It's G&T time again and apparently, this year, that means a few things. Fancy tonic (one of this season's most prominent cocktail trends..."supermarket tonic" just won't do, says Troy Patterson). Grapefruit garnishes. Bitters.
But all of these are very minor twists on the classic drink; variations that will elevate without changing its original structure. That's appropriate: Gin and tonics are, more than anything else, about tradition.
They're about the British stiff upper lip in the face of raging colonial heat. About linen and white shoe season. About drinks on my parents' patio and then, when I was older, my deck.
They're full of stories and history. They're refreshing and crisp - and when they're strong, they're a bracing slap in the face.
I love specialty cocktails. I drink them all the time - I enjoy seeing what a creative bartender can concoct.
But even the most fabulous specialty drink loses its luster for me after one - two at the most. I get bored.
That's when I turn back to my trusty friend, the G&T. Classic, like a white button down or a string of pearls. Never boring, never disappointing.
And now, back for the summer.