My love affair with the Gin and Tonic started one summer's day in 1995 when I went for drinks on the Moshulu. The Moshulu is a ship in Philadelphia that is supposedly haunted. They restored it and turned it into a cafe and restaurant. And bar. My ex and I met a friend of mine there and spent the day drinking gin and soaking up the sun. As of that day I was hooked.
My very next favorite Gin experience was when Nina and I went to the beach (in fact, I believe there is a photo of my beach legs on her blog). There's a restaurant there (and I'm not telling you where) where you can sit on the pier and eat oysters and drink Gin and Tonics and feed the pigeons hush puppies. The hush puppies were fabulous. We ate like savages and drank in the sun and watched the college boys run around chasing girls. It was an absolute blast. Did I ever mention how much I adore Nina? I would walk on hot coals for her simply because she drove that first time and landed us with a parking ticket.
My next happiest Gin experience doesn't even involve tonic. Nina and I took another beach trip with two other girls, and one of them brought something wonderful. She took a 2 liter bottle of ginger ale and turned it into a Tom Collins. The gals in the back seat drank out of it while I drove this time (yes, open container, shut it), and when we got to the beach we had a disallowed substance in our cooler. If I recall correctly we also had Barbara's Blue Cheese snacks and some candy. I got the recipe for a Tom Collins from the girl who brought it, and in my memory that was the only summer I bought more than one bottle of Gin. I also bought a 10 pound bag of sugar. Want the recipe?
One Jigger of Gin
One Tablespoon Sugar
One Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Fill with ice and ginger ale
Naturally while I was pregnant I couldn't drink Gin, so my summer was basically an unhappy one. I made myself "virgin" Tom Collinses, but according to everything I found on Google tonic water is not good for developing fetuses. Dammitall. So I had to wait until last summer, when I finally got to sip again the lovely, wonderful, juniper taste of Gin. And now that the weather is warming up I'm looking very forward to that day in May when I'll hit the ABC store and pick up this year's bottle.