What to Drink at Freemans Upstairs: Tom’s Tonic with Gin


Each week in The Daily Shot, we have ourselves a drink that we think you should try, too.

​The drink: Tom’s Tonic With Gin

The bar: Freemans Upstairs (Freeman Alley, second floor, 212-420-0012 )

The price: $12

The ingredients: Gin, spiced quinine syrup, and soda.

The buzz: Usually in The Daily Shot, we feature feats of mixology, complex concoctions that involve shakers and bar spoons and a list of ingredients that can include anything from illicit aperitif wines to once-controversial egg whites. Today, however, we take time to appreciate the simple gin and tonic. Or, in this case, the Tonic With Gin. There is true artistry in a good gin and tonic. In Spain, for example, where the drink is more popular than it is, in all likelihood, anywhere else, it can come with any combination gin and tonic, as well as with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. At Freemans Upstairs, it’s served with Tom’s Tonic, an artisanal brand of bubbles that comes in a deep amber color as opposed to more common clear. Spiced quinine (the bitter anti-malarial substance British colonials mixed with gin to mask the taste) adds an extra bite. The result is refreshing, but sharp enough to demand a pause at each sip. (The bitter tonic comes first, after all.) It’s what vodka-soda drinkers graduate to when they grow up.

See (and sip) more Daily Shots here.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 20, 2011

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