You may think this the title refers to some sort-of ear-bursting occurrence, but actually, it’s a taste-exploding occurrence, because it refers to the new tonic syrups available in Washington state – which are awesome and which will change your life. Not just for G&Ts, but for many more drinks, these crafted-with-care ingredients are swell. So well that I wrote a tonic syrup Seattle magazine article, which you should read, so you can be swell, too. So, get your Tonic Boom on.
I was recently in the U.K. (London, Dover, Warehorne) with wife Nat and some of my bestest pals, Jon and Nicole. It was a groovy trip (you should visit all three places, right now!), and we had oodles of English fun. At the beginning, in old Londinius, we had a little apartment, and while we visited some swell bars (especially Oriole, which is wonderfully dreamy), we also hung out in the apartment drinking G&Ts. To do it right, the G we used was from the East London Liquor Company, picked up at their stall at the bountiful Borough Market.
The first distillery in London’s east end in over a century, the East London makes vodka, rum, whisky, and of course gin, including their flagship Dry Gin, which is what we had! Made from 100% British wheat and using both vapor and direct infusion of spices, citrus, and juniper, it boasts a clear juniper and lemon/grapefruit taste underlined by cardamom, coriander, and more. Yummy stuff. We also picked up a bottle of 3/4Ounce Tonic Maison tonic syrup – from Montreal! We were very international. The Maison has a steady bit of cinchona bitterness and spices and mingled nicely with the gin. It all made from some wonderful moments, sitting around with good friends sipping while discussing the wonders of London.
1. Add the Tonic Maison and East London Liquor Company gin to a brandy snifter (or highball, or whatever glass they have at your rented space, as the case may be). Stir briefly.
2. Add a decent amount of ice to the glass. Top with the club soda. Stir well, but carefully.
3. Garnish with the wedge. Dream of London (or, if you’re there, of Montreal).
Hello G&T lovers! It seems this summer stalwart is having yet another moment in the sun, as every bar and their bar’s mom are talking about how they have the finest types of gin mixed with the finest types of tonics and more variations than you could count. However! One of the actually finest G&T programs is at Seattle’s fresh Naka (the bar, not the restaurant, which is also fresh, and really, they’re connected, so who’s pulling hairs? Not me), where I recently went, had their newest G&T, talked to energetic and awesome bar star Nic Virrey, and then wrote about it in a Seattle magazine article you should read right now. Thank me later!
*See all Seattle magazine pieces by me
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.
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.