Irony has us putting this truly delicious drink together just as summer comes to a close. Today was wet and cooler than it's been in a while. There was a generous sprinkling of brown, curling leaves littering the sidewalk and deep puddles along side of the road. There was no thunder and lightning, just occasional bouts of rain and a bright gray light that led Amaya to pronounce the day "rainy and sunny all at the same time." Thankfully our personal tastes and not the weather dictate when we will enjoy this refreshing thirst quencher.
The plan was a non-alcoholic play off of a gin and tonic. It started with giant cucumber juice ice cubes in a short glass. Aki picked up some deliciously rounded and bitter tonic made by Fentimans, which contains: carbonated water, cane sugar, citric acid, tonic flavor (water, lemon oil, ethanol, lemon grass oil), quinine. She poured it over the cubes and gave the glasses a quick swirl before serving. Amaya and I happily crushed several glasses of this as an afternoon pick-me-up. I wish it looked more complicated, to spotlight the hard work it took to create it. Fortunately good cooks and bartenders know that simplicity is the hardest thing to pull off in the kitchen and behind the bar.