Gin was first popularized in England in 1715 and 300 years later, it’s in again. However, like most things the British gave us, we like to put our own spin on this trending spirit. Daniel Kent, of the Institute of Domestic Technology, started with the standard Gin & Tonic—also known as a G&T—and gave it an American flair. At a workshop with a number of aficionados, he started with homemade tonic syrup. The tonic syrup is made from powdered cinchona bark, lime and grapefruit juice and zest and coriander, anise, and allspice. The quinine taste of tonic came when the threat of malaria was paired with the awful taste of the cure. British naval officers began adding the quinine directly to their G&Ts. That’s one way to make the medicine go down.
Another way to Americanize your G&T is to incorporate one of these gins distilled in the U.S. of A. In his tasting, Kent used Junipero and Terroir gins. Junipero is made by the Anchor Distilling Company in San Francisco. Flavored with dried juniper berries and a secret mix of spices and herbs, it weighs in at 98-proof. St. George Spirits’ Terroir is also made in California and is an aromatic, 90-proof gin with the flavors of native California plans like Douglas fir and bay laurel. The last thing is the adding the perfect ice. Kent suggests filling a six-pack sized cooler with water. This way, the water freezes from the top down and forces air and impurities to the bottom. Once frozen, you can break off a chunk of pure, clear ice to add to your drink. Kent recommends adding it last, which creates extra fizz. The American spin on the classic G&T really comes down to quality ingredients and attention to detail. If there’s one thing we Americans take pride in, it’s craftsmanship. When that results in a boozy drink, we’re even prouder.