Memorial Day kicks off the summer season and the gin & tonic is the official drink. Hot weather demands lighter, brighter libations than we typically enjoy during cold months.
This is an essential highball and perfect antidote to summer heat. It made such an impression, I remember the exact occasion I had my very first!
History of the Gin & Tonic
The history of gin begins in ancient times from 500 to 1500 A.D. during the middle ages. Originally conceived as an herbal medicine it has evolved into the popular spirit we enjoy today.
Its invention is credited to the army of the British East Indies Company. Stationed in India where malaria was a common illness and for which quinine was the cure, necessity became the mother of invention. Quinine alone is too bitter to swallow, so they added gin, sugar and lime juice. This combination of ingredients created a chemical reaction that negated the bitterness of the quinine and voila, the prevention of malaria became an enjoyable cocktail.
Today’s tonic doesn’t need a medicinal dose of quinine and is also pre-sweetened. Gins provide endless flavor variations and the number is growing thanks to the explosion of craft distilleries. Go ahead. Establish the noble goal to try them all.
Let’s pause now. It’s hot and I’m thirsty. Let’s make a great summer drink!Print
Gin and Tonic
The official Memorial Day Highball!
- Yield: 1 1x
- 2–1/2 ounces gin
- 4–5 oz tonic water
- Key lime wedge
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- Fill a highball or double rocks glass with cubed ice
- Pour over the gin, then top off with the tonic water
- Squeeze the lime wedge juice into the drink
- Garnish with the sprig of rosemary
- Jiggle, but do not stir. Allow the drink to mix organically as you sip
- Repeat. Don’t drive.
Raise a glass to the fallen on Memorial Day because they are the reason you stand.