Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Tonic for Modern Life

the new g & t (in the making) fig. a: the new, improved G & T in the making

Ever thought to yourself, "What's the point of using a premium gin in a G & T if I'm just going to end up killing all those intricate aromatic notes with a nasty high-fructose 'tonic' water?"

Yeah, I know: we haven't either. Not in so many words, anyway. We've often longed for a better take on tonic water. We've also refused to give up on the dream of a true G & T, one whose tonic water had enough character to stand up to a premium gin, and none of that unnecessary soda pop business.

Well, we're happy to report that Montreal has taken another small step towards joining Cocktail Planet, because now there's an artisanal tonic water available at some of the city's chicest bars and a handful of its savvier retail establishments. The tonic water in question? Q Tonic. Not too sweet, not too carbonated, not affiliated with CBC radio in any way (it actually hails from Brooklyn), made with hand-picked quinine from the Peruvian Andes (tonic water's ancestral homeland), and sweetened only with the subtle, mellow flavor of organic agave. Seriously. Pretty bottles, too. Most importantly, it tastes great and marries well with your better gins.*

We've been believers in the medicinal powers of quinine for some time, but our rule concerning gin & tonics used to be something like the rule bluebloods apply to short pants: only between Memorial Day and Labor Day (or Victoria Day and Labour Day, depending on the context), with exceptions made for freak heat waves and travel made to warmer climes. We're anxious for spring and summer, of course, but with a new tonic water in town, and your common cold being a much more serious threat here in Montreal than, say, malaria, we see no reason not to put our new, improved G & T to work immediately.

Where can you buy Q Tonic? Our local boucherie, Chez Vito, carries Q Tonic in two sizes. Small single-use bottles are $2.50 each, while the larger, more economical bottles are $7.99--perfect for parties. It ain't cheap, but it sure tastes good.

Ask for it around town.


* or better vodkas, if that's your poison.


At Home with Kim Vallee said...

This is good to know. I stopped drinking gin and tonic a few years ago. I stopped by Vino to make my provisions of Q tonic and buy some meat.

Christian said...

Btw, the Hendricks bottle of gin in your picture, amazing stuff.

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