Summer is a-coming in, and that means it’s time to raid your liquor cabinet for the essential summer drink: gin and tonic. What speaks of summer more than kicking back on your patio with a refreshing g&t? We have come up with our own version of this classic drink that makes use of some of the glorious summer produce now appearing at the stand. Happy sipping!
The Vegetable Shop Gin and Tonic
- 1/4 cup or more loosely packed fresh herbs, such as a mixture of parsley, lemon balm, and basil.
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped cherry tomatoes. We like to use a mixture of colors for aesthetic appeal.
- 1 small, unpeeled Japanese cucumber, cut into ½ inch dice (about 1/4 cup or more to taste).
- 4 oz dry gin: we love Martin Miller’s in this, but any of your favorite gins, such as Tanqueray Ten, Hendricks, or Plymouth, would work well. (Hint: try to use one that is lightly herbaceous or cucumber-y, rather than one that is juniper-heavy or already laden with an assertive mixture of tastes, as many of the otherwise delicious new gins often are.)
- Tonic water: we like Fever Tree “Indian” tonic water, for its lightness. Q tonic would also work well in this drink. We always prefer tonics sweetened with cane sugar rather than corn syrup.
Herb sprigs or edible ice plant, for garnish. A martini pitcher is great for this, but any pitcher or large, heavy-bottomed glass will do. Place the herbs and cucumber in the pitcher and muddle well. Then add the tomatoes and muddle lightly. Fill the pitcher with medium to large ice cubes, add the gin, and stir. Top with tonic water and stir again lightly. Pour into individual glasses—we love to use our tall, frosted 1940s-era Libbey “candy stripe” glasses. Garnish with the herbs and a slice of cucumber. Alternatively, the edible ice plant now available at the stand would make a beautiful, unique garnish.
(Our recipe is based on the one in Greg Henry’s useful book, Savory Cocktails)
The Vegetable Stand gin and tonic would be perfectly accompanied by our shishito peppers, sautéed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Try our popup stand’s Omnivore salt, or use Jacobsen’s flaky sea salt from Oregon. Another delicious accompaniment would be our marble-sized new potatoes briefly sautéed or roasted and sprinkled with salt. Or you could prepare any size of our new potatoes following April Bloomfield’s recipe for “Salt Crusted Potatoes” in her fabulous cookbook, A Girl and Her Greens, also available at the stand.