Smoked Rosemary Gin & Tonic

It’s been a weird summer in Eastern WA. It didn’t really get warm until late June, then it got too warm, and now everything around us seems to be on fire. As a result, I haven’t really gotten to spend that much time outside or felt like I enjoyed all the great things about summer: backyard barbecues, long walks at dusk, or sipping on a cocktail while enjoying the summer sunshine.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m ready for fall. It’s a strange thing to wish for considering that it feels like winter just ended, but it’s my favorite season. It’s a season of change and, after struggling with a lot of health issues this summer, I feel like I’m ready to move on and get my life back. It’s also been a difficult summer for the U.S. as a whole, and I can’t but hope that Americans will continue to fight against white supremacy and hate so that what happened in Charlottesville never happens again. Change is never an easy, smooth process but that is part of what makes it beautiful and worthwhile.

Smoking a sprig of rosemary with a blowtorch over a goblet of ice.

This gin and tonic is my attempt at creating a transitional cocktail. It’s light and refreshing enough to get us through these last, weird days of summer, but the smoked rosemary also makes it feel comforting and warm. Like slipping into your favorite sweater the moment the leaves turn and the days start getting colder.

A gin and tonic is a classic, no-fuss cocktail that is difficult to get right because of it’s simplicity. For me, it all comes down to the gin. If you start with bad gin, you will get a bad gin and tonic. In previous posts, I’ve expressed my love for The Botanist gin, which is the one I used for this particular cocktail.

I would advise you to go easy when you smoke the rosemary, or it might overpower the drink. You don’t actually have to set the rosemary sprig on fire; it’s enough to just run the flame through it a couple of times to develop the aroma. You should taste the clear, vegetable taste of the gin and get a whiff of the smoked rosemary with each sip.

This gin and tonic is the perfect transitional cocktail between summer and fall. It’s clean and bright, with just a hint of smokiness from the rosemary.

I’ve seen gin and tonics presented in many different ways, but I chose to use a large wine glass to serve mine after enjoying an amazing gin and tonic made with an in-house gin at a restaurant in Stockholm at the start of the summer. They served theirs in a giant goblet (for lack of a better word), and the presentation really highlighted the simplicity of the cocktail while inviting you to take the time to sip it and taste all the intricacies of the gin.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. To change!

Smoked Rosemary Gin and Tonic

August 29, 2017
: 1
: 10 min
: 10 min
: Easy

This gin and tonic is the perfect transitional cocktail between summer and fall. It’s clean and bright, with just a hint of smokiness from the rosemary.


  • 2 oz gin (I used The Botanist)
  • 4 oz tonic water
  • Dash Dandelion & Burdock bitters
  • One sprig of fresh rosemary
  • Step 1 Fill a glass with ice.
  • Step 2 Using a butane torch or a lighter, scorch the rosemary sprig over the glass with the ice. It doesn’t really need to catch fire, you just want to release some of the aroma from the rosemary and char it a bit. Set the rosemary sprig aside.
  • Step 3 Add a dash of the Dandelion & Burdock bitters to the glass.
  • Step 4 Pour the gin over the ice.
  • Step 5 Pour the tonic water over the back of a bar spoon and into the glass with the gin to keep the tonic from foaming too much.
  • Step 6 Garnish with the charred sprig of rosemary.
  • Step 7 Serve immediately.

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