Summer is in full swing.
This season’s adult beverages focus on beer, wine, rum based drinks for a tropical feel, vodka based drinks for the- ‘is there any booze in the drink?[giggle, giggle]’ feel and the horrible wine cooler- which should be banned.
No where in the summer mix is the humble and simple yet classic, warm weather/tropical drink: The Gin and Tonic.
The Gin and Tonic requires nothing fancy or a special skill set to prepare. Gin, tonic water, ice and lime. That is all.
Each ingredient has a purpose:
Gin for its botanical flavors. Without botanicals, gin would be vodka’s English cousin. Each gin has its own unique flavor based on distillation and botanical mix. You may need to try a few Gins to find the flavor you most enjoy. Distillation removes the impurities and creates a smooth warm sensation. Low end gins are not distilled as well and you can taste the difference. The botanicals give gin its juniper scent and flavor and vary with each Gin brand.
Tonic water has carbonation which helps mix the Gin, tingles the tongue and contains quinine, an essential element in the battle against malaria. While deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan Gin and Tonics might have provided the much needed quinine with better after effects than the pills we took.
Ice aides in the Gin’s dilution and gives the drink a cooling refreshing effect. I cheat and keep my Gin in the freezer, using more tonic water to achieve my desired dilution without affecting the flavor.
Lime gives the Gin and Tonic a summery feel as well as a great way to fight scurvy. In the 21st Century, who wants to battle scurvy- prevention is the best method.
Gin- the price can range from very inexpensive[barely drinkable] to fairly expensive. Not quite as expensive as a high-end 12 year old single malt Scotch, but maybe close.
You will indirectly pay for inexpensive Gin with a post drinking headache as the under-distilled impurities ravage your body.
Bombay Sapphire and Hendricks are my ‘go to’ Gins. However, Uncle Val’s is closing in on the top two. If I want to save a few dollars, then Gordon’s is a very drinkable yet frugal Gin. I do not want to save a few dollars, so you will not find Gordie anywhere in my house.
Tonic water- does make a difference based on carbonation, sugar content and water quality. On occasion, I used high end tonic water and am not fully convinced the water is worth the extra money. I am willing to experiment and try a few more tonic water brands.
Lime- fresh limes will provide the best and strongest flavors. If not given a choice, you might have to skip the lime versus using a dried out or old one.
The Gin and Tonic, a humble summer time adult beverage, which might be “Under-appreciated”.