The Wages of Gin is Intoxication: The Gin and Tonic

Oh, it’s been too long, hasn’t it? Hello, valued and indispensable readers, and welcome back to Six Drinks Too Many, for the first time in many long, grueling months. I wound up not keeping up with my little blog because of this whole planning a wedding and getting married thing. And then I was just lazy for a couple more months.

But a few weeks ago, I decided that I really wasn’t waking up hungover often enough, and should start drinking for my blog once a week again.

So here I am, and I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. I know I missed most of the Summer, but damn it, it’s still hot out, so I can still write about Summer drinks. And there is no more quintessential Summer drink than the Gin and Tonic. So please, read on, and find a good refresher to enjoy these last few weeks of the season.

Gin and Tonic

  • 2 oz Gin
  • Tonic Water
  • Lime Wedge

gin-and-tonicI’m not sure what you expect me to say here. It’s a Gin and Tonic. If you’ve never had one before, then you’ve probably never been to a bar before. And if you’ve never been to a bar before, then you’re probably not part of my target audience. That or you can’t legally drink, in which case, get away from here. This blog isn’t for kids. Go watch some porn instead.

In any case, do I really need to go over this? It’s full of gin and tonic water. It’s good to fight off malaria, and it’s a pretty good refresher. To make it, fill a rocks glass or highball glass with ice, add two ounces of gin, top it with tonic water, and stir gently (you don’t want to ruin the carbonation). Garnish with the lime wedge.

By the way, there are some people who only use the lime as a garnish, and don’t squeeze the juice in. I try my best not to talk to these people.

Two notes before moving on: First, bars tend to use rocks glasses for their Gin and Tonics, but the classic recipe calls for a highball glass. Use what you want, but be aware that it might change the ratio of gin to tonic water. Second, speaking of ratios, the ratio between gin and tonic water varies greatly by recipe. This is my suggestion, but feel free to experiment to find a recipe that works for you.

Elderflower Gin and Tonic

  • 1 1/2 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain
  • Tonic Water
  • Lime Wedge

gin-and-tonic-elderflowerIf the standard Gin and Tonic is just to bitter for you, then this drink is a good choice. It uses St. Germain, an elderflower flavored liqueur that tastes less like elderflower and more like the laughter of kittens and the jiggle of breasts, with just a little bit of sugar. It’s very good.

This drink has a lovely aroma and taste, and the elderflower works with the flavor of the gin quite well. However, I’m going to recommend that instead of dropping the lime wedge into the drink, you squeeze the lime juice in and discard the wedge. The bitterness of the pith is very noticeable in this sweet drink, so you’re better off with just using the tartness of the lime juice to balance the drink.

In any case, make it the same way you would a regular Gin and Tonic, but with the added ingredient. Simple enough, right?

Witch’s Cocktail

  • 2 oz Gin
  • Tonic Water
  • Splash Crème de Cassis
  • Lime Wedge

gin-and-tonic-witchI don’t know what makes this drink witchy, but that’s the name the Internet tells me to use, so that’s the name I will use. Unfortunately, this is not as magical as the name implies. It’s not bad, but it’s probably not a drink I would choose again.

The crème de cassis gives this drink a jam-like flavor. With that, this kind of just becomes another overly-sweet and utterly generic cocktail. This drink is to cocktails what the latest Nicholas Sparks movie is to cinema.

Crème de cassis is usually used in small amounts because you really only need a small amount. I might have a different opinion about this drink if the recipe only called for a dash instead of a splash, but as it is it’s far too much with the relatively small amount that was added. In fact, the gin isn’t even all that noticeable, so it might as well be vodka instead. And If I used vodka instead, this would make it even more generic. Nothing against vodka at all. It’s just that it’s become the most popular liquor in the world by being overused to make cocktails that don’t taste alcoholic. And this just tastes like jelly.

In any case, if you feel the need to make this cloying concoction, make it the same as a regular Gin and Tonic, but add a splash of crème de cassis before you stir. Though, I do recommend that you use a dash instead of a splash. Otherwise, you might as well just make yourself a Gin and Tonic and eat grape jelly straight out of the jar.

Pink Gin and Tonic

  • 2 oz Gin
  • Dash Angostura Bitters
  • Tonic Water
  • Lime Wedge

gin-and-tonic-pinkAh, much better. This is a great way to follow that last cocktail, which just got way too sweet. If your cookies aren’t coming out right, yo should add salt. Similarly, if your cocktails aren’t coming out right, you should add bitters. This rule applies here, and I think I’ve found a better version of the classic G&T.

This drink, by the way, is actually a combination of two drinks: Pink Gin (also known as Gin and Bitters) and the classic Gin and Tonic. It’s interesting, and it works very well.

The bitters add a small amount of very welcome flavor, making this simple cocktail a lot more interesting. As always, you should never overdo the bitters, but they really add a lot here. This drink is very complex and very tasty. Plus, it’s a good way to make yourself feel like a classy motherfucker.

Make exactly how you expect to make it.

Cilantro Gin and Tonic

  • 2 oz Gin
  • Tonic Water
  • 4 Cilantro Sprigs
  • 2 Lime Wedges

gin-and-tonic-cilantroSo, we’ve gone from sweet and generic to bitter and complex to weird and weird. This drink is apparently a real thing and not just something the Internet made up, which was convenient for me because I made some salsa this weekend, and then there was a lot of cilantro left over. Then my wife made some guacamole this weekend, and then there was a lot of cilantro left over. So then I decided to make this drink. And yet there is still a shit ton of cilantro left over. I know it would make it cost even less, but they should really sell cilantro in smaller bunches.

Anyway, this drink is fucking weird. It’s like Gary Busey in a rocks glass. They say that cilantro is one of those foods that you either love or hate. I guess I’m the exception to the rule who happens to be neutral about it. In any case, the aroma of this drink is nice, but the flavor itself is just plain odd. I suppose that the cilantro works with the gin well enough. I think the bottom line is that if you like cilantro, you’ll like this. If you don’t, then you already know that you should stay away.

If you want to enjoy this confusing concoction, start by muddling the gin, three cilantro sprigs, and one lime wedge in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Shake it some without ice, and then strain it over ice into your glass. Fill with tonic water, stir gently, and garnish with a cilantro sprig and lime wedge.

Grandma’s Salty Dog

  • 2 oz Gin
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Tonic Water
  • Salt

gin-and-tonic-grandmas-salty-dogI guess it’s a stereotype that old ladies drink gin. I don’t think my grandmothers did. In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever saw any of my grandparents drink liquor. Not once. But I did see them drink — it was wine, mostly, as one might expect. And if we’re talking about my grandmother, with one of them I think about her drinking not gin, but single-serving size bottles of white zinfandel. The really cheap kind. That she also kept next to her bed. As my fiction writing teacher in college would say, that’s a telling and specific detail.

My grandmother drinking those small bottles of white zin is one of my favorite memories of her, and I’m sure that if you remember your grandmother drinking gin (especially if it happens to be straight from single-serving size bottles), it is one of your favorite memories of her. In that vein, I hope this cocktail does her justice, because it’s definitely kind of old-persony. I mean, gin and grapefruit juice. Is there anything more octogenarian than that?

This cocktail is also a combination of two other cocktails: the Salty Dog (which is traditionally made with vodka, not gin) and the Gin and Tonic. Just a nice little bit of information for you.

In any case, this is the first time I’ve tasted grapefruit juice and not hated it. As with a regular Salty Dog, the salt helps to cut the acidity. Or astringency. Or something. The salt makes it more bearable, okay? Don’t make me use fancy words. The flavors of the gin and tonic water also balnce the grapefruit juice out well, ultimately resulting in a very pleasant drink.

If you want to experience it, first use the grapefruit juice and salt to rim the glass. Then fill it with ice, add the gin, and then top with equal parts tonic water and equal parts grapefruit juice. Enjoy!


What I’ve learned today is really that I shouldn’t spend so much time away from you guys. I’ll be back next week, and the week after that, and so on. I hope you all will be, too.