You’ll have your own mental calculation for deciding when exactly to make the springtime switchover to white liquor from brown. I find I break out the gin every year on Masters weekend, whether I’d planned to ahead of time or not. It has something to do with seeing all those azaleas in bloom on television. For some, though, the transition doesn’t always go smoothly. Here then is a reminder on how to make a gin and tonic the right way:
Go out and get yourself a Scotsman model tk home ice maker and have it installed in whichever room in your house you use to mix drinks. The tk produces cubes that are cold, large, and clear and won’t melt away to nothing immediately on contact your tonic water the way most machine-made cubes—especially the ones that come out of those cussed ice makers that are hooked up to kitchen refrigerators—always seem to do.
- Fill a highball glass with ice. If you are feeling frisky, use a pint glass the way my pal Kevin Taylor does.
- Pour in a jigger of gin. (A jigger-plus if you chose the pint glass.) Any brand is fine, but you can do a lot worse than Tanqueray. Substitute vodka if you’d like, although I can’t imagine why you would.
- Fill the glass with tonic water. Schweppes is fine, but I occasionally have a weakness for one of those gourmet brands like Fever Tree.
- Squeeze a lime wedge into the drink, then run the wedge around the rim of the glass.
- Sip and enjoy.
Sounds easy, right? Yet I’ve been served gin and tonics over the years where one or more of these steps was mangled badly or omitted altogether. There’ll be no garnish, for instance, or the drink will arrive in the wrong shape glass, or will contain too large (or not large enough) a portion of gin. (And don’t get me started on tonic from a gun compared to tonic out of a bottle.) In any event, the gin and tonic is one of those rare drinks that are better homemade than out at a bar. Follow the steps above and you can’t miss.