Rosemary Gin & Tonic

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Cocktail History

The Rosemary Gin & Tonic is a refreshing cocktail that was created by the editors of PUNCH and included in their book Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails. Just like it sounds, this is a winter-inspired variation of the Gin & Tonic that is made with gin, grapefruit, citrus, and tonic water.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Gin: This is the base spirit. We used The Botanist Islay Dry Gin because it features cool mint, juniper, citrus, and herbal notes that play well with fruity ingredients.

Grapefruit Shrub: This is a vinegar-based ingredient that adds grapefruit and balances the bitterness of the tonic water. We made ours using Alex’s homemade recipe.

Lime Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors for balance. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes much better.

Grapefruit Tonic Water: This stretches the drink and adds tonic water’s distinct quinine flavor. The recipe called for unflavored tonic water, but we opted for Fitch & Leedes Grapefruit Tonic Water (gifted) for more grapefruit flavor.

Grapefruit: This is the garnish. It adds more fresh grapefruit flavor.

Rosemary: This is the other garnish. It adds rosemary aroma and flavor and lends a more wintry feeling to the drink.

Tasting Notes

The Rosemary Gin & Tonic features rosemary aroma and a surprisingly not-bitter taste that combines sweet grapefruit with a hint of vinegar sourness, herbal gin, and a slight quinine tartness. The aftertaste then features gin botanicals front and center, along with the slightly bitter grapefruit tonic flavors.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Kendall loved this recipe, making it the first tonic water cocktail she’s really liked. And Alex loved how the already bitter tonic water was able to play well with the grapefruit shrub and created a delightfully palatable sweet-yet-savory drink. 

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“For a Gin & Tonic, I was surprised at how little tonic taste there was in this recipe. The shrub was able to cut out the tonic’s bitterness a bit without replacing it with its own vinegar taste, although some of that is present as well. The grapefruit steals the show, being part of the shrub, the garnish, and the tonic, and it makes for a very refreshing drink overall.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I’ve never been the biggest fan of the classic Gin & Tonic because tonic water is too bitter for my palate. It doesn’t help that I started out trying gin drinks that were much sweeter when it’s common for tonic water to be the gateway to liking gin. This G&T is my favorite we’ve tried so far though, and it’s all thanks to the grapefruit shrub. It’s unique vinegar flavor cuts the bitterness of the tonic just enough to make it much more palatable for me. I’ve already requested it again!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the editors of PUNCH.

AuthorWinter DrinksPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Gin
 ¾ oz Homemade Grapefruit Shrub
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 2 Grapefruit Slices
 2 Rosemary Sprigs

Method
1

Stem one rosemary sprig.

2

Add rosemary leaves and grapefruit shrub to a shaker.

3

Gently muddle rosemary leaves.

4

Add gin, lime juice, and ice to shaker.

5

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

6

Double strain into a highball glass filled with fresh crushed ice.

7

Top with tonic water.

8

Garnish with grapefruit slices and remaining rosemary sprig.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Gin
 ¾ oz Homemade Grapefruit Shrub
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 2 Grapefruit Slices
 2 Rosemary Sprigs

Directions

Method
1

Stem one rosemary sprig.

2

Add rosemary leaves and grapefruit shrub to a shaker.

3

Gently muddle rosemary leaves.

4

Add gin, lime juice, and ice to shaker.

5

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

6

Double strain into a highball glass filled with fresh crushed ice.

7

Top with tonic water.

8

Garnish with grapefruit slices and remaining rosemary sprig.

Rosemary Gin & Tonic

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Gin Cocktails

If you like this gin-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Trellis Gin & Tonic: An ombré gin cocktail made with cucumber and rose pink tonic water, lime juice, and a rolled cucumber

Gin Rickey: A classic gin cocktail made with lime juice, club soda, and a lime wheel

Lemon Thyme Gin & Tonic: A lemon gin cocktail made with lemon juice, thyme syrup, Indian tonic water, and a lemon wedge

Florodora: A gin cocktail made with lime juice, raspberry syrup, simple syrup, ginger ale, a lime slice, and raspberries

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