kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

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The Quest for the Fizziest G&T

When I'm not partaking in a glass of wine, I'm most likely sipping a refreshing, limy, fizzy gin and tonic, especially in the summertime. (Though Mojitos are a close second, as we have mint growing out of control in our garden. But sometimes they just require too. much. effort.)

My gin of choice is Tanqueray, although we typically buy Seagram's because it's a lot less expensive and still makes a damn good G&T. I also prefer Seagram's tonic to Canada Dry, though either is fine (just as long as it's not diet tonic. Ugh.) And I like at least a quarter of a lime, squeezed as much as possible to extract the maximum amount of juice. As you can see, it's pretty much an exact science for me.

An article in the August issue of Bon Appetit about the return of the highball (of which a gin and tonic is actually a variation--it's just that the mixer (tonic) is a bit sweeter than the standard highball mixer (soda))--suggests always buying the small glass bottles of tonic so that each drink is as fresh and fizzy as it can be.

We have always purchased the 1 liter bottles of tonic, which yield about 5 or 6 drinks in our favorite acrylic patio highball-sized tumblers, and average about $1.20 a bottle at our local grocery store (versus $3.29 for a six-pack of 10 ounce glass bottles..) However, unless we are entertaining, we never finish a bottle of tonic in one night, and by the next evening, it's flat but flat.

Tired of wasting tonic, or having less than stellar cocktails, I finally came to my senses and got the 6-pack (which, ironically, turns out to be just as cheap if not cheaper when factoring in wasted or flat tonic...) Ahhhh...it makes so much of a difference, even when compared next to a just-opened 1 liter plastic bottle. The glass most likely retains pressure better, and perhaps the seal is tighter--the plastic bottles never seem to have an expiration date more than a few months in the future, while the glass bottles I just bought are good until March of 2008. At any rate, as I type this, my drink tastes fresh, fizzy and delicious.

Too much analysis for a minor topic? Maybe...but a decent G&T makes me happy. :-)