“This is essentially a rum and tonic, without the tonic water,” says Orlando McCray. “Two liqueurs provide the gentian, while the soda brings bubbles, with dark rum to balance.” He encourages you to play around with the acidity level of this “mock tonic” by subtracting ingredients—like the Suze, or the lime juice—to fine-tune what you like best.
For McCray, the highball is a favorite vehicle for showcasing a spirit: Bubbles are the most effective way to open up flavors. But, he advises: “Make sure all ingredients are incorporated with a gentle stir. [Just] ‘topping’ with bubbles is a misleading technique and not effective in creating balanced drinks.”