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Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

The Secret To A Perfect Gin And Tonic

What's the secret to the perfect gin and tonic? Fresh, high-quality ingredients. Alcohol, thank goodness, has no shelf life, but tonic water is the ticking time bomb for those nights (few and far between as they are) when we're making just one or two drinks. Tonic syrup is the brilliant, delicious answer, and we've fallen in love with the clean, bracing taste of Small-Batch Tonic Syrup made in Charleston, South Carolina.

Brooks Reitz, the founder of Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., loved gin but cared about the things he was putting into his body. He didn't want a bunch of crappy tonic in his drinks (they taste bad and are bad for you*), and he didn't want to serve crappy tonic either! So he set out to make his own.

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. sources all their ingredients from an American company that specializes in selling the best botanicals from around the globe. When Brooks first founded Jack Rudy, he was producing the syrup in one-gallon batches in his home kitchen. From there, he moved into a catering kitchen and began to produce five-gallon batches, and then bumped up to 10 gallons. Today, they produce their tonic in 250-gallon batches in Charleston. The basic process remains the same, but the kettle is 15 feet tall rather than three feet tall.

Brooks describes his syrup as "essentially a quinine concentrate," but it's the hint of lemongrass and orange peel that give this just enough complexity to hold up to the rich botanicals in our favorite. Plus, if you have seltzer and this Small-Batch Tonic Syrup on hand, your tonic water will never be flat! All these elements make for literally the best V&T or G&T we've ever tasted. Seriously, some of the people on our team who didn't even like those cocktails are now huge devotees – all because of this syrup.

Okay, now we’re thirsty:

The Perfect Gin & Tonic

1 ¾ once gin
½ ounce Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Small-Batch Tonic Syrup
Soda water

DIRECTIONS

1. In a Collins or highball glass, combine your favorite gin with Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. tonic syrup and ice.
2. Top with soda water, stir and sip.
3. Repeat as necessary.

*The reason your standard “tonic water” isn’t good for you is because it doesn’t actually contain real quinine! During WW2, supplies were cut off by Japanese military conquest, which led the big companies to start reproducing it from chemicals. Real tonic, tonic water and tonic syrup is actually made with quinine, which is from the bark of a tree grown in Peru. 

Happy GIN-uary! To celebrate, we’re giving you 10% off all craft gins, all month long. Just use the code GINTASTIC at checkout. 

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