It’s summer, and summer means drinks with lots of ice to beat the heat and probably some tonic water to help quench your thirst.* A lot of drinks along this model combine gin with tonic, because, well, gin and tonic, duh! They go together pretty well. But it doesn’t always have to be gin! So here’s a drink we whipped up, a play on the Sidecar, that combines brandy with St-Germain and tonic for a new favorite summer drink: Le Marais.– Andrew
Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper
2 oz Brandy
1 oz St-Germain
1 oz Lemon Juice
Combine the brandy (or cognac if you want to get extra Frenchy), St-Germain, and lemon juice over lots of ice. Give it a lazy stir. Top with tonic water and enjoy languidly.
Like the Sidecar, Le Marais has hints of oaky vanilla from the brandy, tartness from the lemon and some (floral) sweetness from the St-Germain. But all of these flavors really come together when you add lots of ice and lots of tonic water: a rich, crisp, utterly refreshing drink. This is the sort of cocktail for which coasters were invented – try one on a hot, humid day and see how long your glass stays dry.
Nole had the genius idea to name this drink Le Marais after the Parisian neighborhood of the same name. It pays tribute to the French origins of both the brandy (or cognac) and the St-Germain. But Le Marais – “The Marsh” – also conjures up the city of its origins, our swampy sweaty Washington, DC, and the sort of humid climate where you can best enjoy one of these.
*And cure your malaria while you’re at it. Tonic water gets its bitterness from quinine, derived from the bark of the South American cinchona tree. Some enterprising Brits in India got the idea to make their malaria medicine a bit more palatable by drenching it in gin and citrus juice. A whole bunch of very good drinks owe their existence to that innovation.
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper
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