The drink pictured is gin with my homemade tonic. This last week we’ve had glorious summer weather despite the calendar telling us it’s autumn. It has been perfect gin and tonic weather, which was lucky as it was the star beverage at my book launch. I celebrated Bitter’s arrival on Canadian shelves with a an event at Reposado. This wonderful tequila bar is owned by friends of mine who, also organized a gin sponsor for the event. Thank you! So the tonic was mixed with Bombay Sapphire East gin and it turned out to be a great match. Bombay Sapphire East has notes of pepper and lemongrass with a mild citrus flavour, and tonic is a mixture of citrus, lemongrass, star anise, allspice and pepper – perfect harmony.
Homemade tonic is not clear like commercial brands. The cinchona powder colours it orange brown and gives it a bitter taste. (Quinine is extracted from cinchona bark). You don’t drink it straight, but mix it 50/50 with sparkling water, and add a slice of lime. It is the quintessential summer drink and it is even good without gin. We forget that bitterness is much more thirst quenching than sweetness, so I urge you to try it. One person who did said,
“…the sensation of drinking homemade tonic water after a lifetime of the store bought stuff was like seeing a full-colour movie for the first time after being stuck all my like with black and white.”
And we all need a little more colour in our life.