The gin and tonic is most often thought of as a warm weather cocktail.
The drink was invented in India as a means of getting the red-coated soldiers of The Raj to take their bitter, anti-malarial quinine, and modern Gin and Tonics are usually served atop a column of ice to boot. So, the irony that International Gin and Tonic Day is on October 19 should not be lost on anyone.
That said, you don’t need an Indian Summer to enjoy a G&T on its holiday. Instead, reach for a signature riff based on one of these crafty gins.
Corsair Distillery Barreled Gin and Tonic
Nashville’s Corsair feels its barrel-aged gin is a better match for cooler weather, and they concocted a Fall and Winter seasonal riff around it. Taking the concept further, Corsair uses the barrels leftover from making their spiced rum to age this gin, instead of the typical used bourbon barrels. Thus, it’s an ideal complement to an October G&T holiday.
- 1 1/2 oz. Corsair Barreled Gin
- 1/4 oz. Yellow Chartreuse Liqueur*
- 3 oz. Fever-Tree Lemon Tonic Water
Preparation: After mixing the ingredients together, garnish with lemon or orange twist. *Optional: and can be substituted with two star anise, or whole cloves.
KOVAL Cranberry G&T
“For me, [our] Cranberry Gin Liqueur is the perfect base for a crisp, tart, and ever-so-subtly autumnal G&T,” says the resident mixologist at Chicago’s KOVAL Distillery, Zach Overstreet. “It’s a match made in heaven with anything bubbly.” As the cranberry harvest is an autumnal thing, that gin liqueur fits in nicely with October 19. Overstreet also recommends using a fancier tonic, but if one uses a classic like Canada Dry, his advice is to jazz things up further with a dash of Angostura bitters.
- 2 1/2 oz. KOVAL Cranberry Gin Liqueur
- 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- 4 oz. Tonic Water
Preparation: Mix ingredients together in a highball glass full of ice and serve.
Wigle Distillery The Cardi-Gin
The folks at Wigle Distillery drew inspiration from one of its hometown heroes, Fred Rogers. Although Mr. Rogers was a teetotaler, so many of us grew up with him that I can understand and forgive those Pittsburghers for wanting to name a drink after him and his sweater, and (coincidentally) that is an ensemble that fits this Fall gin drinking occasion pretty well.
- 1 1/2 oz. Wigle Organic Gin
- 1/2 oz. Cardamom Simple Syrup*
- 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3 dashes of Wigle Organic Rosemary Lavender Bitters
- 4 oz. Tonic Water
Preparation: Mix syrup, lemon juice, and gin in a Highball glass. Add ice, top with bitters and tonic water.
*Cardamom Simple Syrup
Equal parts sugar and water stirred over heat with cardamom pods until sugar is fully dissolved.
Copper & Kings’ Spanish Rosa Gintonic
As they actually say down in Louisville at Copper & Kings, this riff takes the classic and looks at it through rose-colored glasses, while the drink itself is deceptively complex. The starting point is impressive in and of itself. The History of Lovers rose gin is made from distilled apple wine, this macerated with rose hips, rose water, sweet orange, tangerine, lime and pink grapefruit peels, alongside jasmine and lavender petals, coriander, pink pepper corns and licorice root before being distilled again with rose hips and pink grapefruit in the gin basket, before finally being macerated again. In the middle, it’s just a G&T, but then the garnish takes it over the top.
- 1 1/2 oz. Copper & Kings the History of Lovers Rose Gin
- 6 oz. Tonic Water
Preparation: Combine ingredients in an ice-filled wine glass, express an orange peel into the drink. Then garnish with grapefruit, juniper berries, dehydrated orange, and edible flowers.