The secret to a top-notch G&T (or “gin-tonic,” as Spaniards call it) is not only excellent gin but good, dry tonic water. Adding a super-size twist of lemon called a horse’s neck, as they do at the Iberian-themed restaurant La Vara in Cobble Hill, doesn’t hurt, and results in a thirst-quencher that may not only help prevent malaria but also scurvy.
1 horse’s-neck lemon peel
2 oz. Plymouth gin
1 individual-size (6.8 oz.) bottle of Fever-Tree tonic water, cold (available at Food Emporium)
To make a horse’s-neck peel:
Hold a lemon in your hand with one end facing away from you and the other end facing toward you. (1)
Using a channel knife (available at Broadway Panhandler
place the blade at the end of the lemon furthest from you, and while
pulling the knife toward you, cut a groove into the fruit. Turn the
blade 90 degrees to the left, and cut a spiral groove around the lemon,
leaving an approximately 2-inch-wide strip of peel on the fruit. When
you’ve completed the spiral, turn the blade 90 degrees to make a final
cut through the lemon. Discard the skinny peel you’ve made with the
channel knife. (2)
Using a paring knife, remove the
remaining 2-inch-wide peel from the lemon in one long spiral, taking
care not to remove too much pith and also not to cut through the peel.
This is your garnish. Adapted from The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks
, by Dale DeGroff (Clarkson Potter; $35).
To make the drink: (3)
horse’s-neck peel inside a Collins, highball, or hurricane-style glass
with the curved end hanging over the edge. Add plenty of ice. Pour in
the gin. Top off with approximately 4 ounces of tonic water. Serve with
the remaining tonic in the bottle. Adapted from La Vara.