I remember the first time I ordered a gin and tonic in a bar. It was 2001, and I had not long since turned 18. I remember my friend’s reaction: “Why did you order that? Old women drink those!” Little did either of us know that, in a few short years, gin would become the most popular drink in the UK.
Long gone are the days when bars could get away with only stocking Gordons gin–with tonic off the tap! You cannot get away from the stuff nowadays. So, with that in mind, I thought I’d develop a recipe for a G&T cake. This is not just any G&T cake, though: this is my G&T drizzle cake!
One of the methods I have used to impart the flavour of a G&T into this recipe, is a tonic syrup. It’s a simple process, taking a bottle of tonic and boiling it to reduce the volume. You can do this with most fizzy drinks. Here we are reducing it down to a pourable syrup. If you reduce it further, you end up with a smaller amount of syrup (with a lot of condensed flavour). A more condensed flavour means that you can use to flavour buttercream, sauces, and even ice cream!
As for the gin, well… You don’t have to use your best, small batch stuff for this recipe. In fact, a good old London dry gin will work perfectly. The cake itself is an orange sponge but you could also use lime (and lime tonic) too, if you prefer.
This cake is a little boozy, as the gin is added to the cake neat. You can add it to the tonic water before you reduce to a syrup, if you prefer. I find the gin can get a bit lost this way, though. If you do add the gin to the tonic before reducing, most of the alcohol should burn off. (In case you were worried about the implications of having a second or third slice!)
Gin and Tonic Drizzle Cake
For the G&T drizzle
- 1 litre slim line tonic
- 50 ml London dry gin
- 100 g sugar
For the loaf cake
- 250 g butter
- 250 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs large
- 1 orange (zest only)
- 250 g plain flour
- 2⅓ tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 2 lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
Making the tonic syrup
- Pour the tonic water into a large saucepan together with 10g of your sugar.
- Bring the tonic water and sugar mixture to a boil and reduce down for about an hour until only 150-200ml of liquid remains. Once reduced, leave to cool.Whilst your tonic water is reducing, we can bake the cake.
Let's make cake
- In a mixing bowl, beat together your butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition to avoid splitting.
- Next, grate in the zest of an orange before sifting in your flour and baking powder.
- Fold in the flour until fully combine.
- Spoon the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin. Give the tin a light tap on the work surface to ensure it gets into the corners.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer placed in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Do not remove the cake from the tin at this stage but prick it all over with a cocktail stick and leave to cool for 15 minutes. At this point, your tonic water should also be reduced and cooling too.
- Once both tonic water mix and cake are cool, it's time to drizzle.
Making the drizzle
- In a clean bowl, pour the tonic water syrup and the remaining 90g of sugar.
- First, drizzle the cake all over with the gin; then, repeat the drizzling process with the tonic drizzle. You want the cake to be covered completely with the sugar/tonic drizzle but not so covered that it is water-logged!
- Leave the cake to fully cool before removing from the tin. I like to decorate with slices of candied peel before serving.