From Fast Flavours, 2012

This is how a gin and tonic is crafted at our place; our cool, cool summer sipper. My wife, Chazz, is famous for her refined version of the classic backyard cocktail. How do you improve local artisanal gin distilled passionately with aromatics and botanicals from around the world? With local aromatics and botanicals freshly muddle into this crisp new classic.

Yield: 4 cocktails


8 large fresh mint leaves
4 long strips of orange peel
8 juniper berries or 16 needles of local pine, spruce, or fir
Lots of frozen fresh local water
6 oz (175 mL) of your favourite locally distilled gin
2 chilly cans (12 oz/ 355 mL) of premium tonic water


Divide the mint leaves, orange peels, and juniper berries among four 1-pint (500 mL) Mason jars with lids. With the wrong end of a wooden spoon, vigorously muddle the works, mashing and bruising the aromatics and releasing their flavours into the glass. Fill the jars halfway with ice. Splash in a generous shot of gin and top with tonic. Shake or stir, serve, and share, sipping through the aromatic remnants.

© Chef Michael Smith, Fast Flavours, 2012