It shames me a bit to admit, but late last spring, in an effort to get control of an expanding waistline, I declared a moratorium on beer until July 4th.* This would be no easy feat, but it has been helped along by an increased consumption of gin mixed with diet tonic. Normally these are just mixed a glass at a time, but for weekends or special occasions I like to stir up a pitcher using a recipe my sister, no stranger to gin herself, gave me years ago. (To give credit where it is due, I did a little Internet research and found a similar recipe originally credited to venerable New York bartender and writer Toby Cecchini.) The photocopied guide has long since been lost, but I’ve made them enough times that the simple ratio is ingrained in my head.

*As for the beer ban, I didn’t plan on wheat harvest being two weeks ahead of schedule, so I only made it until the middle of June before cracking a can.

Gin and Tonics By the Pitcher

**Ingredients **
-6 limes
-1 pint of good gin
-1 liter of tonic

**Directions **
Roll five of the limes on the counter until softened, then juice. Cut the juiced limes into slices and add to a large pitcher.
Add the gin and lime juice to the pitcher and muddle.
Fill the pitcher with ice, then pour in the tonic.
Stir and serve, garnishing the glasses with slices cut from the remaining lime.