I've discovered that I love making drinks on the fly. People tell me what they like, and I try to make a drink that will suit their tastes. Here are a couple of cocktails, cooked up by yours truly at a few different holiday parties, that were especially well received. You can think of these two GnT (that's Gin & Tonic, for the uninitiated) variations as "his" and "hers" Gin & Tonics. I bet you'll be able to guess which is which. But don't let yourself be limited - I like them both.
The Hemingway Gin & Tonic
It's the GnT meets the Hemingway Reviver: refreshing, savory, challenging.
2 oz gin
juice and peels of 1/4 lime
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
tonic water (or soda water)*
Add 2 dashes of bitters and the juice and peels of 1/4 of a lime to an old-fashioned glass. Fill the glass with ice, add the gin, and top with tonic water. Stir once and serve.
and then there's...
The Very Special Gin n' Tonic
A little twist on the St. Germain Gin & Tonic. The lime balances out the St. Germain nicely for a drink that is sweet but complex.
2 oz gin
1.25 oz St. Germain
juice of 1/4 lime
tonic (or soda) water*
Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Add the gin, lime, St. Germain, and fill with tonic water. Stir once and serve.
*In the interest of full disclosure, I feel obliged to point out that these drinks were originally made with soda water, not tonic water, since I think tonic water is nasty and bitter and don't usually keep it around. So technically, to start out with, they were gin & soda variations, not gin & tonic variations. For the purposes of this experiment, I purchased some tonic water, and it was every bit as terrible as I remembered, but somehow it made the drinks taste better. Confused? I sure was. Anyway, feel free to substitute as you please.
Edited to add: There has been much discussion on my facebook page about what is the best brand of tonic water. I don't really feel qualified to weigh in on this, since I got the store brand, but take note that if you make these drinks properly, in an old-fashioned glass full of ice and with 2 oz of gin, you won't need much tonic water. More like a splash. I know a lot of people make their GnTs half and half, but this is more like a gin and gin and tonic. Yum.