Gin and tonic improved

ginKevin Sintumuang reports on efforts to elaborate upon the classic cocktail—and offers some of his favorite elaborations.

One of many newly available throwback gins, Plymouth Navy Strength (57%, $50) packs a high-proof wallop and stands up to even the most intense tonic syrups (see more on those below). The Spanish Xoriguer Gin (40% ABV, $35) offers more than a whiff of citrus zest, which explains why many on the island of Menorca, where it's been distilled since the early 20th century, drink it with lemonade. And before there was London dry, there was Old Tom, a maltier style. Anchor Old Tom Gin (45% ABV, $30) surprises in a G&T, bringing sweetness to the drink that plays nice with the usual acidity and herbaceousness.

Xoriguer (the bottles actually say Mahón) is fantastic—Heather and I discovered it just a few weeks ago and have drunk all we can get our hands on. The trick to a good G&T is the same trick to a good Martini: add enough things that aren't gin, but no more.