As summer inches closer and Dallas heats up, it’s prime time to cool down with a cocktail. Few summertime quenchers are more refreshing than a gin and tonic — a combo that both braces thanks to the bitterness of quinine-infused tonic and cools with gin’s minty and botanical notes. While the drink dates back to the 19th century, when British officers added gin and lime to improve the taste of quinine, there’s no reason to play it straight in 2019. This versatile classic shines with infusions of additional herbs, citrus, and house-made tonic blends. Using The Botanist’s dry gin, which is crafted from more than 22 hand-foraged botanicals from the Isle of Islay in Scotland, some of Dallas’s best bars and eateries have created their own take on the libation that’s both potent and refreshing. Here are the 10 best spots for gin and tonics, just in time spring and summer.Read More
Where to Find the Freshest Gin and Tonics in Dallas
Knife - Plano
This modern steakhouse in Plano’s Shops at Willow Bend is the brainchild of Texas superstar chef John Tesar. Gone are the oak-paneled walls and moody lighting one might come to expect from a steakhouse serving 32-ounce, dry-aged rib-eyes. Instead, Tesar’s created a quirky, modern space that offers pristine cuts of Texas beef from Cameron’s 44 Farms, served alongside a menu of creative and refreshing cocktails. Take the Botanist Fever cocktail: It’s made with The Botanist gin, Fever Tree tonic, ice, grapefruit oil, and lemon, lime, or rosemary to top.
Don’t let the overly colorful, mid-century modern interior throw you off: Felix Culpa (which means “blessed mistake” in Latin) puts out some serious food, and the art, from ‘60s heavyweights like Roy Lichtenstein, isn’t half bad either. Although dishes lean Italian, the menu takes its influences from around the world with a noticeable dash of Texan. The Champagne-steamed clams, bathed in chiles, butter, and herbs, are perfectly matched with a cooling sip of the Botanist Spritzer Tonic, made with The Botanist gin, tonic, Aperol, St. Elder liqueur, ice, and prosecco.
Nondescript from the outside, the dark and moody Alamo Club infuses an intimate, supper-club style environment with a dose of Texas cool. The menu is wide-ranging, featuring dishes like a shallot-loaded steak tartare and a bacon cheddar burger alongside beurre blanc-bathed seared snapper atop artisan Anson Mills polenta from South Carolina. Pair your meal with a refreshing Alamo Club House Botanist & Tonic.
A love letter to Rome, Sprezza is where any Dallasite desperate for a taste of Italy can go for authentic takes on spaghetti carbonara, linguine cacio e pepe, and bucatini amatriciana. The more casual, less-buttoned-up sibling to long-standing Dallas favorite, Nonna, Sprezza’s airy, bright dining room is plenty charming on its own merits. As the temperatures rise in the city, the ultimate place to be is the shaded, spacious patio, where you can sip gin and tonics in the shade all afternoon, like the Mirtollo cocktail (Italian for “botanist”). It’s made with The Botanist gin, fresh blueberries, aloe liqueur, lemon, tonic, simple syrup, meloncello, and veritable liqueur.
Also featured in:
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
One of Dallas’s most refined and elegant dining and drinking experiences, the Mansion on Turtle Creek delivers Southern charm paired with the sophistication of its home, a 1925 European-style estate. The food here is French-inflected but never afraid to have a Texas accent — a long legacy of talented chefs have ensured that dishes like the famed tortilla soup are preserved for future generations to come. The modern riffs carry into the bar too, where a new summer sipper consists of The Botanist gin, house-made tonic, kaffir lime leaf, and grapefruit zest. Then again, you’ll never go wrong with a round of Botanist G&Ts, made with Mansion’s house-made tonic.
Also featured in:
Clubby Japanese spot Nobu has been a place to see and be seen in Dallas for the better part of a decade, but it also serves some of the city’s best sushi and other Asian fare. The Tanoshi happy hour, where you can nosh on whitefish tiradito and wagyu foie gras gyoza, is predictably popular, but in-the-know Dallasites still flock to the sleek black dining room for chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s long-time staples like miso black cod. Forego the vodka-heavy cocktail menu in favor of a lighter, aromatic gin drink like Botanist G&T, made with The Botanist gin, St. Germain, cucumber, mint, and tonic.
Located in the Cedars Distrct, the new Canvas Hotel hits every sweet spot for the adventurous traveler and resident alike. An art gallery atmosphere? Check. A new restaurant and rooftop lounge? Check. Head upstairs to drink in the view (pun intended) at the Rooftop Gallery Lounge, or make your dinner reservations at Chef’s Palette, where the dishes are just as artfully designed as the paintings hanging on the walls. Start your night with the 22 and More cocktail, made with The Botanist gin, roasted apple syrup, sage, grapefruit bitters, and tonic, perfect to pair with the ceviche flight.
Wine is clearly the focus at Grapevine’s Winewood Grill, but the sturdy list is accompanied by a robust cocktail menu too — with The Botanist G&T giving a creative spin on the aperitif. It’s the perfect way to kick off a meal of woodfire-grilled burgers, steaks, and chops. A plus for parents, Winewood is also kid-friendly and offers chicken tenders that aren’t frozen and cooked from a bag — here, that dish is lightly battered and accompanied by addictive skinny fries with a side of fresh veggies.
One of the first restaurants to infiltrate the then up-and-coming Bishop Arts District, Bolsa has kept up its Slow Food ethos with a tinge of Austin cool. Native Texan chef Matt Balke serves unpretentious dishes where the quality of the ingredients stand out. Goat tacos get a boost from tortillas made down the street in Oak Cliff, while remarkably fresh dayboat scallops receive a Southern infusion of green peas from East Texas and porky goodness from a ham hock. Cocktails with fresh herbs and citrus rejuvenate the palate like a B&T, made with lemon, fresh local rosemary and lavender, cucumber, Mediterranean tonic, and a Texas grapefruit peel over The Botanist gin.
Boi Na Braza
Have a taste of Brazil by way of Irving at Boi Na Braza, a long-standing Brazilian steakhouse that serves more than 16 different cuts of fire-roasted meat. Gaucho chefs prepare dishes like picanha com alho, a prime cut of top sirloin bathed in a kicky garlic sauce, which is then sliced tableside in a dramatic fashion. Pair it with a Botanist G&T for the ultimate spring refresher.