summer drinks: gin and tonic

When we were 21 (or thereabouts. Ahem.), my college roommate and I discovered the wonders of Hypnotinis. If memory serves, the Hypnotini was a drink made from Hypnotic, that always classy electric blue liqueur, mixed with pineapple juice and vodka. We generally kept the Smurf-like bottle in the house at all times, and were known to mix quick drinks before going out, tote the bottle and the other ingredients to parties, or just wind down with one at the end of a long week.

We were so cool.

One of the local martini bars made their version, as well as a lip-smacking, jolly rancher-esque Appletini. I never was able to get on board with the Chocolatini, which somehow tasted too strong. But the citrus-based ‘tinis did it for me every time. This bar, which opened during our senior year, became the new “the” place to go on a Thursday night to feel sophisticated and special. You sat at the bar, a cute bartender flirted with you, and then you sipped your drink out of a tall, shapely glass while you contemplated your next order, each possibility sounding more adventurous than the next. I think we imagined ourselves as if we were being photographed for a teen magazine, or were playing at what adulthood cocktail hours would be like. At the very least, we pretended to be our very own Sex and the City (or rather, Sex and the Small College Town).

In my old age (ha), I tend to keep things more simple. I’m more likely to have a Hefeweizen than a cocktail, and when I do have a mixed drink, nine times out of ten it’s a margarita. But in the summer, few beverages are more refreshing and invigorating to me than a gin and tonic. Served in a shatterproof glass by the pool, on a wrought-iron patio table while someone grills steaks, or in my scratched, cloudy tumblers, it’s a breeze to make and it cools me down. Put away the Hypnotiq, grab a bottle of good gin and some limes, and try it.

Gin and Tonic
Serves 1

1 oz. gin
Tonic water
Juice of 1 lime, plus a wedge for garnish

Fill a tumbler with ice. Pour in gin, top with tonic water, and squeeze in lime juice. Swizzle, garnish, serve.


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