Desmond Payne’s perfect gin & tonic recipe. The classic gin and tonic – the G&T – is one of life’s great pleasures. It is a simple combination of two great ingredients, both of which is designed to compromise, to be versatile and to excite. Quite simply, it is a marriage that works. Each party bringing out the best qualities of the other.

Gin, infused with medicinal juniper that was the cure-all of the middle ages, and tonic water, delivering the quinine that kept our world-exploring ancestors free from malaria.

A well-known tonic water brand claims something along the lines that if three quarters of your gin and tonic is the tonic, then you had better choose a good one. Equally, I would suggest, that the remaining one quarter, the part that makes the drink sing, is key to the marriage. The complex flavours of Beefeater Gin with juniper and bitter Seville orange as the top soloists in this flavour choir.

My motto is ‘keep it simple’ so,

My perfect Gin & tonic:

• I use a rocks glass
• 3 lumps of ice
• 1 part Beefeater London Dry Gin
• 3 parts unflavoured, chilled tonic water
• Lemon wedge garnish (not squeezed and definitely not rubbed round the rim of the glass!
• You don’t need a straw. You’re all grown up now!

Tip 1: keep the tonic in the fridge – you don’t want to melt the ice too quickly.

Tip 2: when the Seville oranges are in season they make a wonderful substitute for the lemon garnish