Another glass of gin and tonic please. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Another gin and tonic, please. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Last night, Donna and I sat out on the front porch and had a gin and tonic. It was perfect. The air was perfect. It was quiet, no lawnmowers buzzing. The air had that lovely early evening haze. It was so lovely in fact that neither of us said anything. We just sat. We’d planned this. To have a cocktail at six before I went in to make dinner. And we didn’t say anything. We just sat and enjoyed the air, the perfect temperature. The towering oaks across the street. The lushness all around us.

And we enjoyed a gin and tonic, in the above glass, a glass we’d received more 24 years earlier as a wedding gift. It’s the perfect gin and tonic glass, not so small that the gin over powers the tonic, not so large that the tonic washes out the gin, heavy on the bottom, thin and elegant at the top. After 24 years of marriage, I can say that this was a superlative gin and tonic, when all the elements that allow one to enjoy such a cocktail came together: the warm still air, the evening birdsong, the glass, the citrus, the cool elixir, the woman beside me, and the need to utter not a single word.

I may ask Donna to join me again tonight and not say anything. It is perfect gin and tonic weather.

Happy summer Friday, all!

Gin and Tonic

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 4 ounces tonic (or to taste)
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
  • lime wedge
  1. Pour the ingredients in a glass with ice cubes.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Garnish with the lime wedge.

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© 2014 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2014 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.



5 Wonderful responses to “Friday Cocktail Hour:
The Gin & Tonic”

  • Allen

    Perfect summer cocktail,
    I remember my first one over 30 years ago on Guam, warm climate and a Mongolian barbecue, the garlic, sweet grilled pineapple, crunchy vegetables and meat with different sauces over rice.
    Warm climate, g&t, Mongolian BBQ.

  • Natalie Luffer

    That is one segment that begs a novel…outside the sun downing you had me at the first paragraph the insatiable desire for a gin and tonic in the back yard…

  • Joe

    I say this only because you pay such meticulous detail to every other elements of your cocktails, and they are so very excellent. I have noticed in several of these posts that you are using ice from an ice machine. It is not difficult to make perfectly clear large ice cubes or spears, and I find that it really elevates the cocktail. You get a slower melt, which is nice, but almost more important is the aesthetic difference. Where ice machines create dull white pebbles, these appear as large jewels. They even make a nicer sound clinking in the glass.

    This is one tutorial. The only change I suggest is not letting the cooler freeze all the way. A bubble of unfrozen water at the bottom is much easier to remove than a block of cloudy ice.

  • Mateo Prior

    There’s a lot to be said for a well-balanced cocktail and a woman who respects the value of silence.