I'm not generally a big gin and tonic fan due to the bitterness of tonic water. Gin, however, is my favorite. Why? It single-handedly adds so much complexity to a cocktail, especially if you choose a gin with a wider variety of botanicals than just juniper. After getting some very exciting additions to my cocktail arsenal for the holidays (my friends know me very well), I thought to give the classic G + T another chance, but with a twist. An elderflower and cucumber twist.
My neighbors have always been supportive of my cocktail adventures and were very sweet to gift me FeverTree elderflower tonic water and an exciting array of bitters. Another friend gave me a cucumber and lime syrup from quince & apple. If you have never heard of quince & apple, now is your chance to fix that and eat and drink everything made by them. I may be partial to them because they're based out of Madison, WI but their cocktail syrups and jams are inventive, natural and absolutely delicious! Another plus is that the syrups are very concentrated so a little goes a long way.
Conveniently, elderflower, cucumber and citrus are always a wonderful combination of flavors - light, floral and refreshing - and pair well with multiple types of liquor. To sweeten the deal, I used Rehorst Gin by Great Lakes Distillery. Three cheers for mixing with local ingredients! My friend had long talked about Rehorst being the only gin she enjoys and I understand why - it's different from the rest. Rehorst is made with sweet basil and Wisconsin ginseng, making it a touch more floral and earthy than other gins. In other words, it doesn't just taste like drinking Christmas.
The G + T
- 2 oz gin
- 1 tbsp quince & apple cucumber and lime syrup
- 1 quarter lime
- FeverTree elderflower tonic water
Cut a sliver off the lime wedge and set aside for garnish. Squeeze the rest into a tall glass filled roughly halfway with ice. Add gin, cucumber and lime syrup and elderflower tonic water per your personal preference. Stir, then garnish with the remaining lime sliver and a colorful straw. Enjoy to cool down after an adventure-filled day.