Meet the Guardian Daniel Schönecker, co-founder The Duke Munich Dry Gin (°1979)

What is it that you look for in a great tonic? What characteristics does it need to have, for you to like it a lot?

The sweetness says a lot about a tonic in my opinion. I really don’t like tonics with a very artificial sweet flavour. Also that sweetness has to be very well balanced to the bitterness that is essential to any good tonic. I think harmony in a good tonic is really key.
I also prefer my tonic to be served ice cold!

We’ve asked you to create your perfect serve. What was the process you went through to create it?

Perfect Serve: The Duke Munich Dry Gin – Juniper Berries & Zeste of Orange – Erasmus Bond Classic Tonic

Because we use orange blossoms in the production of our The Duke Munich Dry Gin, I really like to enhance this flavour with the zeste of an orange. Also The Duke can handle a quite dominant garnish like this. The zeste also provides a nice roundness to the drink and a tiny amount of bitterness. I’ve added the juniper berries because we produce a classic style of gin, with a dominant juniper nose and taste that I like very much. I also feel that a garnish of a perfect Gin & Tonic should be easy so everyone can do it at home. None of that fancy bartender stuff for me!
I prefer The Duke paired with the Erasmus Bond Classic, because I believe that the role of a tonic is to enhance the flavours present in the gin. I really like the Erasmus Bond classic because it doesn’t add any flavours to the gin and really supports it very well. The balance between the bitterness and the sweetness that I talked about earlier really is top notch here, good job!

What’s your favourite Erasmus Bond Tonic, and why?

I really love the Erasmus Bond Classic Tonic. It is super well balanced, and the fact that it matches perfectly with my own product is definitely a plus. It’s also not too citric like a lot of tonics available nowadays. I really like to use the fresh zests of citrus fruits as garnishes in my Gin & Tonics, a strong citric flavour in a tonic is often too much on top of that in my opinion.