May 152011

It’s almost summer and now is the time to look into one of the best summer drinks, the gin and tonic. It screams summer and fun while still being manly. It’s one of Eben Foster’s favorite drinks and it got him in a bit of trouble in Possession of Truth.

According to the Bluecoat American Dry Gin Co., gin was invented in the Netherlands in the 17th century and was originally intended to treat kidney ailments. Meanwhile, tonic water, which contained a large amount of quinine, was used to treat malaria for centuries. British soldiers stationed in India mixed quinine with sugar, water and gin to make it more palatable.

Different gins have different aromas. For example, Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray Ten have a complex, spicier profile. Beefeater, Plymouth and the original Tanqueray and Bombay make for a crisper and snappier drink.

While tonic water seems like a fairly easy ingredient, it can make or break a G&T. Always use fresh! The single serve bottles are best. Tonic water goes bad and just tastes wrong in a G&T if it’s old.

Lemon or lime? That’s the million-dollar question. Beyond your own personal preference, which should override everything, lemon goes better with the less complex gins while lime augments the ones with more subtle citrusy aromas. Make sure you use a significant amount of either one as it is an important part of the drink.

Here’s how I like mine:


  • 2 oz. gin
  • 2-4 oz. good tonic water
  • ¼ lemon or lime


  1. If possible refrigerate the gin, tonic water, and glasses prior to mixing.
  2. Cut off a small piece of lemon or lime to use as a garnish. Squeeze the remaining piece into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Add gin, shake, and pour into a 12 oz. glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with tonic water and stir.
  5. Garnish and enjoy.
 Posted by at 8:21 pm