There is something a little buttoned-up about the Gin and Tonic – I always picture a very tightly-wound British Bank Employee coming home from work, walking over to his wet bar and loosening his tie while pouring a stiff G&T. He takes that first sip, breathes “ahhhhh” and then chats with his wife about Polo or biscuits or the Tube or bopping up to the Country for a bit of a holiday or something else terribly classy and not Reality-TV related (a favorite conversation topic in this household because we are not very classy).
While I love Gin (as witnessed here and here and here), Gin and Tonics haven’t really been a favorite drink around here. They are a bit sweet for me and we never stocked tonic water because we drink it so rarely a big bottle would go flat. But there is no denying that occasionally nothing hits the spot like a G&T, especially on a warm Spring day.
Enter mini bottles of tonic water! So cute on a bar cart and totally practical if you only make Gin and Tonics very rarely. I bought the Schweppes brand at the grocery store, but these Q Tonic bottles are pretty (although not mini) and supposedly this brand is less sweet – I will have to try it next time!
Traditionally, Gin and Tonics are made with lime but I wanted to switch it up (especially with the price of limes right now – nutso). While wandering through a local liquor store recently I spied a bottle of Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur made by Leopold Brothers, a small batch distillery located in Denver, CO. The bottle and label were too pretty to pass up so I snagged a bottle. And right on the bottle is a recommendation to add the liqueur to a Gin and Tonic! Perfect!
A small bit of the liqueur adds some complexity to the cocktail, but it doesn’t taste of artificial cherry. It adds a more tart burst of flavor. I love the liqueur so I will definitely be trying a few of their other offerings (Hello Coffee Liqueur and Blackberry Liqueur) as well as giving their Gin a try (I have seen it stocked in many bars, must be good!).
If you’re in the mood for something light and tasty, give this Tart Cherry Gin and Tonic a try:
Leopold Bros Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur
Fill a glass nearly to the top with ice.
Pour two ounces of gin and half an ounce of Leopold Bros Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur into the glass.
Fill the glass the rest of the way with tonic water.