It’s like Pimm’s o’clock, but with gin.

Keeper is not a big gin and tonic fan. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for a sneaky G&T, particularly on slightly stressful budget airline journeys – or, like today, right after being forced to spend an hour with a speeding metal box on wheels and a bunch of homicidal maniacs (yep, you’ve guessed it – learning to drive in France is no picnic!).

So naturally I was looking forward to trying this:

A little bit more expensive than normal gin at something approaching £18 a bottle, I was swayed by the potentially seductive flavourings of Earl Grey tea and lemon in my G & T. Surely that bergamot twist would provide something different in my drink – plus, I’m a sucker for exclusivity, and the fact that this is only available at Waitrose and formulated specially by one of Britain’s top chefs…well, who could resist?

Sadly, I should have done. It’s not that it doesn’t taste nice. It does. BUT IT JUST TASTES LIKE NORMAL GIN.

Yesterday I tried it as a simple one-shot, one-unit measure (that’s 25ml) mixed with 100ml-125ml of tonic, and was underwhelmed. So today I upped the measure of gin slightly to 30ml (just under what you get in the pub apparently), thinking maybe I just hadn’t been cavalier enough with the alcohol. However, this too was to no avail – and frankly, if it is any different, I don’t really want to have to keep upping the measure just to find this out, or (worse maybe) to have to drink it straight up. Firstly, as mentioned, this gin doesn’t come cheap, and secondly, a 25ml shot is already one unit of alcohol. Women are only supposed to drink 12 units a week, and while I’m confident that I rarely (if ever) exceed this, I don’t want to start upping my tolerance again (at uni I built up quite a high tolerance and it got me nowhere good). Plus, I’m trying to lose weight again, and while this may happen naturally a bit when I return to work in 2 weeks’ time, I somehow don’t think you’re supposed to cancel out the 300 calories you just burnt off at the gym with repeated G&T tastings. (For what it’s worth, 35ml of gin contains about 70 calories.)

So all in all a disappointment. I’ll just have to set my sights on my next alcoholic adventures – a bottle of port with the family at Christmas…!