For many of us, there is only one summer cocktail: the gin and tonic.
But this summer is shaping up as an opportune time for devotees to pause and add a new twist to their warm-weather routines. In recent years, bartenders and drinkers, armed with a new array of craft tonic waters and a drive to experiment, have been slowly discovering that the quinine bite of tonic goes well with a surprising number of other spirits.
“Tonic is an all-in-one cocktail,” said Thad Vogler, an owner of the San Francisco bar and restaurants Bar Agricole and Trou Normand. “Cocktails are a balance of two or more of the chief four flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, salt. With tonic you have bitter and sweet ready to go. Toss a nice spirit in, and you’re all set.”
Here are four combinations that have been winning favor, all of them as easy to make as the classic G&T.