Friday, May 28

Drink Spotlight: Gin and Tonic

I realized yesterday that it's probably been several months since I've even thought about putting up any booze-based information, and while the vast majority of my (imaginary) audience is way more interested in guitars than in gin, I felt I was being untrue to the spirit of this place! So I decided I'd share with you one of my all time favorite cocktails: the Gin and Tonic.

What? Way too simple? Pedestrian, even? I'm okay with that. As much as I appreciate a well-crafted cocktail made with foreign and difficult to obtain ingredients and mixed just perfectly, there's a lot to respect with the simple G&T. For one, in the modern-era bars where service is defined as speed at all costs, one of the very few cocktails that is "safe" to order is the beloved Gin and Tonic. It's really, really difficult to screw up, particularly in most bars where the hand holding the liquor bottle is a bit on the light side. It's one of very few cocktails that you can order in a bar that will turn out exactly like you'd expect, no matter what bar you order it in. And, well, gin is delicious.

That's not a popular opinion, but it is mine. Whenever I try or get a new gin, the iconic Gin and Tonic often does as much for me in telling me about the gin as taking it straight. The other litmus-test cocktail for me on the gin front is, of course, the Martini, but there are a lot of gins out there that simply aren't balanced well for a Martini, some of which will give you a truly awful drink no matter how you mix it. Tonic is forgiving, however.

So, let's talk about it:

The Gin and Tonic:
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • tonic water
In an 8 oz glass filled with ice, build gin and top with tonic water. Garnish with lime.

Extremely easy, but there is one detail that is very important, and is often missed or misunderstood by the beginner. The term "top" is a very dangerous one, as any recipe that involves topping a cocktail with something needs to pay very, very close attention to the size of the glass. In an 8 oz. glass, as I've suggested, this will tend to work out to around 3 oz of tonic water, which is just about perfect, once the ice melts a bit. A bigger glass will require more gin, a smaller glass, less, but always try to account for the volume of ice, and attempt to get your tonic:gin ratio to 2:1, as that's where the magic happens with this particular drink. Once you've found a suitable recipe for any particular glass, this actually makes dispensing Gin and Tonics extremely easy, as the only ingredient requiring measuring is the gin.

This drink, perhaps more than any other, is summer to me, so wherever you are, as the temperature begins to approach that of the ninth circle of hell, enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. This just occurred to me: the Ninth Circle of Dante's Hell is ice cold! But I very much appreciate where you're going with it, especially with the summers around here.