Courtesy Adam Gainer, general manager, Leon’s Oyster Shop, Charleston, SC
This gin and tonic is, indeed, a tonic for a sultry Southern afternoon. At Leon’s Oyster Shop in Charleston, South Carolina, frozen G&Ts are always at the ready inside a slushy machine, and almost resemble a snowball in a glass. This home-friendly version relies on a blender or food processor to pulverize ice and create a refreshing summer sipper.
While Leon’s uses Charleston’s own Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Classic Tonic Syrup, bittersweet variations are available all over the country. Here are four to try. Look for them in specialty shops, or order online.
Created by New York City barkeep Tom Richter, this tonic is robust and slightly herbal. Its slogan: “Life’s too short to drink crappy tonic.”
Liber & Co. Premium Tonic Syrup
This Austin-based company makes a wide range of syrups, like this citrus-forward mixer.
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Classic Tonic Syrup
Brooks Reitz named Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. after his great grandfather. Look for hints of lemongrass and orange peel.
Small Hand Foods Yeoman Tonic Syrup
A murky brown color from the red cinchona bark, this San Francisco-made syrup is lightly bitter, with a delicate cinnamon note.
- 2 ounces gin
- ¾ ounce tonic syrup
- Cucumber slice, for garnish
Combine first two ingredients with 1 cup of ice in blender. Purée until slushy. Pour into small rocks glass. Garnish with cucumber slice.