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A Simple, Easy (but not necessarily cheap) Trick to Improve the humble Gin and Tonic
For many years, I didn’t think I liked the humble gin and tonic. For quite a while, I thought it was the gin that I detested, but some smarter friends helped me with some really amazing gin-focused cocktails, and I very quickly moved away from the staple of vodka in favor of gin’s truly special aromatic qualities. At that point I figured I just didn’t care for standard tonic water.
The results of this investigation? One, I really like gin. Two, I like tonic. And three, I do like them together. So what was the issue with all those early drinks that sent me into disgust?
It wasn’t the brand of gin, but actually…the type of tonic water. The syrup-sweetened (and commonly available) Schweppe’s just doesn’t hit it for me. It’s far too sweet, almost like lemonade.
So, if you wish to instantly improve the gin and tonics, invest in superior tonic water. Or at the very least, try a few brands to determine which you prefer, rather than just go with what you can find at the store. Some tonics to look for: Q Tonic and Fever Tree. Or, if you’re feeling specially ambitious, you could make your own tonic syrup and mix it with plain soda. There are recipes online.
The point being, a gin and tonic is a truly basic drink with two distinctive elements, So, don’t skimp on the tonic.
To finish the article….I do still find most tonics overly sweet, even the better brands. Try my trick of cutting the tonic with soda water. I like to do equal club soda and tonic and bulk up the aromatics with two dashes of orange or lemon bitters.
Favorite Summertime Gin and Tonic:
- 2 oz. London dry gin
- 2 oz. Fever Tree Mediterranean-style tonic water
- 2 oz. club soda
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers orange bitters
- Garnish: lime wedge or cucumber slice