Who doesn't love an occasional gin and tonic? During the summer in landlocked Denver, a gin and tonic makes me feel like part of the yachting set, like I should be wearing Docksiders and screaming, "Hoist the mainsail! Batten down the hatches!" The gin and tonic is an invention of the British living in colonial India, who added gin to quinine tonic to make their malaria prophylactic more palatable. I've never really loved the taste of tonic, but I've always appreciated how it somehow enhances the flavor of lime squeezed into gin. So when I sat down at the bar at TAG, Troy Guard's new restaurant in Larimer Square, and saw that TAG features a Plymouth gin and homemade tonic water ($9), which is made from quinine bark powder, citric acid, lime powder, lemongrass powder and sugar, I had to try it. Although this homemade tonic water may have a flavor profile too abstruse for general audiences, I can't wait to get back to TAG to throw back another. Clear sailing from here on out!
If gin and tonic isn't your poison of choice, TAG's bar manager, Mike Henderson, recommends a Negroni: "With only three ingredients, it's everything I think a good cocktail should be," Henderson says, "a balance of sweet, strong, sour and bitter. In addition, the Negroni is a great litmus test of a good bartender because although it's a relatively simple cocktail to make, it's also a relatively easy cocktail to screw up."