Drinks Holiday Recipes Savory

The Winter Gin and Tonic

One of the essential attributes of a bonafide New Orleans homebody is a well-equipped home bar and a humble bit of cocktail curiosity.  If you’re going to be home, you best welcome folks over, and you certainly must offer them a cocktail. 

Listen. I don’t make the rules, I’m just here to share them. 

My bar has become a collection of memories of friends and places, long nights spent out on the back porch, Friendsgiving holidays, impromptu happy hours… and ok, maybe the occasional morning headache. I’m a human, too. 

This cocktail is a Winter version of my favorite: a classic gin and tonic. It’s made Wintery with the addition of fuzzy-soft, tender and lovely fresh sage leaves. Gin lends itself very well to aromatic elements and sage is surprising, and no exception.  

This cocktail recipe was a holiday gift from Suzonne Stirling and her cocktail-crafting husband, Michael.  Give a girl a cocktail, she has a cocktail.  Teach a girl how to make a cocktail… that’s a good time, for a long time.  THANK YOU! 

I don’t need to explain a gin and tonic to you – the ingredients are right there in the title.


We’re Winterizing this cocktail to spiritually warm our insides against the cold cold outsides.

It’s been a cold Winter, hasn’t it?  This cocktail is a long time comin’.  

We’ll need:  

Gin (the gin pictured, and the gin I’m loving right now is this Austin Reserve Gin.  It has the most pleasing hints of lavender!)  

Fresh sage leaves (a lot, don’t be shy) + Fresh limes

Gran Classico adds an aromatic bitterness and depth to the cocktail.  A splash will do just perfectly. 

ice and tonic water (Fever Tree is really very good is you’re willing to break the bank, ya know?)

Combine lime wedges and fresh sage in the bottom of a tall glass.  

Muddle, smash, crush.  Get in there.  

We’re extracting lime juice, citrus oils, and sage fragrance and flavor. 

Top the muddling with gin and Gran Classicso.  

Top the gin with ice.

Top the ice with tonic water. 

Add a bit more ice if needed. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge and a dainty sprig of sage leaf.  


Cheers to these chilly days, these warm flavored cocktails, and fine friends to share them with. 

Photos with Jon Melendez

The Winter Gin and Tonic
Serves 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
For One Cocktail
  1. 1 generous lime wedge
  2. 4 to 6 fresh sage leaves
  3. 1 teaspoon Gran Classico Bitters
  4. 1 1/4 ounce gin
  5. crushed ice
  6. tonic water
  7. lime wedge or round for garnish
  8. a few fresh sage leaves for garnish
  1. In a highball glass, muddle a generous lime wedge with 4 to 6 sage leaves.
  2. Add the Gran Classico and the gin.
  3. Fill the glass halfway with ice. Add tonic. Add more ice and tonic to top.
  4. Garnish with a lime round or wedge and a small sprig of fresh sage. Enjoy!
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