Now that summer is officially here according to our social calendars, gin is in. Every gin drinker has a favorite way to make a gin and tonic. For some, substitutions will not do. We have several ways of making this refreshing cooler, and they all have the same 2:1 ratio of tonic to gin. One of our readers wanted to know about tonics and how they interact with different brands of gin.
"I've been trying to perfect gin and tonics for the summer, but always feel that the mainstay tonics - Canada Dry and Schweppes - could stand replacement with a better product. I've heard of a few boutique tonics, but haven't had any luck locating any. Can you identify these products, and possibly even do an evaluation of various tonics?"
- Chris Boerboom, Brooklyn, NY
So to answer Chris's question, we did a gin-and-tonic tasting using four different gins and three different tonics, all in a 2-parts-tonic-to-1-part-gin ratio, plus lime wedge. Now, remember, taste is very subjective, but we made a few discoveries along the way, namely that a dry gin is preferable, and that tonic with corn syrup is a little too sweet and leaves a bitter and somewhat chemical aftertaste. That said, here are our favorites:
Overall, we prefer London Dry Gins (the drier the better, with mild juniper taste) and Fever Tree Tonic (available at finer grocery stores . . . ask your grocer to stock it).
You may have your own preferred brand of tonic (there are lots more out there). You may want to try Q Tonic and Fentimans with your favorite gin and see if any sparks fly. And by all means, don't stick to the 2:1 ratio if that doesn't cut it. After all, it is your drink. Don't settle for something you don't like.
Gin and Tonic
In a highball glass filled with ice, add the gin, stir a bit, and then top with tonic. Give it another quick stir. Garnish with a lime wedge for extra flavor.
Serve with potato chips or some other salty snack.
For more recipes, and for cocktail-party food pairings, visit us at CocktailBuzz.com.
Photo (c) Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz