The vodka tonic is one of the simplest, yet demanded drinks at the social bar. Depending on the bartender, the typical vodka tonic will either be made with one part each of vodka and tonic, or one part vodka and three parts tonic. And then, the final deft touch to give it a special taste: A generous lime wedge. The drinker will then, depending on his or her preference, do the deed at the bar, or take it back to their table and have a seat before commencing with the sacred ritual of lime squeezing. This is something that I have done countless times since I started drinking vodka tonics, shortly after my 21st birthday some time back. I never gave it much of a thought, aside from the fact that I considered it an average drink, and by no means one of my top 5 favorite cocktails(coincidentally, subject for a possible feature article). The reason I would order them was that they were quick, easy, cheap, and impossible to mess up. There is also the fact that certain bars in this area have vodka specials once or twice a week, where they can be ordered at half price. That is certainly a good option for anyone who is either on a budget, or loves vodka.
Getting back to the matter at hand; The vodka tonic was an average drink at a cheap price that was quick to obtain from a busy bartender. My view on the beverage was changed this past May, however, when I went on a cruise through the Caribbean with several close friends. One morning(shameless, I know. But it’s a Caribbean cruise!), we were sitting at one of the bars closest to the swimming pool on the sun deck, and we were ordering drinks. I was last in line, and just before me, my dear friend Lauren ordered the vodka tonic. I decided right then and there that I probably would as well, even though the Mimosa was sounding delicious. But then my mind was blown when she added an instruction for the drink: “No lime. Lemon, please.”
This startled me yet sounded oddly thrilling, so I added the same instruction to my drink, while she informed me that she always orders them that way because she prefers the taste of lemon over lime. I commenced with the fruit squeezing and stirring ritual, then took a sip. I quickly concurred with her assessment, that the lemon did indeed add a better flavor to the otherwise bland drink. While I appreciate a good lime in my summer lagers, I have found that I definitely prefer the strong sour taste of a lemon in my vodka tonic, rather than the metallic sweetness of a lime. Break the mold and try it for yourself; Tell the bartender to hold the lime, please.