I discovered cocktails during my university days and worked my way through a series of mixed drink phases.

I started with martinis (too boozy), moved on to brown cows (too rich), dabbled in Caesars (still do once in a while), but lingered the longest with the good old gin and tonic.

It’s been years since I had a proper G & T so it was a kick to rediscover the classic warm weather tipple this summer during a tasting of a variety of the clear juniper berry-based spirits.
Unlike vodka, the personality of each gin is defined by how it combines juniper with its own unique mix of botanicals. One of the most original of the group I tried was Hendrick’s Gin ($41.95 - $41.99) from Scotland.

Not only does its bottle set it apart from the pack (it looks like it would have held medicine a few centuries ago); its combination of ingredients is enhanced by the infusion of mashed cucumber and the oil pressed from Bulgarian rose pedals.

Tasty enough to drink over ice without the tonic, the addition of the bitter, bubbly water releases some major aromatics that had me pining for a full glass and a hot, lazy afternoon.

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– Peter Rockwell is the everyman’s wine writer, working in the liquor industry for more than 25 years and travelling the globe looking for something to fill his glass and put into words.