Classic Gin & Tonic

The ever quaffable Gin & Tonic is a classic way to enjoy this botanical spirit. Since there are just two ingredients (plus a slice of lime if you like), it’s important to get the ratio of this refreshing cocktail just right.

A gin and tonic sits on a gray stone coaster.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, Feast + West receives a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are our own. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Classic Gin & Tonic recipe

Having a “recipe” for a two-ingredient drink might seem silly.

But when you have so few ingredients, it’s key to get the proportions just right and use quality ingredients.

And that’s incredibly true for the Gin & Tonic. This classic cocktail is one of the world’s favorite cocktails to order at bars, sip on planes and make at home.

It’s easy to see why: It’s incredibly simple, which is why it’s so delicious.

More two-ingredient drink recipes: Rum & CokeWhiskey GingerGreyhound

Why you’ll love this recipe

Gin & Tonics are a beloved cocktail. If you’re not already a fan, you might just be after trying this one. You’ll love it because…

  • The G&T is light, bright and effervescent — the ultimate refresher.
  • Once you learn the best ratio for gin to tonic, you can make it stronger or lighter from there.
  • You can keep it simple or experiment with flavors like fruits and herbs.
Overhead view of a clear cocktail garnished with herbs and a lime.

What is a Gin & Tonic?

Also known as a G&T, the Gin & Tonic is a classic cocktail made from herbaceous gin and bubbly tonic water.

It’s a bit similar to the Gin Rickey and Tom Collins, both made with club soda and lime juice.

The drink’s origins date back to the 1700s, when Scottish doctor George Cleghorn discovered that quinine — a key ingredient of tonic water found in the cinchona tree’s bark — could treat malaria.

British soldiers stationed in India in the 1800s drank alcohol with tonic daily to ward off malaria.

By the 1900s, the G&T rose in popularity, often with the addition of lime.

Even Winston Churchill once declared, “The gin and tonic drink has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.”

Tools & glassware

G&Ts are usually served in rocks glasses, which are short tumblers. Sometimes they are also served in giant goblets or stemless wine glasses.

They can also be served in a highball glass or Collins glass, which are both tall and skinny glasses.

Consider making some clear ice cubes to go with it. You’ll need a large ice cube tray for that.

I used herb ice cubes for these photos, one of my favorite cocktail garnish hacks. You could also make flower ice cubes with edible flowers.

A bubbling clear cocktail with lime garnish on a gray stone coaster.


When making a Gin & Tonic, choosing a quality gin and the best tonic water is key. Let’s talk about the simple ingredients you’ll need:


Some people love gin, and some don’t. It’s easy to see why: The herbal, almost medicinal taste is complex and strong.

But every brand of gin bears a different flavor profile. The one you choose will vastly affect the flavor of your G&T. Every person will have a different choice for their perfect gin, so take some time to experiment and find yours.

However, the most common type of gin for a London Dry Gin such as Bombay Sapphire.

Here are three gins I am enjoying right now:

  • The classic Hendrick’s Gin is sweet and herbaceous with hints of juniper berries.
  • A French gin, Citadelle Gin comes in a stunning blue bottle with a bright, aromatic flavor with a hint of spice.
  • You can even make a pink Gin & Tonic. Empress Gin is a purple gin made with butterfly pea powder. When it meets citrus, it changes color to turn pink.
A classic gin and tonic garnished with rosemary and a lime.

Types of gin

I summed this all up in my gin 101 guide, but here’s a quick primer on the different types of gin.

  • London dry is what most people know as gin. It’s light-bodied and the best for gin-and-tonics, aviations and dry martinis.
  • Plymouth is a rich gin that’s only made in Plymouth, England. It is clean, dry and suitable anytime you’d use a London dry.
  • A sweeter, more full-bodied version, Old Tom is best for the Tom Collins, Gin Rickeys and Martinez drinks.
  • Genever is the original gin, less herbal and more crushable. Drink it straight or mix it in a John Collins or a gin fizz.
  • The international style pulls from various botanicals worldwide, bringing more worldly flavors to gin.
  • Sloe gin is a fruity version of gin, traditionally plum-flavored. More often than not, it is a misnomer made with vodka and flavoring.

Tonic water

The other main ingredient you’ll need is a quality tonic water.

Tonic water is similar to club soda with an infusion of quinine root from the cinchona bark and added sweeteners. You can find it at your local grocery store beside the soda water and seltzer.

Seagram’s and Schweppes are two common brands. Many grocery stores also carry a store brand.

Some higher-end brands are Fentiman’s, Q and Fever Tree tonic water. You can also make your own tonic syrup that you can mix with club soda.

A gin and tonic in a clear rocks glass on a gray stone coaster.


A lime slice or lime wedge is the most common garnish for a Gin & Tonic because it has a fresh look and adds a little citrus flavor.

Other garnishes for Gin & Tonics include:

  • cucumber ribbons or slices
  • lemon slices or wedges
  • lime or lemon twist
  • lime or lemon peel
  • edible flowers
  • fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary or mint sprigs
  • orange slice
  • grapefruit slice
  • fresh berries
Gin is poured over an herbal ice cube in a rocks glass.

How to make a Gin & Tonic

Making the perfect G&T is super simple. Since it’s only two ingredients, you don’t even need a cocktail shaker.

First, fill a rocks glass or tall glass with ice. Measure out the gin in a jigger and pour it into the ice-filled glass.

Top with tonic water. Then garnish with a wedge of lime or a lime wheel, a sprig of mint or even some berries.

Tips & tricks

Use a 1:2 ratio of gin to tonic. If you like less quinine flavor, use less tonic water.

Add the ice first, then the gin, then the tonic. If adding a lemon or lime garnish, add it last, giving it a gentle squeeze to release a little bit of the oils and juices into the drink, which adds a hint of citrus fragrance and flavor.

Tonic water is poured into a rocks glass.

Variations and substitutions

Adding fruits and herbs to the classic G&T are a great way to mix up this cocktail and make it perfect year-round.

Try one of these spins on the classic Gin & Tonic:

Or you could make some gin & tonic jello shots. Thanks to the quinine in tonic water, they glow in the dark, making them a fun choice for Halloween.

Two gin cocktails sit side by side on a white surface. A whole lime, fresh herb sprigs and gold cocktail jigger sit surrounding the glasses.

What to pair with a Gin & Tonic

Gin & Tonics are perfect for snacking and appetizers. The botanicals in gin and the sp

Try them with salty and savory snacks like buttered popcorn or a charcuterie plate or seafood like popcorn shrimp.

Sweet and tart, fruit is another great choice. Consider fresh berries, orange slices or baked peaches.

Chocolate, too, is nice with a Gin & Tonic. Consider some dark chocolate, a double chocolate chip cookie or chocolate-covered strawberries.


What is so special about Gin and Tonic?

Despite having only two ingredients, the Gin & Tonic is a balanced cocktail. Subtly sweet, herbal gin is a perfect match for bitter tonic water. With a hint of lemon or lime for the garnish, the citrus rounds out the flavor.

What’s the ratio for Gin and Tonic?

The ideal ratio is 1:2, one part gin to two parts tonic water. However, some people may like their drink more or less strong, so start with the basic ratio and adjust to your tastes.

What does Gin and Tonic pair well with?

Gin & Tonic cocktails go well with seafood, salty snacks, cheese, berries and chocolate.

Do you pour gin or tonic first?

For a gin and tonic, pour gin first over ice, then top with tonic water.

More gin cocktails

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

A gin and tonic in a clear rocks glass on a gray stone coaster.

Gin & Tonic

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
A classic Gin & Tonic is a great cocktail to know. Once you know the right ratio, you can experiment with different types of gin to find your perfect G&T.
5 from 51 votes
Print Save


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 4 ounces tonic water
  • lime or lemon slices for garnish


  • To a rocks glass filled with ice, add the gin.
  • Slowly top with tonic water.
  • Garnish with lime, lemon or fresh herbs.


Start by tasting a 1:2 ratio of gin to tonic, then adjust the strength if needed.
Add the ice first, then the gin, then the tonic. If adding a lemon or lime garnish, add it last, giving it a gentle squeeze to release a little bit of the oils and juices into the drink, which adds a hint of citrus fragrance and flavor.

recommended products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 1 cocktail

amount per serving:

Serving: 6ounces Calories: 131kcal Sodium: 24mg Potassium: 3mg Calcium: 6mg Iron: 0.03mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!

The Golden Ratio Guide:

Mix the perfect cocktail, every time

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!