Best Mixer - 2012
John's Premium Tonic Syrup
John Cavanagh's been crafting small batches of tonic (as in "gin and") since 2008, but the heady elixir really took off this year, with a glowing Wall Street Journal writeup and a New Times Big Brain culinary award. The concentrated syrup's easy to ship and store — simply add soda water to reconstitute. Snag some on the spot at sister cafés Tuck Shop and Astor House and, as Cavanagh suggests, carry it around to mix your own drinks in bars. It also makes an ultra-classy gift for friends who are good hosts, those who like local and natural products, or anybody who's damn picky about their gin and doesn't want to fuck it up.