August 12, 2020

Happy Hour Explorers: Moon River

On a hot day in downtown Savannah, walking by Moon River Brewing Company’s beer garden can be a blessing or a curse. With overhead fans and open picnic benches, stopping for a quick drink is a pleasure. If you have places to be, however, the promising oasis is nothing but temptation.

IMG_3812If the stroll happens to occur between the hours of 4-7 pm daily, then you are in luck, for the strain won’t be on your pocketbook.


Here’s the deal: $1 off draft beer, 1/2 off house wines, and 1/2 off well liquor.

Moon River Happy Hour
21 W Bay Street

If you just need something to quench your thirst for cheap, might I recommend a gin and tonic? We ducked in on a rainy day, mostly to escape the classic Savannah downpour, and that well-level G & T hit the spot.

It’s a no-frills sort of place to get a pint, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. No gimmicks, no fancy glasses, just a pleasant beer garden with a few lawn games to pass the time.

The Gin & Tonic

Basic. So basic, does it really need a recipe? Well…there’s that old saying about everyone has an opinion?

There’s many opinions on gin, florals or botanicals, and many opinions on the various types of tonic available.

I’ll leave you to your favorites, whether it be a Hendricks and Fever Tree Tonic, garnished with a cucumber, or a Bombay Sapphire and Schweppe’s, garnished with a lime.

What I do want to make you aware of is a few variations to punch up a summer refreshment. I’ve gleaned a few tricks from around the web-ernets, and a few bartending books.

Variations on a Gin & Tonic:

Moon River Happy Hour
So many choices.
  • Adding flavored bitters.

I’ve tried Grapefruit bitters, which does add complexity that is very tasty to a Beefeaters and Schweppes combination. What was even better was Grapefruit and Peach Bitters. The combination of the two made the cocktail new again.



  • Produce!
Moon River Happy Hour
Basil and Rosemary

Adding cucumbers, mint, or strawberries, (or all three) muddling or even just in slices, punch up a two-ingredient drink.

  • Carbonation

I have not tried this yet, but according to the author of Liquid Intelligence, Dave Arnold, one can carbonate gin in a Sodastream-type device. Sodastream, of course, recommends against carbonating anything but water, as it could gum up the lines. But since the sugar in alcohol is fermented, and not syrup, that particular hiccup might not occur. But I stress, I have not tried it, and so I cannot recommend the process. Try at your own risk.

Whether you add bitters to the tried-and-true gin and tonic or garnish with some foliage, try a boosted gin & tonic for no other reason than a little variety. It makes an at-home drink feel that much fancier.

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