Why It Works
- The secret to keeping the drinks slushy and cold, without diluting them with too much ice: Chill the gin mixture in your freezer before blending it up with the ice. It won't freeze solid, thanks to ample alcohol and sugar, but it will drop down in temperature significantly.
There's nothing complicated about making this frosty drink, but the idea—from Rob Krueger of Brooklyn's Extra Fancy—is pretty darn brilliant. It was one of the first recipes I bookmarked in Brooklyn Bartender by Carey Jones. (I've adapted the recipe slightly.)
You don't really want to pour fizzy tonic water in your blender. Luckily, there are a number of small-batch tonic syrups available these days, meant to be mixed with soda water, but perfect for this cocktail. It's tart and lightly bitter, icy and incredibly refreshing. Krueger's recipe calls for Hendrick's gin, but you can use any gin you like; this drink can handle a bold, juniper-heavy London Dry, too.
- 3 ounces (90ml) gin (such as Hendrick's)
- 1 ounce (30ml) tonic syrup, such as Small Hand Foods
- 1 ounce (30ml) simple syrup (see note)
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) fresh juice from 2 limes
- 12 standard ice cubes (about 270g)
- Lime wedges and cucumber slices, for garnish
Combine gin, tonic syrup, simple syrup, bitters, and lime juice in a resealable container. Seal and store in freezer at least 1 and up to 10 hours, then pour into blender.
Add ice to blender and blend until smooth.
Split into two glasses, garnish, and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in your freezer up to 1 hour before serving.
To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.