Talking Tonic with Rancho Pinot's Travis Nass
|Image via Apartment Therapy|
|Take a sip back in time with Rancho Pinot's gin and tonic featuring homemade tonic|
That said, you really haven't tried a true "G & T," as they call it over in jolly ol' England, until you've sidled up to the bar at Rancho Pinot in Scottsdale. Here, the mustachioed master mixologist, Travis Nass, serves up a version that looks like nothing you've ever seen before. Crafted with homemade tonic that gives each cocktail a distinctly rust-colored tinge, it's a tasty throwback to the time when this classic sipper could literally save your life.
In The Beginning
Invented hundreds of years ago in England, the gin and tonic was a solution to a vexing problem plaguing the far-flung British Empire. Over in India, soldiers were dropping like flies from repeated outbreaks of malaria. And at the time, the only effective prescription to help prevent this deadly disease was a medicinal water, or tonic, infused with quinine, a very bitter-tasting brew made from the bark of the South American cinchona tree (pictured).
|Rancho Pinot's hand-crafted tonic water starts with a syrup steeped with the bark of Cinchona tree|
Fast forward a few centuries, and today's tonic has little in common with these early medicinal brews. Sure, it may have a minute amount of quinine, but these mass-produced carbonated waters are also brimming with added sugars and artificial flavors that mask the original bitterness of traditional tonic.
Enter Travis Nass, the bolo tie-wearing bartender over at Rancho Pinot who's built quite a reputation for his obsessive dedication to hand-crafted ingredients. Forget squeezing his own fruit juices, Nash actually brews up his own bitters, liqueurs and syrups. Which is how he makes his own tonic water, by blending carbonated water with syrup and natural sweeteners. Starting with a base of cinchona tree, Nash makes this syrup in small batches by steeping the tree bark it in hot water, along with various other herbs and spices such as lemongrass, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and anise.
|The mustachioed master mixologist, Travis Nass|
Where to Drink
6208 North Scottsdale Road