{experience} A citrussy summer with Fitch & Leedes Grapefruit Tonic

This summer season, Fitch & Leedes is bringing the spirit of African sunsets to your gin glass with the release of their brand-new gorgeously coral-hued premium mixer, Grapefruit Tonic! Spoiler alert: it’s simply delicious, best served chilled with a generous side of Cape Town summer vibes!

Introduction

A few months ago, I received a “Save the Date” email, urging me to book out the 7th of October for the launch of something special in a secret location. Curious unicorn being that I am, I immediately  cleared my schedule for that day. Not only because my FOMO is very real, but more so because the invitation came from Fitch & Leedes. I couldn’t help but wonder what’s brewing in their glass bottles…

Now, if you don’t know already, I’m a super-fan of Fitch & Leedes. I take my spirits very seriously and I’ll only use the absolute best for my cocktails and drinks. Never seizing to surprise me with their innovative and delectable additions to their ever-expanding range, this invitation excited me immensely. My only clue? Wear a touch of coral. Consider it done!

Background

Flirting with delicate fizz and fine balance, Fitch & Leedes Grapefruit Tonic ensures the best taste representation of what was intended by the master distiller. Fitch & Leedes shines the spotlight on the hard work and skill put into creating fine spirits, making it the preferred mixer for most leading distillers.

“A great addition to the Fitch & Leedes line-up, the new Grapefruit Tonic is the perfect balance of bitter and sweet and makes for a crisp, refreshing G&T. We love it with our African Botanical Gin, previously known as our Salt River Gin, where it adds a fresh citrus tanginess to balance the fynbos botanicals,” says Lucy Beard of Hope Distillery, the craft distillery in Salt River.

Fitch & Leedes can be found at leading purveyors of fine beverages, boutique wine shops, selected delis, fine dining establishments and cocktail bars. It sells at around R55 for a 6-pack of 200ml cans or R50 per 4-pack of 200ml glass bottles (press release).

On top of the world

The build-up to the actual day was the highlight of my frantically mad life for a few weeks. Every now and again, we’d get a clue as to what to expect, until a few days before the event, the secret location was finally revealed: Table Mountain! And how fitting, as we’d get to experience the new Grapefruit Tonic on top of one of the world’s most iconic landmarks. Now, that’s top-class (pun intended!).

As things go in Cape Town, we had four seasons in one day and Table Mountain was covered in a dense blanket of mist as we made our way up the cable car that afternoon. Not even the icy cloud bank could dampen our spirits though, as our group of over-excited media played “Twenty Questions” with each other, trying to figure out the new flavour. I secretly and quietly hoped that it would be grapefruit, as I’m pretty much addicted to this ridiculously versatile fruit. Bitter, refreshing and ever so zesty, it was already my most favourite gin accessory.

At the top, we huddled into the venue, which was decorated in a happy contrast to the seven shades of grey that covered the mountain. Bright and warm, in the perfect shade of Pantone Living Coral, Fitch & Leedes awaited us for a little afternoon soirée.

I excitedly made my way to the bar – not necessarily for a drink, but to read the label on the pretty retro-chic glass bottles that lined the counter. I simply had to know what we were celebrating. As always, I wasn’t disappointed, as my gin-dreams came true. I breathed a sigh of relief. We were at the launch of their sundowner sidekick, the brand-new Grapefruit Tonic.

Selina (Audaciously Sels) and Lisa (Polka Dots ‘n Wine) dressing up their drinks!

One tonic, four ways

Fitch & Leedes totally spoiled us for choice that afternoon, and soon the dreary weather was long forgotten, because it was mid-summer inside. Our imaginations were quickly transported to leisurely pool parties on Saturday afternoons, lavish summer sundowner hours on the patio sipping ice cold drinks, or at the beach, with a picnic basket full of Grapefruit Tonics to quench our thirsts.

On offer for the afternoon were four great spirits that were hand-selected to showcase the versatility of the new Grapefruit Tonic. Of course, being The Little Hedonist I am, I simply had to taste them all!

Inverroche

First up I opted for the Inverroche Classic Gin. Crisp, clean and deliciously dry, this gin worked beautifully with the zesty Grapefruit Tonic. The unexpected floral aroma of the gin created a lovely gap for the Grapefruit Tonic to indulge the nose with its delicate citrus perfume.

Cape Town Gin 

Next, I tried the Grapefruit Tonic with the Cape Town Gin Pink Lady. This romantic interpretation of a G&T reminds of rose petals, hibiscus and the gentle tang of citrus. Creating a stunning visual, I adored this flirty and floral G&T for the pretty drink she was.

Hope Distillery

A gorgeous feel-good friendship was forged between the Grapefruit Tonic and Hope Distillery’s African Botanicals Gin. Fynbos and citrus have always been one of my favourite gin combinations, as it’s simply a sensory journey. The earthy, woody tones of the fynbos, gently toned down by the juiciness and strong fruit element from the citrus, calls for the most incredible sundowner drink.

Leonista

I ended the afternoon with a serious mind-bender, but in all the best possible ways. Enter Leonista Honey Reposado, our proudly South African, home grown 100% Karoo agave spirit. These guys are seven shades of Pantone cool, I tell you! Mixed with Fitch & Leedes Grapefruit Tonic, this smokey, smooth and subtly honeyed spirit is elevated to epic new heights, as the zest of the tonic hushes the roar of the reposado just a few notches, leaving you with a full-mouth feel of mellow gold.

Conclusion

Whether you drink Fitch & Leedes in a cocktail or on the rocks, make sure to stock up your mini-bar with a selection of their bespoke mixers and tonics. Always a conversation starter, there’s truly a taste for everyone in the range.

I’m particularly excited about this stunning new addition, with the colour of a Cape Town summer sunset. I have a feeling we’ll be getting very well acquainted this holiday!

Thank you so much for Fitch & Leedes for hosting us up in clouds, as we celebrated your citrus victory with your coral-inspired Grapefruit Tonic!

The Little Hedonist has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, I do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, menu changes, opening times, and contact details.

Disclaimer: I was invited to this event in my personal capacity as The Little Hedonist. There was no expectation for platform coverage in the form of a blog, or social media posts. This is my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.

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