With no AC at home and 100+ degree days, it seemed only rational to create a perfect gin and tonic - with cooling doses beginning promptly after breakfast. A well made G&T is excellent refreshment, but there have always been two problems with the modern recipe that have annoyed me. One, I like the ratio of gin to tonic near 1:3, but at this point the beverage looses carbonation, especially as the ice melts. Two, tonic water contains as much high fructose evil as any mainstream soda on the market unless you pay for hard to acquire and very expensive specialty products. Both of these problems can easily be solved with a carbonation machine and a little creativity.
Solving the carbonation problem was excitingly obvious: carbonate the gin.
I just so happen to have one of those Soda Club home carbonation machines. It was originally used to create my own energy/vitamin drinks (I'll do an article on that later), but it now has a fun new purpose. The machine essentially pumps carbon dioxide into proprietary 1L bottles, which presented the first issue, I only purchased a 750ml bottle of gin (New Amsterdam, a $12 bottle that's surprisingly good). This would mean I'd have to add 250ml of water so the CO2 nozzle could submerge itself, no big deal, I'll buy a 1.5L bottle of gin next time.
1. Cool the gin in the freezer until very very cold. CO2 is absorbed at cold temperatures, and although the fridge is usually adequate for water, I heard somewhere that alcohol needs to be near freezing for CO2 to absorb properly.
Any chemists care to comment?
2. Pour sufficiently cold gin into carbonating bottle and add cold tap water to fill line. Note: it was over 90 degrees in the house at this point and the gin was so cold that the water on the outside of the thick plastic bottle formed ice.
3. Carbonate gin. With most drinks I just press the CO2 injection button 5 or 6 times, wait 30 seconds for things to calm down and remove the bottle. In this case I went a bit slower due to the rapid formation of tiny bubbles that turned the whole thing cloudy. I pressed the inject button ~9 times (I want this gin to evaporate in my mouth dammit!) over a few minutes.
4. Wait for bubbles to disappear and mixture to clear. Maybe not necessary but there's a lot of CO2 in there and those bubbles look pretty darn excited. This takes 5-10min.
5. Keep the bottle in the fridge until you're ready for use. Note: I would use the mixture within the next 3 days or so, it seems to lose carbonation faster than water (but maybe that's just due to opening and closing it so much more than I would with anything else).
Stay tuned for the riveting conclusion, The Goodist Makes Tonic!
Update! Carbonated Negroni Recipe