Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gin & Tonics, Tom Collins and a Rickey

The last time Cory was in town, we decided to find the best tonic water for your standard Gin and Tonic. We tested five tonic waters:

Canada Dry in the Plastic 1 liter bottle ($1.29 per bottle)
Tom Thumb brand in a 12 ounce can ($1.25 per six pack)
Target Brand (Market Pantry) in the plastic 1 liter bottle ($0.99 per bottle)
Q tonic Artisanal Tonic Water in an eight ounce glass bottle ($7.99 per four pack)
365 Organics (Whole Foods) in a 12 ounce can ($2.50 per six pack)

Our Gin of choice was Boodle's London Dry, and we eyeballed the ratios of gin to tonic to lime. Adjustments were made if we felt they were too strong or weak.

After a round of tasting, here's what we came up with.
The overall winner was the Whole Foods brand -- good carbonation/quinine flavor and minimal sweetness. The whole foods brand tonic water is made with real sugar, instead of corn syrup, which we both believe made for a cleaner tonic taste.
Second place in my book was the Q-tonic brand. This stuff is in your face tonic, with a strong quinine flavor. Sweetened with agave nectar, it has the same minimal sweetness, just enough to take the edge of the quinine. Q-tonic is fantastic, but really too expensive to be used for daily or weekly tonic making.
Third was the Canada Dry, your standard tonic. It's good.
Fourth and fifth are really not worth mentioning. The Tom Thumb tonic is really sweet (not that you would notice if it was the only one you drank), and the Target brand was lacking in the carbonation department.

Our Tonic testing got me thinking about other Gin cocktails. Namely the Tom Collins and the Gin Rickey.

Cory and I got some Tom Collins mix when we were in college, and tried it out. That was a mistake, and it turned me off to the Collins for many years. I recently re-discovered the Collins, and will provide you with a recipe for your enjoyment.
Tom Collins:
1 Ounce fresh Lemon juice
1 Ounce simple syrup
3 Ounces Gin
Club Soda to fill the glass

Mix your lemon juice, syrup and gin in a highball glass, add club soda to fill (4 ounces?) and a few ice cubes. Enjoy.

Similar to the Collins, the Gin Rickey replaces the lemon juice with lime. Since limes generally have more tartness, I'd use about 1/2 the amount of lime juice. True, the original Rickey does not use sugar/syrup, but I like the added sweetness.