The first mixed drink I ever had was a Gin & Tonic. It was Bombay Sapphire, either Canada Dry or Schweppes tonic and lime wedge. It was the only mixed drink I knew for a long time. Back then, I mainly drank wine that would make me cringe today.
The Gin & Tonic was my mixed drink of choice until I discovered Whiskey & Ginger Ale, which I drank for the next 8 years. I’d have a G&T once a year in the afternoon of that first day that felt like Spring. It was okay, but eventually, even that stopped. I wanted it, but I started hating the taste and texture of tonic. To be blunt, it was syrupy and made me phlegmy. It was worse from the speedgun in bars than from a fresh bottle. I was turned off.
Yesterday, I read this article. I’ve known about the new generation of tonic waters for a few years, but I was so turned off previously, I haven’t had any interest in trying them. Today in the grocery store I saw the Fevertree Tonic on the shelf and and decided it was time to give the Gin & Tonic another chance.
Gin & Tonic (recipe from Gary Regan’s Joy of Mixology)
3oz tonic water
Combine in a rocks or highball glass over ice.
Garnish with a lime wedge.
You know what? It’s a different drink than I remember. It’s crisper and cleaner and frankly, I’m not phlegmy. Will I drink these often? Probably not. But now that I know that there are decent tonic waters available, I’m more likely to drink cocktails with that call for tonic. Adding a new ingredient to my bar arsenal is always good thing.
(Barsenal? Hmm. Maybe I should change the blog’s title.)
UPDATE: If you can find it, I recommend Fentimans tonic water. It has a unique flavor profile due to the addition of lemongrass and kinda makes me want to throw rocks at other tonics.