There are many things I learned from my Grandfather when he was alive. But almost always, the one the resonates with me the most wherever I go is his wisdom to always put gin in a dirty martini. It was my affinity for gin martinis–fueled by the wisdom my grandfather gave me–that fostered my love of gin and tonics which ultimately leave me swooning when I have perfectly excellent ones, such as the ones available at Carthay Circle Restaurant at the Disneyland Resort.
When Justin and I moved to Orlando, I was soon on the hunt for the best gin & tonic in town and quickly found it at Cask and Larder in Winter Park, Florida.
This “Southern Public House” style restaurant serves up some seriously delicious seasonal southern-style food, hand crafted brews and a seriously killer gin & tonic on tap. This place uses Half Moon Orchard gin that’s stretched and carbonated with Jack Rudy Small Batch Tonic and served with fresh herbs, including pink peppercorns. I could seriously drink one all night.
While I love sipping on a gin and tonic, I’ve found that during the summer, it can be a bit heavy for some. While I usually make a nice wine spritzer for guests at a summer party, my love of good gin as pushed me to create a super light, citrusy, and airy version of a gin and tonic anyone could enjoy all summer long.
I think the key here is really my garnish of fresh mint from my garden over the traditional lime wedge. I slap the leaves to release a few of their oils (thanks for the tip, Bar Rescue!) before placing them at the bottom of my glass, it adds a little cool flavor to the gin that’s perfect for hot summer nights.
To make up for a lacking lime, I add a splash of Perrier Lime sparkling water to my tonic. The citrus flavor comes through without heaving down the effervescence.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Perrier Lime Sparkling Water
- Fresh mint for garnish
In a tall glass, take a small handful of mint leaves and slap them together in your hands. Add the mint leaves to the bottom of your glass and add ice until the glass is about half full. Pour gin to cover the ice. Fill the remainder of the glass with a mixture of Perrier and Tonic (about 1/3 Perrier for every 2/3 tonic).
What’s your favorite summer cocktail? Share it with me in the comments.
For more summer suggestions, check out my Pinterest.