In general, for warmer weather and more refreshing drinks, you’ll want to stick to clear spirits. This doesn’t mean you can’t have brown spirits (dark rum, whiskey), but be aware of the downsides. Being out in the heat and sweating can already make you dehydrated, and drinking any alcohol without enough water can lead to hangovers. Darker spirits are more likely to provoke longer and more severe hangovers the next day.

Calorie-wise, there isn’t any significant difference between dark or clear liquors. The caloric content of any hard liquor is mainly a function of the liquor’s proof. Since 1 gram of alcohol contains 7 calories, the higher the proof, the higher the calorie content. If you’re watching calories for your diet, you’re better served by paying attention to your mixers, which usually are filled with sugar and empty calories.

This drink can be made with almost any clear liquor if you don’t care for gin. Whichever liquor you choose, pick something that tastes good on its own. Since there isn’t much else going into this drink, bottom-shelf liquor can make this drink suffer.

  • 1 to 3 parts gin (depending upon taste)
  • 3 parts tonic water
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 lime slice or wedge (for garnish)
  • Ice cubes (for extra points, make them out of tonic water)


Fill a tall, narrow (preferably chilled) glass with ice cubes. Add gin, then the tonic water, then the lime juice. Mix well. Garnish with a lime wedge, and serve. Enjoy your drink!

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