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Musings on Gin and Tonic from Per Se

By Joe Ruvel · April 24th, 2008 · No Comments

It’s a no beer week for me (see the last post) and so my brain has turned to remembering some other fond drinks. One that I don’t think of much but was probably the finest cocktail I have ever had, was the gin and tonic from Per Se restaurant in New York City. We had already dined there once before. It was a magical meal that I will remember for the rest of my life. On this occasion though, we just stopped in for a drink before having dinner. It was wonderful. A elegant yet accessible start to the evening. The gin and tonic at Per Se was created by Brian Van Flandern. It was around $17 and not a drink I usually like. But I went for it in a kind of “ok try and make me like gin and tonics” way. And boy was I surprised. It was a revelation. I do not remember all the components of the drink unfortunately but overall it was a standard gin and tonic. The secret was house made tonic water made at Per Se using raw quinine powder. I might be embellishing on the memory but I remember the bartender (potentially Brian himself) telling us he sources the powder from a small village somewhere in South America. The drink was everything I have ever wanted out of a gin and tonic. Not brassing or too sweet – subtle and classy even. It even came with a very snazzy silver stirrer. Check out an interview with Brian where he talks a little about the decision to make the drink.

Tags: Non-Beer Beverages