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Food

The most refreshing cocktail? A classic gin and tonic with an extra twist

Gin and tonic
(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

A gin and tonic is always my drink of choice on warm spring nights. Gin’s floral notes match the scent of blooms in the air while fizzy bittersweet tonic feels invigorating. The combination is especially good to cut through the richness of savory snacks like scallion pancakes.

Scallion Pancakes

Time 2 hours, largely unattended
Yields Makes 4 pancakes

Because this cocktail is essentially two ingredients with a twist, it’s important — and easy — to get the execution right. For the most refreshing drink, you need a cold glass (I like a tall one). You can pop your glass in the fridge for a while or fill it with ice and swirl until cold before dumping the ice. A long twist, at least 5 inches or so, delivers more citrus. Get it by running a vegetable peeler along a fruit while turning it. Immediately twist and squeeze the lemon zest inside the glass to spritz its natural oils, then run the zested side around the rim so a little lemon is the first thing you taste with each sip.

Fill the seasoned cold glass two-thirds with ice, then pour in 1 ½ ounces gin. Position a spoon convex side up against the ice and pour 4 ounces tonic over it. The spoon will prevent the tonic from foaming and losing its bubbles during the pour. Stir twice with the spoon, no more if you want to keep the drink’s fizz and aroma intact. Slip in the lemon zest and start sipping.

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Lemon Twist Gin and Tonic

Time 5 minutes
Yields Makes 1 drink


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