We tried all the gin and tonic varieties at Waterfront and here is a definitive ranking of them all

I took one for the team

When Waterfront added a separate gin and tonic menu a month or so ago, there were those who were skeptical. Fever tree tonic? In a student bar? We thought it would be a short lived thing, assured that after a week normality would be restored and we could go back to plastic glasses of Gordon’s and Schweppes quite happily.

However, two months down the line, and it's still here. Obviously I had to take one for the team and test everything available, of course pairing the gin with the recommended tonics.

The Classic – Gordon's and Tonic

You can't go wrong with this. It's cheap, its familiar and it isn't a funny colour or have fancy tonic in it. A dependable old favorite, this is always a solid option to fall back on. Rating: 6/10

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The Upmarket One – Hendricks and Elderflower Tonic

This is ridiculously decadent and makes you feel incredibly pretentious, especially when it is served to you in a blue stemmed chalice. (When I appeared at the table with it my friend helpfully said that he didn't order a bath of gin….) It is worth the judging looks however – it's so good. Lethal though, you can quite happily get through four doubles without realising that it's alcoholic and then wake up the next morning with no money and confused as to why you have a headache. Rating: 9/10

The Pink One – Tanqueray and Aromatic Tonic

This is a bit of a weird one. Tanqueray with normal tonic is banging, so I wasn't convinced about pairing it with the curiously pink tonic, but actually it made it better. It's pretty bitter, and I wouldn't want to drink more than one but it's a good one to start off with and sip slowly. Rating: 6/10

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The Blue One – Bombay Sapphire Gin and Mediterranean Tonic

The thing that makes this is the tonic water. I like Bombay Sapphire generally, and the tonic is banging. It's kinda spicey and citrusy and makes the gin taste so good. Two of these in and I'm laughing… Rating: 7/10

The 'Exotic' One – Whitley Neil Gin and Mediterranean Tonic

I hadn't come across this gin before so I didn't really know what to expect. The description promised 'notes of potpourri and exotic spice', and I have to say, this was pretty accurate. Not even the glorious tonic could save this one; it did taste a bit like the dried petals I took for crisps at my grandma's one Christmas… Rating: 4/10

The Northern One – Liverpool Gin and Tonic

This is the most expensive gin on the menu so I was expecting a lot and, thankfully, it stood up. I savoured this one, making the most of my £3.50-worth of gin. It's one for the gin lover; it is like double strength Gordon’s, quite bitter and, according to the description, that's because it's 'heavy on the juniper'. Whatever it was, it was worth it and I would happily get it again; doesn't need a fancy tonic 'cause the gin does all the work! Rating: 9/10

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The Basic One – Beefeater Gin and Mediterranean Tonic

Nothing can save this gin. I have a long running hatred of it, so I almost didn't try it, but the prospect of my favorite tonic with this made me less reluctant to try it. However, nothing could save it. It still remains my least favourite gin ever and I was affronted that it was more expensive than a classic Gordon’s. Rating: 3/10

The Local One – Sipsmith Gin and Aromatic Tonic

Sipsmith is one that I have always seen on the bar but never tried; for some reason I've never picked it. First time for everything, so I happily tested it out with some of the strange pink tonic water. It was pretty good; very dry and another good one to sip slowly. It also made me realise that I'm not a huge fan of the pink tonic – it's flavoured with angostura bitters so makes for a very bitter drink. Not one I could drink loads of, but the gin was pretty good! Rating: 5/10

The Fruity One – Sipsmith Sloe Gin and Lemon Tonic

I love sloe gin and I usually drink it on its own, so the idea of mixing it with something seemed a little strange but I was determined to soldier on to the end. I don't think the lemon added huge quantities, but it did help to cut through the sweetness of the sloe gin. Again, this is one that is dangerous as you don't realise quite how alcoholic it is until you stand up and the floor won't stop moving! Rating: 6/10

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1,2,3 … i'm on the floor lol

The Nautical One – Plymouth Gin and Aromatic Tonic

The return of the pink tonic water didn't bode well, however the end was in sight so I powered through to the end. And actually, it wasn't too bad! I think that the gin is sweeter than the other ones that are paired with it, so it made it more bearable. I had the gin afterwards with normal tonic and it was ace and definitely one for those who aren't a fan of super bitter gin! Rating: 5/10 (but 7/10 with normal tonic!)

So essentially, the gin menu is a brilliant thing and it makes me happy. It allows me to stand in Waterfront with my ridiculous bath of gin and look out at the view and feel great. Sure, it might not be everyone's thing, but no one is making you drink it if you don't want to. I like being able to have stupid gin and curly fries of an evening, don't judge me….

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