Cocktail of the Week – The G & T and a Guilty Pleasure by RC Dean

I have noticed a number of gin and tonic fans in the glibertariat, to the point where some of you actually make your own tonic from scratch (quelle artisanale, non?). I thought I was being hardcore by not using store-bought tonic and going with syrup-n-soda water tonic, but dayum, it honestly never crossed my mind to make it from scratch. I know some homebrew tonic recipes have been bandied about already; I would appreciate it if you could repost in the comments here.

Gin and Tonic

3 oz. gin (I’ve been using The Botanist, but its probably overkill and I could get away with something a little less expensive/refined).

6 oz. tonic water (my preference for store-bought is Fevertree Indian, but its been at least a year since I didn’t do the home-mixed version).

Splash of lime, lime garnish optional.

For store-bought tonic, pour everything over ice in a highball glass. The proportions aren’t critical here.

For home-mixed, grab a handy measuring glass, add gin, tonic syrup, lime, top off with soda water from your trusty siphon (or add seltzer or soda water from a can or bottle), pour over ice in a highball glass.

I like the Liber Spiced Tonic Syrup, but there’s a bunch of them out there I haven’t tried. Now that we are getting into the summer season (when RC likes him some G & T), I’ll probably order some other brands and do a little experimenting. The Liber is strong – for the recipe above I use around ¾ ounce, and I suspect ½ ounce would be fine. If you’ve never had anything but Schweppes, this will be almost unrecognizable – pronounced bitter flavor, some body (of all things in a mixer), and a lot of flavors going on.

I live in Arizona, where our summer drink season is long. I find that I lose my taste for Scotch in hot weather and even for rye or bourbon to some extent, and I drink mainly gin, rum, and tequila cocktails. We’ve already covered some of my favorite rum and tequila cocktails, but there is one more Casa Dean regular I have to put out there: the Jack and Coke. We use Mexican Coke made with cane sugar, which delivers a better drink. Mexican Coke is not hard to find in Arizona – I actually get mine at the local hardware store.

But seriously, RC (you’re undoubtedly thinking), Jack and Coke? Frankly, it’s a nostalgia thing. Mrs. Dean and I both remember these from our high school and college days, and nothing takes you back like the tastes and smells of your youth. Cocktailing is about enjoying a drink, about whatever works for you. Gearing up, adding some showmanship, all that is fine if you have fun with it; if you just like to keep it simple and cheap, well, de gustibus, my friends. You can call my Jack and Coke a guilty pleasure, but when it comes to cocktails in my book, there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure.

Calvados update: I snagged a bottle of the Berneroy XO. Not as refined as the Busnel Vielle Reserve VSOP, with more of a kind of pronounced winter apple flavor. For something like this, though, a little more rustic isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Spot the Not: Lyrics from National Anthems by Derpetologist

1. What the alien power has seized from us, we shall recapture with a sabre

2. So we have taken the drum of gunpowder as our rhythm and the sound of machine guns as our melody

3. He who is a true man is not frightened, but dies a martyr to the cause

4. Oh God, bless our bullets, bayonets, and grenades

5. The path to glory is built by the bodies of our foes

6. How can this fiery faith ever be extinguished by that battered, single-fanged monster you call “civilization”

7. Let us all fight, every one of us, for our black country

8. And if we have to die, what does it really matter?

9. Countless fighters died for our beloved people

10. Facing the enemy’s gunfire, march on!

11. There sat in former times, the armour-suited warriors, rested from conflict

12. Do not fear a glorious death, because to die for the motherland is to live