Thicket & Tonic · Craigie on Main

By Eric Twardzik · 09/29/2020

In the process of Craigie on Main’s pandemic-era transformation into Craigie Next Door, the Cambridge restaurant converted what was once a parking lot into what now looks like the dining setup of a backyard wedding you wish you were invited to.

Adding to that backyard feel is the Thicket & Tonic, a highball that combines lime juice and simple syrup with blackberry-infused Hendrick’s Gin, blanc vermouth, and a splash of tonic water.

“Hendrick’s is known for its primary cucumber and rose notes rather than juniper,” says general manager Jared Sadoian. “But I find both [of those notes] to be great, slightly savory and aromatic complements to the fruit and light bitterness from the fresh blackberries.”

Blanc vermouth (also called white or bianco) is generally sweeter than dry vermouth but more floral than a sweet vermouth. For this cocktail, Sadoian has selected a blanc from French maker Dolin.

“I wanted to stretch the flavors of the cocktail without just dumping in more high-strength spirit, so vermouth is a natural choice,” he says. “Dolin Blanc is beautifully aromatic and lightly sweet, and at just above the ABV of wine, it doesn’t bowl you over.”

The drink is made with an “integration shake,” meaning it’s shaken for roughly half the normal time (a good five or six seconds should do). The end result is a highball that looks simple but contains multitudes, thanks to the bitter influence of the blackberries and gin botanicals and the light, sweet touch of vermouth.

Thicket & Tonic
1½ ounces Fever Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water
1¼ ounces blackberry-infused Hendrick’s Gin*
1 ounce Dolin Blanc Vermouth
¾ ounce lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup

Add gin, vermouth, lime juice, and simple syrup to a shaker filled with ice and shake for about 6 seconds. Double strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with tonic water.

*Blackberry-Infused Hendrick’s Gin
750ml Hendrick’s Gin
¾ cup blackberries

Combine blackberries and gin in a container and seal. Allow mixture to sit for 2 weeks, shaking the container to agitate once daily. Strain out blackberries once the infusion is complete. Keeps about 4 additional weeks.

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