April 26, 2024

What I’m Drinking: Brovo Pretty Vermouth and Tonic

Hey, guess what? It’s the heart of spring (more-or-less), which means the sun is coming out more regularly (hopefully, at least, but hopefully also not so much as to make us enjoy it less), and also that summer is about to rear its sunshiny head, which then means that you and me and all (who are consumers of drinks utilizing booze) need to start to think about refreshing drinks that don’t make you sweat to make them, which are easier to make then this very long sentence. One perfect solution here: XX and tonic. The XX is not a warning, but generic so-as to remind that many things go well with tonic, and end up delicious. Gin, naturally. But many other liquids, too, including other base spirits (rum and tonic: yummy), aperitif-y things (Lillet and tonic: yummy), and one of my favorite “and tonic” things: vermouth. With the right vermouth and tonic, you have an easy to make, wonderful to drink combo. To ensure I have the right vermouth, today I’m reaching for WA-state-made Brovo Pretty vermouth. A blanc vermouth based on Pinot Gris, it has a balanced and beautiful fragrance and taste, backed by hints of spice, vanilla, lemon, and floral notes, it makes a swell partner with tonic. As I had a bottle at hand (and as it’s one of the best of the bottled varieties), I’m going with Fever Tree tonic. I am sadly out – I need to go to the store! – of my local WA tonic syrups cause they would be great, too.

Brovo Pretty Blanc vermouth and tonic

Brovo Pretty Vermouth and Tonic

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces Brovo Pretty Blanc Vermouth

3-1/2 ounces Fever Tree tonic

Lemon slice, for garnish

1. Fill a highball or comparable glass three-quarters up with ice. Add the vermouth. Then the tonic. Still briefly.

2. Garnish with the lemon slice. Oh, and add more tonic as/if desired.

June 5, 2020

What I’m Drinking: Cucumbers and Tonic

I gotta be straight with y’all. I tend to not be into flavored boozes – pre-flavored, that is. Too many taste, to me, like chemical-ized messes. Though, to flip flop, I can say that in our modern world of boozes, with more small, focused distillers using high-end and natural ingredients, there are more and more of these types of bottles that do taste better than in the dark days of yore. And, we are luckier for it. Speaking of lucky, I myself received a bottle in the mail (don’t be upset at me, just be happy for me) just the other day, Prairie Organic Cucumber vodka, and you know what? It’s darn delicious. The cucumber flavor is very natural in essence and personality, smooth, and not overwhelming, approachable and in a positive way, delicate. Nice (well, unless you don’t like cucumber). The base is Prairie’s normal vodka, made from organic corn from a co-op of Minnesota farmers. Also, nice! Their products are becoming more and more available, even in spots as remote as the one I’m typing from, Seattle W-A. Triple nice!


Prairie’s Cucumber vodka is just perfectly ideal for summer, too. And you know what, summer is (by the calendar at least – it may feel already here for some!) only days away. With this in my mind, I recently whipped up a tasty tall treat using said vodka, one that’s a mighty match or summer, easy to make (as you want in summer to reduce sweating), and sure to become a favorite under that bright summer sun: Cucumbers and Tonic. Seems simple, and it is. In it, I up the vodka’s cucumber quotient with a little fresh cucumber, and the rest is much as you’d think it. Go forth now, and enjoy that sunshine.


Cucumbers and Tonic


Two fresh cucumber rounds

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounce Prairie Organic Cucumber vodka

4 to 5 ounces tonic (I used Fever Tree and it worked a treat)

Cucumber spear for garnish


1. Add the cucumber rounds to a cocktail shaker. Muddle well.


2. Fill the cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the vodka. Shake well.


3. Fill a highball or comparable glass three-quarters up with ice cubes. Strain the cuc and cuc vodka into the glass and over the ice.


4. Add the tonic to the glass (go a little stronger or lighter as desired with tonic), and stir well. Add the cucumber spear. Summer awaits.

November 13, 2011

What I’m Drinking: A Fantastic Gin and Tonic

You can call it a G&T if you want (which makes it sound coolly British), but even with the more swinging moniker I probably haven’t had one in, oh, ages. Mostly because I don’t like them, due, I think more often than not, to the tonic tasting something like wobbly aluminum. Even in today’s modern champion bars, where you’ll find homemade tonic here and there, I haven’t gone back. Beyond the tonic troubles, it also traces to a time when I wasn’t able to lay my sticky hands as readily on gin that could take the G&T to the heights I desired in my little boozy heart. So, historically, I was G&T opposed. However, recently, our pal Erika turned 40, and we hosted the party in our garage bar (please don’t tell the fuzz). And Erika, it seems, has a serious fondness for the Gin & Tonic. So, that was one of the drinks on the menu (the other I’m going to detail later in the week). To try and get it worthy of being a celebratory highlight (instead of a low light), I found the finest tonic I could here in Seattle (it was Fever Tree tonic, and it was I must admit darn good) and then mixed it up with a gin from the other side of the country that I’d recently been sent, Brooklyn Gin. Brooklyn Gin has a hefty bottle (and perhaps the heaviest lid ever) that sports all kinds of iron-mongering style, but even better was what I found inside: a gin that straddles the classic juniper-forward gins and the newer floral numbers. So, a hint of the floralness under a juniper and peppery upside that mixed with the Fever Tree tonic perfectly. We garnished this better-by-far-than-normally-served G&T with either lemon, lime, or cucumber. Erika likes the latter, and hey, it was her birthday.

Ice cubes

2 ounces Brooklyn gin (or thereabouts)

Chilled Fever Tree tonic

Cucumber slice (or lime or lemon if you want)

1. Fill a highball or rocks glass three quarters up with ice cubes. Add the gin, and then fill almost up with tonic. Stir a bit..

2. Garnish with your garnish of choice. And a happy birthday song.

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