Gin, Tonic And Campari

Gin, Tonic and Campari.

Gin, Tonic and Campari.

August. The Dog Days of Summer. It’s hot. Vacation, beach, family. Time for a drink or six. But what to drink? If you want to geek up, then tiki is a good pace to play. Punches are always welcome when you have a crowd and need an easy, tasty drink. But for many of us, summer means beer or a highball (a big, easy drink in a tall glasses with ice). And while there is nothing wrong with an ice-cold beer this time of year, we can’t seem to stay away from the bar for long, and that means highballs. And if we are drinking highballs it’s most likely a gin and tonic. (Although a Florodora is another option worth making, btw.)

gtcgtc2We do love a gin and tonic, and it is often our default drink when we are traveling and aren’t sure about the quality of drinks we may get. After all, Tanqueray, Canada Dry tonic and a squeeze of lime are available from the Arctic Circle to the Congo (even in Brooklyn). Along with a Scotch and Soda (the other classic highball), you should be able to get a decent GnT almost anywhere on the planet.

gtc1gtc4But just because we can get one almost anywhere doesn’t means we don’t like to play around with classics, and the GnT is a very open field. You can play with the gin, the tonic, the citrus or even add some “other stuff”. As for gin, there are almost too many options to consider, but we still like Tanq, simply because it is tasty, available and predictable. As for tonic, this is a good place to experiment, but Canada Dry still wins many taste tests with Fentiman’s and Fever Tree also doing well. We like all three, but the sweeter Canada Dry still plays well with the juniper-heavy flavors of Tanqueray. Feel free to play around, almost any combination will be good, but some will truly sing. It is worth finding a combination you like. As for the citrus, just stick with lime, trust us.

gtc5gtc6But then there is the “other” stuff. And in this case, we mean Campari. At times, we have a love/hate relationship with that bright red, bittersweet booze. But when you put about 1/4 ounce (or a bit more) of the stuff into a Gin and Tonic and add a bit more lime juice, you get something close to perfect carbonated pink lemonade…with booze. We don’t understand the alchemy, since there is no lemon (directly) involved, but who cares? This is a great drink. And the warmer it is, the more refreshing it gets. Perfect for August.

gtc7So where did we hear about this drink? Frankly, we have no idea. But it must have come from somewhere. We did find a funny article from a few years ago about this cocktail, and it worth a read. But it didn’t add a new name to the drink. It is still just a Gin and Tonic with Campari. But that is good enough for us, and we couldn’t come up with a good name anyway, although we were tempted to call this the “Blushing Preppie”. Maybe with a dash of bitters we can change the name….

gtc8Gin, Tonic and Campari:


  • 2 oz. dry gin (Tanqueray)
  • 1/4 oz. Campari
  • 3-4 oz. tonic water (Canada Dry)
  • 1/2 lime


  1. Add a bunch of ice to a tall glass. Squeeze the lime juice into the glass and add the spent lime shell into the glass. Add the gin, Campari and tonic. Stir and add a straw, if you like. Serve.

22 thoughts on “Gin, Tonic And Campari

  1. This sounds good! And by the way, you may be right that you can get a decent G&T almost anywhere on the planet, but when I lived in a town in rural Japan, it was sometimes hard to find limes there, so I’ve even been served a G&T at a (beloved) restaurant that came with lemon (and apologies) instead of lime!

  2. JaaAaAaAAAaaackpot! A drink that could have created only for me …. love all the ingredients in this one …. so this I will try now before my trip to NYC – when my Campari loving best friends will come to town to join me … Just wonderful. Top Class, Stewart.

  3. This is cruel for those like me who cannot make it! seems to me somewhat a waste of Campari since I like it neat, no ice, and only a twist.
    I guess I’ll have to buy 2 bottles of it….

  4. Your g&t is PINK! What fun 🙂 Reminding me I’m just not drinking enough this summer 😉 (loved your nixing the “or six”)

    Speaking of booze, got away for a week of camping and finally started really reading the Hemingway cocktail book you reviewed a few months back. It’s fantastic! Inspiring me to drink more and also read more Hemmingway. Very well crafted. Thanks again for the recommend.

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