The TNT | Tequila and Tonic, a combo of tequila, lime juice, and tonic water, an easy to drink cocktail. The TNT is a great thirst-quencher and one of my favorites tequila cocktails in this blistering hot Texas summer.
What is Tonic Water?
Tonic water is a great cocktail mixer perfect for my Tequila and tonic and it has an interesting origin story. Tonic water gets its bitter flavor from Quinine, a medicine used to prevent Malaria. In the 1800s in order to make the quinine more palatable the British military stationed in India, mixed the extremely bitter medicine with seltzer and lemon, thus the birth of ‘Tonic Water’. Today tonic water doesn’t actually have enough quinine in it to be medicinal, it’s just there for the slightly bitter flavor it gives this mixer.
Typically, tonic water is a mixer with either gin, bourbon, or vodka. However, I also use it in my Absinthe and tonic, and my Tequila and tonic recipes. Tonic water although not as concentrated as ‘bitters’ has the same ability to highlight and enhance your favorite Tequila. At the same time bringing a nice refreshing fizz to this Tequila and tonic that you want in a summery cocktail without being sugary.
Tonic and Tequila
Why does tonic water go so well with Tequila and Mezcal? Simple enough, it has a slightly bitter flavor.
We’ve been adding bitters to cocktails since the 1800s, these highly concentrated extracts are potent, boozy little flavor bombs. Adding a few dashes of bitters to cocktails adds complexity, depth, and character. Everything you love about a good top shelf Tequila is highlighted and enhanced by the bitters. Which makes the Tequila and tonic such a great, easy to make cocktail.
Tonic water although not as concentrated as ‘bitters’ has the same ability to highlight and enhance your favorite Tequila. At the same time bringing a nice refreshing fizz that you want from a summery cocktail mixer without being sugary.
I prefer ‘Añejo’ or aged Tequila in this Tequila and tonic recipe. Its flavor is less harsh, smoother, and smoky flavor and is aged in small oak barrels. Añejo tequila and tonic go well together.
Experiment with the Sugar Content in Your Tequila and Tonic
As I experimented with the lime and sugar content. My personal preference in the Tequila and tonic was for a whisper of lime and no sugar. My co-conspirator in this experiment liked the cocktail with both more lime and sugar. Both versions of the Tequila and tonic are excellent, but you should try them both ways and decide for yourself.
The TNT, with the slightly bitter flavor of Tonic Water and the smokiness of Añejo Tequila mixed with just a whisper of lime and optional simple syrup. I predict this Tequila and tonic is going to be your summer go-to thirst quencher.
Here is my recipe for The TNT | Tequila, and Tonic
TNT | Tequila and Tonic
- 2 Ounces Tequila Preferably Añejo
- 1/2 Ounce Simple Syrup
- 1/2 Ounce Lime Juice Fresh
- 3 Ounces Tonic Water
- Limes slices or wedges
- Combine all ingredients except tonic water in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well until ice cold
- Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and pour in the cocktail. Top off with tonic water
- Garnish with slices of fresh lime