When I was sick last year with the sickness-that-shall-not-be-named (I have been struck down for expressing my opinions on that subject!), my lungs were hurting & my normal go-to supplements were not helping. I turned to some Peruvian wisdom on hurting lungs–when you live ten thousand feet up from sea level, over the milennia you find the little Easter eggs God left you to handle it. My several trips there, with some stops in Cuzco, left me with memories of native remedies for low-oxygen and hurting lungs. Such goodies as the amazing coca tea (really, it’s amazing!), cinchona bark and lungwort tea all come from Peru and all help low-oxygen and hurt lungs.
I recalled also my father’s wisdom that lime cured scurvy and quinine cured malaria–he had been in the Navy and brought those tidbits back from his wartime travels. I never forgot them! Thinking vitamin C could help and that I might have malaria (or something like it–not kidding! Well–I am kidding, but I was ready to try anything!)
Unfortunately, when I turned to tonic water and lime to cure what ailed me, I found that quinine was not high on the ingredient list of most tonics and didn’t appear at all in some! Sugar on the other hand was abundant. Not what I thought the tonic I needed would be made of–so I cooked up some of my own.
I put the juice of a whole lime, a small bottle of super premium club soda, a few drops of stevia and, of course, a dropperful of quinine in a glass and drank it all up. That, along with a giant pitcher of lungwort tea, and I felt better in a day or two–which was a miracle since I had been languishing for almost two weeks already!! (Can you imagine if I got my hands on some coca tea?? I would have been running laps!!)
Of course when I felt better I had the brilliant idea of improving on my healing tonic with some super delicious GIN!!! Given that high quality clear liquor is by far the least likely to leave you hurting the next day (so long as you are reasonable with it), I had been on the hunt for low-cal, low-sugar, low-crap gin drinks anyway. And that is how this homemade, high-end gin & tonic was born. If any drink was made for a healthy & low-cal lifestyle, this was it!!! (You could always just have a few super dry martinis, but then you might get scurvy or malaria! Take your chances with that, I’m having a gin & TONIC! Also, there’s no curing that hangover no matter how clear your gin is.)
2 ounces high quality club soda
Fever Tree is the best; Topo Chico is also excellent.
1 1/2 ounces high quality gin
I like the absolute best gins for this. Seems extravagant, but that's how I roll! Try KiNoBi, St. George Terroir or Coriander Sacred (if you can find it!)
1 lime, the juice thereof
Normally I hate when a recipe calls for "the juice of one lime" because that could mean a half ounce or two ounces depending on the lime...in this case it doesn't matter! I just like to get my vitamin C in!
1/2 dropperful quinine
I use Herbamama in the 2 ounce bottles from amazon.
5 drops liquid stevia
I use SweetLeaf, again from amazon.
Fill a glass of your choosing with ice and put it in the freezer.
With luck, you thought ahead and have some Fever Tree or Topo Chico club soda in the fridge. If not, it’s not the end of the world. (If the club soda isn’t cold it will get flatter faster when it hits the ice.)
In a shaker filled with ice, put the gin, lime juice, quinine and stevia. Don’t use too much stevia or it will be the end of the world! One drop too many and it gets bitter. Shake it til cold.
Remove the glass from the freezer. Gently pour the club soda in the glass first. (The bubbles will rise up through the rest of the drink and mix in itself so you don’t have to stir it and break too many of those bubbles!) Then pour the rest of the drink gently over the soda. Give it a stir if you think it needs it, but be gentle!
Garnish with a lime wheel & enjoy!
If you don’t love this G&T, no worries, there are books to get lost in about both gin & tonic! (h/t Hidden Fran)