Ever since I developed my Adult Drinking tastebuds — they come in like wisdom teeth as you age — Gin and Tonic has been my go-to drink of choice. Something about it. That sweet tonic with the bitter gin and the slice of lime, makes the world feel right. And they have it everywhere you go.
Unfortunately, those days are over.
I just got spoiled. I took this El Guapo tonic syrup home, and it ruined everything. I pitted this upstart tonic syrup against good old Canada Dry in a home-based taste test, and now I’m thinking I’ll never settle for that standard cocktail again. This El Guapo is too good.
Here’s how it went down:
I bought club soda because the mix calls for carbonated water. Once at home, it felt a little strange mixing 3 parts Club Soda, 2 parts gin and 1/4 to 1/2 parts tonic syrup. And since I don’t have any shot glasses, I decided to use a measuring cup. (Yes, this was painfully scientific, y’all.)
After adding ice cubes to my trusty old mason jar, I poured in three 1/4 cup servings of Club Soda, two 1/4 cup doses of gin — this felt like a lot — and one-half a 1/4 cup of tonic syrup — this barely felt like enough. The result had a murky red hue, like when your water comes out of the tap looking like rust.
I swished it around, took a sip and was blown away. Fresh lime juice was the prevailing flavor, but the carbonation and sweetness really reminded me of the Moscow Mule I had a few days prior. Very light. Very delightful and refreshing. I didn’t know gin and tonic could be like this.
But the testing wasn’t finished. Next, I mixed up a gin and tonic with Canada Dry, took a taste, and immediately shunned it. It’s so inferior, I can’t go back. The damage is done.
Now, I’m scheming about ways to take this tonic syrup out with me to the local pub. Maybe I can order a gin and soda and sneak a tablespoon of this stuff into the cup. It’s worth a shot because the alternative is becoming a recluse who only drinks at home.
My social life may never recover.