Apologies to my brother- and sister-in-law, who are snowed in in Louisville, KY, and have been without power all week, but it’s been in the high 70s and low 80s the past few days in Los Angeles, which is why I’ve been enjoying an unseasonably seasonal gin and tonic or two made with my very favorite, Old Raj. I don’t indulge in Old Raj very often because it costs a whopping $50/bottle, and even I can’t justify that. Well, let me try. Old Raj is distinctive in that it’s made with a small amount of saffron, giving this juniper-forward Scottish gin an exotic spicy note and its pale straw color. I love the drawing of on the side of the label, for which the caption reads “Old Raj gin and Indian tonic, served after the hunt.” If you wish to follow serving instructions to the letter of the law, look for Fever Tree Indian Tonic, a British tonic developed by the former CEO of another favorite gin, Plymouth.
NOTE ON TONIC: Unless, someone can tell me otherwise, I am pretty sure “Indian tonic” is the name under which tonic is marketed in the British Empire. Last time I was in England, I noticed that the classic yellow-label Schweppes was labeled “Indian Tonic” whereas in the States we drop the ol’ Raj routine, and the same yellow label is simply labeled “Tonic Water.”