Some girlfriends gathered chez moi last weekend for some high school reminiscing, appetizer consuming and cocktail imbibing. We started by sipping prosecco with hibiscus flowers and syrup (which I’ll save for another post). I then proceeded to turn my guests into guinea pigs with my much anticipated tonic testing. The results, I must say, were surprising indeed! But first, let’s meet the contestants.
My hope was to integrate a homemade tonic into my tasting. Todd Thrasher, of Restaurant Eve fame, has a recipe that the Washington Post published a while back, but I had a bit of trouble putting my hands on some of the ingredients, namely quinine powder and citric acid. So, we had to resort to store-bought brands. I picked two brands widely available in grocery stores: Schweppes Diet Tonic and Canada Dry Regular Tonic. My third pick was the Q Tonic, a new discovery I mentioned in a previous post. Made from organic agave nectar instead of sugar, it’s billed as a healthy, superior tonic.
I mixed up three mini-cocktails for each of my friends, using Smirnoff Vodka or Tanqueray Gin and a squeeze of lime. It was a blind tasting (I used Solo cups and labeled the bottom of each with a Sharpee), so our results were completely unbiased.
The results? Three out of four gals picked the diet tonic as their favorite! The Q Tonic samples—which ring in at a staggering $10 for around 25 ounces—tasted a bit flavorless to our palettes. Comparatively, the diet tonic—a bargain at around $2 for about 33 ounces—had a sweeter flavor that seemed to accentuate the drink’s lime-iness. Needless to say, we felt extremely unsophisticated to discover that the organic, “gourmet” tonic was the least palatable to our taste buds. But I’m not dismissing the Q Tonic all together. I think it might be best suited to really bringing out the flavor of the liquor. A pairing of Q Tonic with the cucumber-infused Hendrick’s gin, for example, or maybe a flavored vodka, might be better suited to bringing out the tonic’s best attributes. But I think you’ll have to give it a try and see for yourself! You can find out where to buy Q Tonic on their Web site.
posted by Miss Mojito
Two recent finds in the worlds of both shoes and cocktails have Miss M all a flutter inside, and I was immediately eager to share them with the S&C readers.
While returning a belt to Anthropologie just last week, I came upon a stroke of luck: an Anthropologie shoe sale! This is a rare event indeed. I’m a big fan of Anthro’s selection of footwear: it has a slightly vintage vibe, with unique picks that are difficult to find elsewhere. But the prices are far from palatable.
That’s why my heart sang when I spotted a small collection of shoes gathered under a beloved “Sale” sign. And it hit a high note when I met these peep-toe, blue and sliver suede t-strap pumps with a braid detail. Online, the originally $198 shoes are marked down to $99.95. But in-store, I snagged a pair in my size for $50! Oh joy, thy name is Lunar Puzzle Mary-Janes! So get yourself to the nearest Anthropolgie to take advantage of these crazy sales. My guess is that they’re most popular during the season-to-season transitions.
While Anthropologie is expanding my shoe arsenal, a new-to-me discovery is expanding my cocktail repertoire. I was excited to spy Q Tonic at my favorite local wine and cheese shop, River City Cellars. Q Tonic is, according to their PR people anyway, “dedicated to making the world’s best tonic water.” Organic agave replaces sugar as their sweetener of choice.
I hope to conduct a tonic tasting this weekend and report back with a tonic-by-tonic comparison. In the meantime, I can’t wait to experiment with and adapt a few of the recipes found over at qtoniq.com. The Q-Cumber Fizz is at the top of my drinks-to-try list.
Developed for Q Tonic by bartender Jim Meehan. Serves one.
1.5 oz white tequila
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
A dollop of Light Agave Nectar (Sweet Cactus Farms Organic)
3 cucumber wheels (2 muddled, 1 garnish)
1 oz Q tonic
Add the agave nectar, lime, grapefruit juice and 2 cucumber slices to a mixing glass and muddle.
Add the tequila and shake and strain into a fizz glass.
Top with 1 oz Q tonic and garnish with a cucumber wheel on the rim of the glass.
Do you have any new discoveries that you just can’t keep to yourself? Do share with the S&C crowd!
Posted by Miss Mojito