Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Better Gin and Tonic

As I've mentioned several times in this blog gin and tonic is just about the perfect hot weather drink.  As a result there are usually several gins in stock during the summer.  Tanqueray Ten, Tanqueray Rangpur, Bombay Sapphire, Citadelle and Plymouth are some of my favorites.  Currently in stock are the Tanqueray Ten and Plymouth. 

My usual recipe is is for a taller drink, and thus less alcoholic, than those served in most bars.  I use a taller glass and add a little more tonic water.

There are two widely available tonic waters in this area, Schweppes and Canada Dry, and occasionally some off brand that pops up on the shelf.   Schweppes has always been the 'go to" brand for me.  That ceased today.

Sitting on a corner display at the market was four-pack cartons of a more expensive tonic water, Q-Tonic.  The packaging caught my eye but the list of ingredients made the sale.  The entire list was water, agave nectar, quinine, lemon juice extract and natural bitters.  What?  No high fructose corn syrup?

With temperatures in the mid 90's today and with a heat index of over  100 it was time for the test.  A glass of ice, a squeeze of lime, two ounces of Tanqueray Ten and  Q-tonic to fill the glass.  There was also a second made the same way but using Schweppes.  The Q-tonic was much less sweet, light and nimble and lip smacking good.  The lime tasted fresher and the bitter element was tart and refreshing.  The Schweppes version was good and what I'm used to but this was like moving from a village white Burgundy to a Corton Charlemagne.  Fortunately the price differential isn't nearly as severe.  A six pack of Schweppes goes for $6 and some change while the four pack of Q-Tonic was $8.  Really good stuff.

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