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Add a Little Lillet to Your Gin & Tonic

Illustration for article titled Add a Little Lillet to Your Gin & Tonic

Photo: Claire Lower

3-Ingredient Happy Hour3-Ingredient Happy HourThe weekly drink column featuring super simple yet delicious libations.

I do not drink gin & tonics in the winter, but it is winter no more. The G&T is a garden drink, best consumed while lounging among pretty flowers and in verdant fields (or backyards), preferably while wearing a fun sundress. (They’re also a very good hot tub drink—they seem hydrating even though they are the exact opposite.)

In addition to the gin, part of what I enjoy about them is just how adaptable they are. The combination of bracing spirit and aggressively bitter (but still quite sweet) tonic mixes well with fruit, herbs, and even peppercorns, making it a great vehicle for the “last bit” of languishing herbs or berries. It also plays well with other spirits, particularly those with a lower ABV like fortified wine, amari, and liqueurs.

Lillet is one such fortified wine, and it’s a particularly springy match for the G&T. The golden, honey-hued and flavored aperitif has a good bit going on, with notes of mint, citrus, and pine, and all of it meshes well with gin and quinine-flavored tonic. (If you don’t love a ton of tonic, you can always cut it with a little club soda.) To make this happy little sipper, you will need:

  • 1 3/4 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce Lillet Blanc (though the rouge or rosé could be fun too)
  • 2-3 ounces tonic water, depending on how much you like tonic

Combine the gin and Lillet in a highball glass filled with crushed ice and stir. Top with tonic and garnish with whatever citrus peels you have boppin’ around in your produce drawer. Why not throw some berries in there too? Heck, I might even include some thinly-sliced cucumber. It’s finally nice out—go crazy.

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