I did not take a liking to Gin until I was almost 40. Since then I've grown quite fond of Gin and Tonics during hot summer months. Refreshing, light, and crisp, they're the perfect summer drink. And I've learned to make them perfectly.
As with any recipe, the perfect G&T starts with the ingredients. For this drink you will need:
*Limes -- I"ll leave it up to personal taste whether you use regular or key limes. If using regular, a half a lime will do per drink, for key limes use on or two whole limes (depending on HOW small they are)
* Salt -- less than a pinch, literally just a few grains will do. Sea salt is best.
*Gin -- a good gin is of course key to a good G&T. I'm partial to Bendistillery's Cascade Mountain and High Desert gins from right here in Oregon. It's a fairly new craft distillery, but their gins and vodkas are superb.
* Tonic Water -- This, believe it or not, was the secret that led to my G&T's going from good to truly great. There are actually varying qualities of tonic water. The best I've found so far is a brand from England called Fever Tree. Here in Eugene I can get it at Market of Choice. It's pricey stuff, and I don't always use it, but when I'm in the mood for a special, over-the-top treat, this is the stuff.
* Ice -- good ice, preferrably made from distilled water.
Halve the lime around its equator. Cut one half into eighths, use the other half to cut garnish slices. Place half of the lime into the bottom of an old fashioned, add a few grains of sea salt, and muddle, being sure to bruise the skin of the lime. This releases essential oils that really improve the flavor of the drink. add a few ice cubes, 1 ounce of gin, and finally top off with tonic water. Stir, garnish with a lime slice.
Best enjoyed while wearing white and a Panama hat.