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The Gin Sonic is a variation of the traditional G&T that's popular in Japan, replacing half of the tonic with seltzer (hence sonic). I winterize this normally summery beverage by first shaking an aromatic gin with green cardamom, seasonal lemon zest, and long pepper.
Fill a 12-ounce Collins glass with ice.
Add the gin, spices, and lemon zest to a small shaker filled with ice. Shake until cold and strain into the Collins glass.
Add seltzer and tonic to fill, add a straw, then give the drink a single sharp stir with the straw to mix.
• Alcohol free: Muddle 1/2 teaspoon of juniper berries and a pinch of cayenne, along with the lemon zest and other spices with 2 ounces of seltzer water to extract the aromatics. Fine strain this into a Collins glass and then fill with seltzer and tonic as above.
• The cardamom and long pepper are minimally extracted from the shaking and can be used in another dish. Try adding them to steamed rice or biryani.
• To further reduce the sugar you can sub some yuzu juice for some or all of tonic, bringing the drink closer in profile to the very dry Featherweight, but still keeping it wintry.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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