Gin and Tonic, simple end of summer sipper

It’s the start of the Labor Day holiday weekend. Growing up in the northeast, this holiday signaled the end of summer. Now that I live in Florida, I know summer does not end in early September but in my reminiscing mind it does end this weekend.

All summer long I’ve mixed up some fabulous cocktails; the Paloma, frozen daiquiris, margaritas, gin shandies, Mai Tais and a host of others. My mixing arms are worn out. I want to make something this weekend that requires minimal work and delivers maximum flavor. The classic gin and tonic meets these requirements.

I’m a long time gin lover, even before it was cool to like gin. Now gin is in fashion again and distillers are making some awesome gins with very unique flavor profiles.

A refreshing classic, the gin and tonic, at The Hele Lau Home Bar

Citrus based gins are one of my very favorites. Brooklyn Gin is one of my all time favorites. It is still a juniper based gin but has added citrus peels to give it a crisp, sweet citrus burst. They boast hand peeled and hand cracked juniper berries. While this may seem a bit pretentious and maybe a touch too cool for me, the end result is a superior product. You can check out their website at

Another of my favorite gins is St. Augustine New World Gin. Distilled in St. Augustine, Florida. The citrus flavor is dominant but there are fascinating spice notes. The distillery offers free tours and they have an attached restaurant, the Ice Plant Bar with amazing food choices to pair with your cocktail. Check out their website

Today, my gin of choice is Boodles. It’s a proper British gin and has a herbal mellow flavor.  This gin was the liquor of choice for my favorite literary character, Travis McGee of the Travis McGee series written my John D. MacDonald. He lives on a house boat in Ft.Lauderdale and romances many a lovely lady on his boat named the Busted Flush. He preferred Boodles on the rocks.

Another ingredient I like to utilize for a G&T is Original Strong Tonic made by Strong Tonic, LLC   Their syrup blends the traditional tonic flavor with a sweet zing using all natural ingredients. It truly takes your G&T to another level. Their website lists some great recipes to try out on a day when I’m feeling more ambitious.

Lazy days call for lazy cocktails and this weekend, I’ve decided the G&T will be my end of summer cocktail. Enjoy and be exotic everyday!

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