Gin is one of my favorite spirits. I remember having my first sip of Tanqueray 10 in college and though I was initially shocked by the burn of alcohol, I can still recall the intense botanical flavor that persisted afterwards. Though we often don’t drink this spirit straight, many gin lovers really look to actually taste it in a drink, rather than have it masked, and with this G+T, made with a navy strength gin, that’s precisely the point.

Of course, the gin and tonic is not considered to be a cocktail by many, but try telling that to the majority of the country. This drink’s history and flavor dates back to the 1800’s, when naval officers needed a palpable vessel to deliver their required quinine intake, helping ward off disease during their travels. In the 20th century, however, it became the main vessel for making gin palpable, in addition to the martini, likely helping to ward off a wide range of delicious and inventive cocktails that were ubiquitous prior to Prohibition.

But history and so-called cocktail snobbery aside, for a bit of college-era nostalgia, this is the best gin and tonic I’ve ever had, and I’d encourage any lover of the drink to try it with a navy strength gin at 57% ABV, which will literally allow gun powder to still fire if somehow dowsed in the ship’s gin supply. Seek out the first domestic gin of this proof caliber, NY Distilling Company’s Perry’s Tot Navy-Strength Gin, if you can find it locally or online. This drink packs a punch, but it’s a prime choice for the gin fans out there.