The gin and tonic is such a classic combination, and it’s more than earned its place on thousands of bar menus. But the humble G&T has blossomed in recent years, proving there’s no reason to play it straight in 2019. This thirst-quenching drink transforms with the addition of citrus or other fruits, house-made tonics, and inventive garnishes. 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 NYC’s best bars and restaurants have created their own take on the libation that’s both bracing and refreshing. Here are the 13 best spots to drink gin and tonics in NYC, just in time for spring and summer.Read More
Where to Find the Freshest Gin and Tonics in NYC
This Peruvian-Asian eatery is inside a renovated warehouse with an impressive two-story bar as the centerpiece. There’s even a gliding ladder to reach all of the premier liquor bottles on the tall, mirrored shelves. Signature cocktails by Felix Salazar utilize rare ingredients and surprising combinations. Take the Butterfly Effect, which infuses The Botanist gin with butterfly pea flower and then mixes it with London Essence tonic, watermelon radish, rosemary, lime, lemon, and citrus oil for a purple-hued stunner.
2. Bluebird London NYC
A British brasserie with Central Park views, Bluebird came to NYC in 2018 from renowned London restaurant group D&D, bringing fish and chips as well as foie gras to Columbus Circle. There’s a lengthy menu of inventive plays on the gin and tonic, including The Botanist, made with The Botanist gin, Fever Tree elderflower tonic, lemon, thyme, rosemary, and juniper.
A craft cocktail oasis in Midtown, Ivy sports a long wooden bar backed by exposed brick and has plenty of intimate high-tops to share a drink over. Crowd-pleasing apps like kale and artichoke dip and chicken lettuce wraps are perfect to nibble on while tackling the drink menu that’s filled with plenty of wine, beers on tap, and cocktails like The Botanist, a spin on the G&T that combines The Botanist gin with St. Germain, elderflower, tonic, cucumber, and lemon.
4. Rainbow Room
It only makes sense to sip on a classic cocktail with a twist while in such an iconic New York City room. Savor the sweeping city views and retro vibe while imbibing the 1934 gin and tonic (1934 was the year the Rainbow Room opened). It mixes The Botanist gin with Johnnie Ryan tonic, bitters, and lemon rind and comes topped with a crown of pink peppercorns. Pair it with a seafood tower — you may as well go all out.
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This swanky Italian spot comes from the family team behind fashion brand BOND, which was started by brothers Arben and Kuj Durollari. Patriarch Will Durollari, whose nickname is “Nitti,” comes from a culinary family — his father owns a restaurant in New Jersey called Pomodoro. So it’s no surprise that Nitti serves Italian dishes in a stylish dining room with accents like an antique gold cash register, long red velvet banquettes, and a custom black marble bar. Belly up to it for the Pink G&T featuring The Botanist gin infused with maraschino cherries, lemon zest, and basil, topped with cherry blossom tonic water.
From the same people who brought Bluebird from London to New York comes this 11,000-square-foot restaurant in the brand new Hudson Yards. It has four concepts within it: Kitchen, serving British fare; Dining Room, serving more cosmopolitan fare; Café & Wine Bar, an all-day café with sandwiches and coffee during the daytime and wine in the evening; and Cocktail Bar, where you can order up The Botanist. It features The Botanist gin, Fever Tree elderflower tonic, lemon, thyme, rosemary, and juniper.
7. BARO by Chefs Society
Join the fray at this lively K-Town gastropub and order this floral take on a G&T: Rain Drops combines The Botanist gin, elderflower, rose lemonade, and tonic with a Campari float on the bottom. It’s the perfect refresher for rich snacks like lobster tacos with Korean-style slaw, bulgogi sliders, and aged kimchi pizza. If you’re starving, the large hot pot with clams and potato noodles or spicy pork, bacon, spam, sausage, and ramen noodles is the way to go.
8. Gold Bear
The new sister bar of Analogue, this sports-bar-cum-cocktail-den (yes, you read that right) is as unpretentious as it gets. There are 15 flat-screen TVs and shareable snacks like poutine with duck confit, duck gravy, and mozzarella curds and short rib tacos. But if you came for the drinks you won’t be disappointed — there are two cocktails on tap plus the Save the Queen special G&T. It’s made with The Botanist gin, bergamot, grapefruit, honey, strawberries, cucumber, cilantro, and topped with tonic.
9. Broken Shaker at Freehand New York
As the weather warms up, this rooftop hot spot above the Freehand Hotel is sure to attract long lines (again) waiting to enter the James Beard Award finalist and winner of Tales of the Cocktail’s Best American Hotel Bar. Top-quality ingredients from around the world meld together in cocktails like the Treat Yo Self N’ Tonic, made with The Botanist Gin, cucumbers, lime juice, simple syrup, and topped with a grapefruit rosemary tonic. Enjoy it as you snack on smoked lamb ribs with pomegranate barbecue sauce and mussels with Thai green curry. If you’re a bitters fiend or a fan of IPAs, try the Bitter Elixir cocktail: a concoction of The Botanist Gin, martini bitters, simple syrup, and bitter lemon soda.
From an Ai Fiori alum who also runs the Spaniard, this attractive Southern Italian seafood restaurant was designed by Parts and Labor Design with lots of wood, modern brass light fixtures, and plenty of plants that soak up the sunlight from the massive front windows. The high-ceilinged bar is an ideal perch from which to sample the goods, including the herbaceous Gin & Tonico made with The Botanist gin, charred lemon, lots of rosemary, and, of course, tonic. Pair it with one of the six crudos and the signature Mafaldini scampi, long curly pasta made with shrimp, parsley, butter, and lemon to recall the classic shrimp scampi.
Jazz lovers flock to this Greenwich Village bar thanks to its live music in the backroom and a simple aesthetic with decor like an antique record player and portraits of jazz legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. But the drinks are also worth going for, with house-made syrups, tinctures, bitters, and shrubs featured in many concoctions, including the lemon-forward Hebridean Cure with The Botanist gin, lemon juice, Kina L’avion D’or, Dolin Genepy, Fever Tree aromatic tonic, and a lemon oil rinse.
12. Mister Paradise
New York, NY 10009
The East Village recently gained this stylish Art Deco-inspired watering hole from Nomad alum Will Wyatt. The fun and funky drink list includes shooters, dirty martinis, and a spin on a G&T called The Purple Gin, made with The Botanist gin, tonic, violette, and a lemon twist. Munch on the gourmet hot pockets, fried chicken with habanero and truffle honey, or shrimp toast on challah bread.
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13. Arlo SoHo
The sleek but welcoming lobby bar and courtyard of the Arlo SoHo Hotel is an ideal place to enjoy the warmer weather. Munch on addictive bites like fried artichoke hearts with lemon, yogurt, and chile oil and deviled eggs with bacon by Harold Moore, while you peruse the comprehensive wine list, expansive whiskey collection, and expertly crafted cocktails like the simple but delicious Forager: A long cucumber slice is placed on the bottom of the glass and topped with crushed ice, The Botanist gin, and Q tonic.