Gin Dandy: Three Tonic Syrups for Your Summer G & T
Gin, tonic, ice, and a lime wedgeâ€”the ultimate summer concoction. The â€śtonicâ€ť part of the equation, however, often holds this crisp cocktail back. â€śMost tonic is terrible,â€ť says Felisha Foster, of Somervilleâ€™s Spoke Wine Bar. â€śItâ€™s really high in cheap, high-fructose corn syrup.â€ť To improve the classic Gâ€‰&â€‰T, Spoke and other spots around town have started to craft their own tonic from scratch. You can make it yourself, tooâ€”or simply let one of the small-batch tonic syrups featured here do the work for you.
The Great Tonic Taste-Off
We field-tested three artisanal syrupsâ€”and one great Italian sodaâ€”with our favorite local gin, GrandTen Distillingâ€™s Wire Works. When making at home, add a half ounce of tonic syrup for every three ounces of soda water. Once opened, the tonic will keep in the refrigerator for up to six months.
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.
Owner Brooks Reitz has worked at some of the best bars in the South, including Proof, in Louisville, and Fig and the Ordinary, in Charleston. His slightly sweet tonic is crisp and bright, with hints of the orange peel and lemongrass he uses for aromatics.Â
$24 for a 17-ounce bottle, available at Ball and Buck.
Former Broadway actor and New York bartender Tom Richter was so tired of cheap tonic mired in synthetic quinine that he created this 100 percent organic syrup. The cinchona bark lends a dark-brown color to the elixir, while the evaporated cane juice gives it a crĂ¨me de pĂŞche quality.
$12 for a 6-ounce bottle, available at The Boston Shaker.
Johnâ€™s Premium Tonic Syrup
Launched at Tuck Shop, in Phoenix, Johnâ€™s is now one of the most popular tonic syrups on the market. In an homage to the Southwest,its creator, John Cavanagh, uses a base of organic agave nectar (rather than simple syrup) blended with citrus fruits and herbs. Itâ€™s earthy, with notes of chamomile, elderflower, and bold lemon zest that bring out the juniper in the gin.
$9 for a 4-ounce bottle, available at Perryâ€™s Wine & Liquors.
San Pellegrino Chinotto
This Italian cola, made from the bitter fruit of Sicilian Chinotto oranges, has the same distinctive bittersweet flavor that can be found in liqueurs like Campari. Top off your Gâ€‰&â€‰T with a float of this apĂ©ritif soda for an extra layer of flavor, or make a quick Chinotto cocktail by combining one 6-ounce bottle with 2 ounces of gin, basil, and a splash of Asti Spumante.
San Pellegrino Chinotto six-pack, $5, available at most Shawâ€™s locations.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/article/2013/06/25/gin-and-tonic-syrups/