Gin and Tonics are great. In fact, the G&T might be the single most refreshing cocktail in bartending history. But it’s not the only two-ingredient cocktail you can make with tonic water. Give the juniper spirit a break and try mixing the bittersweet soda in one of these easy drinks instead.
Aged Rum and Tonic
Sweeter, richer and more tropical than at G&T, a Rum and Tonic is just the thing on a hot and humid day with a wheel of lime and a lot of ice. While white rum will work in a pinch, aged rum with its edgy tannins and fun can stand up to the powerful flavors of the tonic water much better.
Grassy blanco tequila harmonizes with tonic water’s bittersweet notes much in the same way the botanicals in London Dry gin work with the fizzy mixer. If you regularly drink Tequila Sodas but are looking for some new flavors in your life, give this a try. And, if you’re feeling dangerous, try adding a few dashes of grapefruit or Angostura bitters to the mix.
Campari and Tonic
Bitter meets bitter in this delicious aperitivo. If you’re a Negroni drinker and are looking for something tall and fizzy, well, that’s where the Americano comes in. But once you’re done with those or you don’t have any sweet vermouth on hand, try this delicious combination.
Aperol and Tonic
Like the Campari and Tonic, this duo highlights the bitterness of the two ingredients but it is much softer and sweeter. It’s like a cheater’s Aperol Spritz. Garnish this easy drink with a big swath of orange zest or even a full wedge and day drink the day away.
Scotch and Tonic
It sounds strange, but the smokiness of scotch works surprisingly well with tonic water. It’s a wonderful fall Highball, especially with a lemon wedge or, if you’re feeling fancy, an apple fan. If you don’t usually like scotch, this is not for you—it still tastes very scotchy, even with the flavor-packed tonic water—but if you do like scotch and are open to mixing your precious dram with a good, craft tonic, then give this a try.
Don’t scoff, this odd combo is actually a real drink you can order in the Czech Republic where it goes by the name Bavorák. Like Campari and Aperol, Fernet’s bitter flavors mesh perfectly with the tonic water, while its herbaceous notes add complexity and balance. It’s a delicious after dinner drink if you’re a little nervous about drinking Fernet straight or it’s a particularly hot night.