Winter is back with a vengeance in WA, and all I can think about are pretty pink things. Like flowers. Or macarons. Or this Aperol gin and tonic.
It gets its lovely pink hue from a little bit of Aperol, an Italian liqueur. Like all gin and tonics, it’s refreshing, light, and easy to make.
And while an Aperol gin and tonic might not seem like the typical drink to have in the middle of winter, I also find it oddly comforting and cheerful.
Why Make Gin and Tonics?
Hands down, #1 reason: because they are so easy to make! Seriously, you don’t even need to measure. As the name implies, this cocktail only calls for gin and tonic water. I like to spruce mine up with some bitters and different types of citrus, but you don’t have to.
You also don’t need any special bartending equipment to make a gin and tonic; you can just make it in the glass that you intend to serve it in.
The second reason why you need to master this cocktail is because you can customize it in so many different ways. I kept it simple with the addition of Aperol, but the sky is the limit. If you don’t believe me, check out this collection of gin and tonic variations from Buzzfeed.
Choose Your Gin Wisely
When you make simple cocktails like this Aperol gin and tonic, it’s important to choose good-quality spirits. Otherwise, it will taste like mouthwash. At least that’s what bad gin tastes like to me.
In my opinion, you can never go wrong with The Botanist. It’s smooth, crisp, and subtly botanical. It’s made in the tiny Scottish island of Isley in small batches through a very slow distillation process. The notes of coriander, juniper, and other berries go well with a wide array of bitters like grapefruit and lemon, which is another plus. To learn more about bitters, make sure that you check out this post.
Any gin with botanical and floral notes will make a tasty gin and tonic, so if you are looking for a less expensive option, you can definitely give Tanqueray a try. Hendricks is also a good mid-priced alternative.
Don’t Forget the Tonic!
Good-quality tonic water is just as important as good-quality gin when you are trying to build the perfect gin and tonic.
Random fact: did you know that tonic water contains quinine and was used to treat malaria once upon a time? Crazy, huh? Nowadays, people use it in cocktails for its bitter flavor.
I also heard that it’s great for getting rid of colds and, after conducting some research over Christmas, I can confirm that it does help. My go-to brand is Fever Tree. I love that you can buy a big bottle or smaller bottles, which are less likely to go flat after you open them because you’ll use up most of a bottle making one cocktail.
What is Aperol Anyway?
Aperol is an Italian aperitif that is similar to Campari but sweeter. It contains rhubarb and bitter orange, among other ingredients, and it’s usually used in cocktails to add some bitterness. You shouldn’t be concerned about the Aperol and the tonic making your gin and tonic too bitter though. The Aperol actually adds a very welcome hint of sweetness.
Aperol Gin and Tonic
This easy gin and tonic gets it's pretty pink color and some interesting bitterness from a little bit of Aperol, an Italian aperitif.
- A splash of Aperol
- Tonic water (to taste)
- 2 ounces of gin (I suggest The Botanist)
- Step 1 Fill a tall glass with ice.
- Step 2 Pour the gin and Aperol over the ice and top with tonic water.
- Step 3 Give it a stir if necessary and serve immediately.