Summertime is of course the time for cool drinks – even if summer needs a long time in the coming. But as soon as the first warm and sunny days will show up, a lot of people will certainly think about what’s the perfect refreshing drink. And this question is closely linked to an issue which is not as often discussed among cocktail and bar enthusiasts as one might think: I’m talking about alcohol.
First of all, everyone should seriously think about whether alcohol has anything to do with refreshment or whether it is necessary at all. The latter one can surely be denied because you can refresh yourself perfectly without any alcohol, of course. But sometimes you simply want an alcoholic beverage for refreshment. Of course also for reasons of taste – after all, alcoholic beverages have a special flavor profile. But of course it would be presumptuous if one does not admit that alcoholic beverages clearly unfold an effect on us. And exactly this effect is what I want to talk about in connection with a refreshing cocktail.
Many classic refreshers can be found in the category of Fizzes, Collinses, Spritzers etc. In short they’re usually highball cocktails working with sparkling fillers. The undisputed king of those drinks still is the classic Gin & Tonic in its various versions. But at least for me it is often true that a Gin & Tonic (or a comparable Highball cocktail), although I definitely like it’s taste for refreshment purposes, is not the ideal drink for such situations. I simply don’t want to drink 5 to 6 cl of strong alcohol all the time when I’m up for a refreshing alcoholic drink. The reason for that is quite simple: It has an effect on me that I don’t want to have in certain situations.
So there is a good alternative to G & T with its floral, herbaceous notes which is also made easily and quickly. Plus: it is also a quite trendy alternative. I’m talking about Vermouth & Tonic. Vermouth is an herbally infused fortiefied wine which works absolutely perfect in combination with gin (which is an herbally infused spirit). You can find many examples among classic drinks for this combination (Martinez, Martini etc.). Gin also blends beautifully with crisp and bitter tonic water, so it’s only natural to now combine vermouth with tonic water. And this combination works really wonderfully…if you choose the right components. Therefore strong and fully aromatic vermouth makes sense in order to compensate the lower amount of alcohol with a full-bodied load of aromas. Nevertheless, it is “just” wine, which makes the final drink refreshing and less strong than it would be for example in combination with herbal liqueur. I have therefore decided to use one of my favorite vermouths, the Carpano Antica Formula and try it with the low calorie Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water. A very delightful conjunction. Finished with a dried orange slice (and a small bouquet of herbs) … perfect!
Who wants to pimp the her rather plain recipe with a little extravagance can for instance serve the drink – as I did it – inside the Quido-glass of Swedish-Czech designer Martin Jakobsen.
5 cl red vermouth
Tonic Water (for instance Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water)
Preparation: add vermouth to an ice-filled glass and fill up with Tonic
Glass: Highball (on the photo I opted for the Quido glass from Jakobsen Design)
Garnish: dried orange slice, herbs
Buying sources: Depending on what ingredients you’ll choose, you’ll find them in specialized stores or in a well-stocked supermarket.