To some, the recipe for a gin and tonic is simple and sacrosanct: gin, high-quality tonic water and lime. But keep an open mind. Johnny Swet, the mixology consultant at the Indian restaurant Sona in the Flatiron district, has created four “elevated” gin and tonics that show the beauty in variation. The No. 3, for example, is made with Jin Jili India Darjeeling Dry Gin, grapefruit, elderflower, mint and star anise; the grapefruit makes it delicious. The fragrant No. 1 combines Hendricks gin with makrut lime leaves, coriander seeds and lime juice, though come fall, it will be varied with apple flavors. For the No. 4, which has cucumber, cumin, fennel and Plymouth Gin, the cucumber will soon be replaced with pear. The popular No. 2 will lose its muddled strawberries for persimmon, but the black peppercorns will still be in the generous balloon glass. Mr. Swet said he wanted to preserve the Indian tradition of gin and tonic, while adding spices and other ingredients used in Indian cooking, and also to make the drinks seasonal, not just for summer. He consulted with the restaurant’s chefs.
Elevated Gin & Tonics, $20, Sona, 36 East 20th Street, 212-203-6460, sona-nyc.com.