In my first porch cocktails post, I professed my love for a refreshing G&T. I also mentioned that I was in the midst of crafting some homemade tonic syrup in an effort to spruce up my go-to summer indulgence. Even with memories of this hilarious, disastrous saga in the back of my mind, I was itching to make my own tonic. I’m not one to be scared off by horror stories of DIY gone wrong. In fact, anecdotes like these have been known to encourage me. So, I found a recipe through David Lebovitz’ blog, and hunted down my ingredients, adapting the recipe to suit my needs.
What says summer afternoons on the porch like a gin & tonic? It’s the perfect drink to have in hand while I lounge and read, which is the inspiration for my summer porch cocktails series. Sadly, I’ve finished my spring stash of the stellar nectar that is Hendrick’s gin. It was a wonderful transition into summer, and made even a standard weeknight cocktail feel like a treat. Now that I’ve taken off my academic hat in favor of a little summer downtime, though, I’m embracing less formal concoctions. I stumbled upon this WSJ article—with tons of suggestions for upgrading a G&T—just as I was transitioning from my favorite spring cocktails to their summer cousins. I was inspired to experiment, so I sampled a few G&Ts made with Hendrick’s gin and Fentiman’s tonic. They were incredibly delicious—with more complex botanical flavors and less sweetness—but I don’t find that their undoubted superiority warrants the steep price of the ingredients. A humble combination of Seagram’s extra dry gin and Canada Dry tonic is perfectly acceptable, in my opinion. I pay this drink the same respect I would its pricier counterpart, and find the ritual equally enjoyable.