No. 209 gin and tonic made with Italicus di Rosolio di Bergamotto, fennel fronds and orange peel from Sachet in Dallas.

No. 209 gin and tonic made with Italicus di Rosolio di Bergamotto, fennel fronds and orange peel from Sachet in Dallas.

Ben Torres/Special Contributor

At Sachet, Spanish gin and tonics are a big deal. Four to five of them lead off the restaurant's seasonal beverage menus, and each is made with a different premium gin and lavishly garnished. This fanciful style originated in Spain, and is trending on both sides of the Atlantic now.

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More complex and aromatic than the British original, Spanish gin and tonics are served in large goblets filled with big ice cubes for thorough chilling. The drink's garnishes - far more elaborate than the classic lime twist - aren't just for show. 

"Garnishes are chosen to highlight prominent flavors in the gin," says Chelsea Kolter, general manager of Sachet. Since there are many styles of premium gin, flavor profiles vary widely among Spanish gin and tonics. "Ours don't taste like a Christmas tree," Kolter says.

No. 209 gin and tonic made with Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, fennel fronds and orange peel from Sachet in Dallas.

No. 209 gin and tonic made with Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, fennel fronds and orange peel from Sachet in Dallas.

Ben Torres/Special Contributor

Depending on the gin, Sachet's herbal additions to the drink may include rosemary, sage, cilantro, or basil sprigs. Joining them are more garnishes, like edible flowers, olives, whole spices, and fruits ranging from citrus zest and slices to berries and cherries.

In some Spanish bars, gin and tonic drinkers choose their gin as well as a top-quality tonic water that complements the gin's flavors. Sachet makes its own all-natural tonic water steeped in cinchona bark, but Kolter says the Fever Tree brand is a good substitute if you're mixing drinks at home.

Our favorite of Sachet's Spanish gin and tonics is made with Distillery No. 209 gin from San Francisco. The gin's profile features citrus (including bergamot orange), floral, and warm spice notes. To boost those botanicals, Sachet enhances the drink with a splash of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto (a bergamot and floral liqueur), big strips of orange and lemon zest, and edible flowers. A sprig of fennel fronds balances the flavors. It all adds up to a refreshing, approachable and exciting gin and tonic.

A bottle of No. 209 gin and a gin and tonic drink made with Italicus di Rosolio di Bergamotto, fennel fronds and orange peel from Sachet in Dallas.

A bottle of No. 209 gin and a gin and tonic drink made with Italicus di Rosolio di Bergamotto, fennel fronds and orange peel from Sachet in Dallas.

Ben Torres/Special Contributor

Sachet's Spanish Gin and Tonic with Distillery No. 209 Gin

Fill a large balloon glass with big ice cubes. Add a fat strip of orange zest and lemon zest (each about 3 inches long), a couple of edible flowers, and a sprig of fennel fronds. Add 2 ounces of Distillery No. 209 gin and a splash of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto (both sold at Pogo's and Total Wine in Plano). Slowly pour 5 ounces of good quality tonic water (such as Fever Tree brand) into the glass. Stir gently.

Source: Sachet restaurant

Tina Danze is Dallas freelance writer.

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