As we’re edging closer to February and I don’t have any vacations on the immediate horizon, I find myself fantasizing about longer days and patio drinks.
There are lots of things to love about summer: you don’t need to wear 16 layers of clothing to leave the house, there’s virtually no risk of slipping on ice, you don’t have to shovel, you can get the requisite amount of Vitamin D, you can let your pasty Irish pallor warm to a less vampiric hue (with the help of St. Tropez), and last, but certainly not least, you can sit on a deck with friends and savour your favourite cocktails until the sun goes down at 10 p.m.
My favourite summer sipper is the G&T. It tastes dangerously refreshing – they also seem to evaporate a bit too quickly. When I visited Spain two years ago I learned that the gin and tonic is the national cocktail. The Spanish boast an incredible array of gins and different kinds of tonic
Bar Laurel, in addition to their impressive cocktail program, has introduced a whole list of different gin and tonic interpretations. All served in a large wine glass with plenty of ice, tonic on the side; just like they do in the motherland.
I’ve sampled a few of their creations from their G&T menu and have savoured them all. I’m so impressed by the distinctive nature of each version, all of which are named after different countries.
If you’re looking for an excuse to kickstart your G&T habit before Spring rolls around, whenever that might be, take a trip down to HIntonburg and check it out for yourself.
When I’m whipping up my own take on this classic, I tend toward fresh, green flavours. In this variation, I muddle fresh basil with a squeeze of lime juice before adding gin, a splash of Elderflower Pressé and topping it all off with my favourite tonic.
Garnish with a ribbon of cucumber and the aromatics alone will transport you to midsummer’s night.
- 5 basil leaves
- ½ oz lime juice, or juice from half a lime
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz Elderflower Pressé
- 2-3 oz tonic
Add basil leaves and lime juice to a Collins glass and muddle. Fill with ice. Add gin, Elderflower Presse and top with tonic. Garnish with a ribbon of cucumber.