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Monday, April 26, 2010

April Rain

In a Shot:  Cocktail of the month is called April Rain, a perfumey, citrusy upgrade to the traditional Gin & Tonic.

The fun part about making these cocktails of the month is coming up with countless ideas to use.  Last year in May I devised a new and improved gin and tonic simply called John's Gin & Tonic or the Gin & Johnic.  Inspired by the blooming dogwood trees in front of my house, it's just a Henderick's G&T that's been hopped up with cucumbers, bitters, rose water and lime juice.  A very tasty alternative to the original (though there is absolutely nothing wrong with a classic Gin and Tonic as I am a purist at heart).

I wanted to take it a few steps further this year and came to a final product properly named, April Rain.

Tanqueray Gin spiked with St. Germain elderflower & Cointreau orange liqueurs perfumed with Angostura Orange Bitters, Orange Blossom and Rose Waters all crisped by freshly squeezed lime juice.  Oh!  And of course, tonic water!  Here I've garnished it with an orange twist, but you could use other fruits or top with edible flowers to spoof things up as desired.  If you decide to venture out and create these drinks on your own, it's the fresh lime juice and quality of gin as well as the quality of the tonics that are going to make this one stand out.

When making any gin and tonic I recommend using the Tanqueray products, Hendrick's, Bombay Sapphire, Plymouth or Bluecoat gins as your base.

If you are not up for the time and energy to make your own tonic water, there are several companies trying to upgrade the original one and one classic cocktails.  For excellent tonic waters I highly recommend sniffing out United Kingdom based Fentimans fermented tonic water which has bags of flavor and will add an additional 0.5% ABV to your cocktail!  Another I would suggest would be the New York based Q-Tonic that is naturally sweetened with agave nectar and lemon using Cinchona bark and Peruvian quinine as it's flavor enhancers makes for a slightly medicinal and quite citrusy concoction.  The last I would pursue would have to be the British based Fever-Tree presented in a recycled bottle and is sweetened using cane sugar packs a limey citric acid background in a nice and light combination.  I suppose I need to also add that if you are going to end up going for any of the big brand name tonic waters available on the market or if their is just no other choice, please ladies and gentlemen, buy Schwepps, it's the best of the high fructose corn syrup offerings by large margins!

All of these tonics and gins have their own websites and I highly recommend looking into all of them and finding the combination that suites you the most.  The gins are all so different and the tonics are all so different that it could take all summer finding your favorite and personalized G&T.  So I suggest getting outside and enjoying one of them, tell your spouse it's an experiment!


Glass:  Rocks Glass
Garnish:  Thin orange peel
Method:  In a cocktail shaker with ice, vigorously shake ingredients and pour contents into a rocks glass and top up with tonic water.  Rub the skin of orange peel around the rim of glass then twist over top of cocktail and float on top as garnish.

1 1/2 oz Perfumed/Aromatic Gin
1 dash St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
1 dash Cointreau Orange Liqueur
Generous Dash of Orange Bitters (Fee Brothers or Angostura)
2 Drops of Orange Blossom Water
Top up with high quality Tonic Water


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