Gin and tonics, and a secret ingredient

I really loved seeing this story on The Kitchn where 25 food writers revealed their safety drinks — you know, the drink you order when you’re unsure about the bar or the bartender. But I loved this story even more when gin and tonics appeared again and again in their responses.

A G&T is not only my safety drink, it’s my favorite drink. In the booze universe, my stars align, I guess.

Until last year, all gin and tonics I’d ever had were clear. But this summer at home, I’ve been adding a secret ingredient that turns a decent gin and tonic into the best one ever. It also turns it a really pretty amber color.

Curious about this thing that makes a G&T so special?

   

It’s called John’s Premium Tonic Syrup — a great find from a stellar restaurant in Phoenix called the Tuck Shop, known for its G&Ts. The syrup is packed with botanical goodness and made in small batches, and it works like this: instead of adding tonic to gin, you add this syrup to soda water and gin.

It’s not the G&T you’ve always known, and yet, you won’t want to go back. It gives the drink that craft cocktail taste without you having to boil down syrups or muddle herbs or dab on aromatics with a eye dropper or what not.

The bottle even instructs you to bring the syrup with you to bars, you know, to avoid drinking a lesser G&T. Order a gin and soda and add a few drops of the syrup.

I’m not quite that obsessive … but I do use John’s syrup at home, always.

Other preferences: Hendrick’s gin is my favorite because it’s bright and herbal and great with cucumbers from the garden, which is a garnish that I like in my G&Ts. If I’m making it at home, I’ll squeeze in a quarter of a lime, maybe more … because I love lime and hate scurvy.

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