Despite the simplicity of its name, mastering the gin and tonic is not quite as simple as throwing some ice, gin, tonic and lime into a glass. This cocktail was first introduced by the army of the British East India Company because quinine, an ingredient in tonic, could be used to treat malaria. Today, many tonics have replaced quinine with artificial flavoring. Add in a soda gun, and it’s no wonder the general impression of a G&T is that it’s just okay.
However, at Jaleo at the Cosmopolitan, bartenders not only use Fever-Tree tonic with real quinine (which comes with its own tasting notes online), they also have perfected the craft of this simple cocktail. Earlier this year, chef José Andrés introduced the Citrus Gin & Tonic ($20), featuring Oxley English dry gin. The gin’s grapefruit notes meld with earthy coriander and herbaceous mint, bursting through the tonic’s champagne-size bubbles for a refreshing—and refreshed—take on a classic.
Citrus Gin & Tonic
1½ oz. Oxley English dry gin
6 oz. Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic
3 coriander seeds
1 lemon wheel
1 grapefruit peel
1 mint leaf
1 ice sphere
Method: Add gin, ice and garnish to a wine glass. Top with tonic tableside.