the Fever-Tree founder Tim Warrillow at the Botanic District Bar in Hamburg. Not only was there a chance to hear about the company, products and the little bits and pieces one does not get to know usually, but the chance to enjoy the mixers in drinks made by the bar's bartender David Desplaces.

Fever-Tree founder Tim Warrillow
Fever-Tree founder Tim Warrillow

Fever-Tree

Founded in 2005 Fever-Tree has really changed the way we look at mixers today. For decades the market felt dominated by just very few products to choose from with no signs of change until then.

Originally wanting to create a gin, but lacking a good tonic to pair gins with the founders actually reconsidered their plan in order to fill that void. Luckily that did bring change to the market and Fever-Tree indeed started to shake up the mixers world.

Tim took us through a few steps of the recent and more distant past of the company's history and told us about exciting encounters with botanical producers, travel pitfalls, discoveries along the way and how cooperations can shape a product.

Ginger Ale and Ginger beer

With more and more gin makers recommending ginger ale as a mixer as well to their spirit and not just the usual serve with a tonic water, one can clearly see how the times are changing. Personally I have not been drinking ginger ale for a long time because I felt it was often just not punchy enough. But now, it has become a mixer to pair gins with sometimes. The Jawbox gin for instance really shines with ginger ale.

Fever-Tree uses three types of ginger in their mixers to achieve the spicy sensation: green ginger from Ivory Coast for it has a distinctive lemongrass scent. Cochin, India is the home of the second ginger type used because of its intense earthy flavour we learned. Last but not least the third is from Nigeria with an intense aroma contributing to the mix.

David with the Winter Tale and two Virgin Mules on the right.

David introduced us to the autumn drink 2019:

Winter Tale

  • 4,5 cl Bourbon
  • 2 Dashes of Orange-Bitters
  • 3 cl lime juice
  • 2 cl cinnamon syrup
  • ice cubes
  • 0,2 l Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with an orange zest

Alternatively there was a non-alcoholic version as well:

Virgin Mule

  • 3 cl lime juice
  • 2 cl cinnamon syrup
  • ice cubes
  • 0,2 l Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
  • again garnish with an orange zest

Various drinks with Fever-Tree tonics

In addition to these seasonal drinks we enjoyed some longdrinks which were introduced at the Fever-Tree mixers market this summer as well. Have a look over in the article about that event.

Kyrö Napue Gin with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic

The Botanic District bar

Again living in the city of Hamburg in a fairly central location makes things easy: Many bars in walking distance. So the Boilerman bar is just a few hundred meters away, the Botanic District even closer.

With a range of seasonal drinks like these it certainly is a nice reason to come back not just because of the conveniently close address but for the pure joy of getting a drink made and enjoying it over a chat with friends.

Summarising the event it was big fun to listen to Tim giving some insights about the making and discovery process for the products. There is so much to come I am sure that it will be exciting to follow Fever-Tree for a lot longer than just an evening.

Thank you for the invitation to the event.