Spanish-borne AC Hotels by Marriott has teamed up with renowned photographer Nigel Barker to create a custom-designed Gin Tonic glass, and also teamed up with BACARDÍ to create the perfect tonic to be used in a Gin & Tonic cocktail, following nearly three years of research and development.

We spoke with Barker and Benoit Racle, senior global brand leader and senior director for AC Hotels for Marriott International, about drinking Gin Tonic cocktails from this custom glass, developed to heighten the taste, aroma, and palate experience for the drinker.

Talk to us about the partnership with BACARDÍ to create a unique Gin & Tonic recipe and custom Gin & Tonic glass.

The Right Glassware is Everything

The Right Glassware is Everything

Benoit: The partnership between BACARDÍ and AC Hotels to create a unique Gin & Tonic and custom Gin Tonic glass is a testament to AC Hotels’ mantra of always obsessing over the details. The carefully crafted Gin Tonic (as the drink is known in Spain) glass and cocktail evoke the European soul of the brand, which has its roots in Spain. The artistry of BACARDÍ’s House of Bombay gins combined with the scientific expertise used to create the glass ensure our guests will enjoy a Gin Tonic like they have never experienced before.

Nigel Barker

Nigel Barker

Tell us about the custom-made glasses.

Nigel: The Gin & Tonic is an iconic cocktail, and my favorite one to wind down the busy workday with. However, unlike most other famous drinks, it didn’t have its own glass. In fact, everywhere I went, they served G&Ts in different glasses—highballs, tumblers, giant wine glasses … you name it, the G&T is served up it. Over the years, I noticed certain assets that each glass possessed, like a weighted bottom to give the drink gravitas, but also a place to hold the drink so the ice would melt slower. A tulip-shaped glass helped the effervescence last longer; a tall, slender highball glass got all the proportions of gin, tonic, and ice just right. So I combined all things I liked from all the different glasses and worked with a university research team to get the perfect tulip shape to maximize the bubbles, and viola! A new G&T exclusive glass was born.

The Right Glassware is Everything, botanicals in copper bowls on display

The Right Glassware is Everything

Talk to us about the AC’s G&T cocktails.

Benoit: AC Hotels has two G&T cocktails: the ACGT (in partnership with BACARDÍ) and the Signature Gin & Tonic. The ACGT uses a unique tonic syrup recipe, made from exotic natural ingredients from all over the world that creates a delicious flavor while not disguising the gin. The tonic syrup is mixed with soda water and then paired with Bombay Sapphire East gin—a combination of unique botanicals including Thai lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorn, and the world’s first gin specifically designed to pair with tonic. The drink is presented with garnishes of fresh orange peel and a thinly sliced lime wheel to emphasize the flavor profile.

The Signature Gin & Tonic comes in a brandy snifter glass and is made with Hendrick’s Gin and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water, and is garnished with cucumber peel, lemon swath, and star anise.

The Right Glassware is Everything, bottles on bar display

The Right Glassware is Everything

In celebration of the launch of the AC Gin Tonic glass, Barker has divulged his top tips for snapping the perfect Insta-worthy photo of your ACGT

  1. Focus on the details: Details matter, particularly when it comes to photography. Capturing the exact moment when the bubbles from the tonic reach the top of the glass or spending time to arrange the garnish so it looks perfect can be the difference between a good picture and a great one.
  2. Look beyond the expected: Don’t just snap the picture head on—think about some unusual angles to make your picture intriguing. Try taking your picture from the top down, showcasing the perfect ring of the glass, or from down below, looking up to play around with perspective.
  3. Find beauty in imperfection: I’m a big believer in the beauty of imperfection. Don’t worry if your photo is a bit blurry, or if you accidentally capture something or someone in the frame that you didn’t intend to—it’s aspects like those that can give a photo character.

To learn more about the Gin Tonic glass and AC Hotels’ approach to focusing on the details, click here and watch the latest film in AC Hotels’ “Unpacked” creative campaign, which focuses on the creation of the Gin Tonic glass and features Nigel Barker. “Unpacked” shakes up the rules of traditional hotel marketing by taking travelers on an artistic and poetic journey, going behind the scenes with the people responsible for the detail-oriented moments that define the AC Hotels by Marriott experience.

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