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.
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Classic Gin & Tonic recipe
Having a “recipe” for a two-ingredient
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.
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.
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.
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
Tools & glassware
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.
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.
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.
Drinkit 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.
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 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
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.
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
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:
- An Orange Gin & Tonic has a sweet citrus spin for winter.
- Muddled blackberries brighten the tonic in this Blackberry G&T.
- Cool down with a Frozen Gin & Tonic in the summertime.
- This Thyme Apple G&T is perfect for apple season.
- For the holidays, a Cranberry Gin & Tonic is festive and fun. (Use a juniper-forward gin for extra Christmas tree flavor!)
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.
What to pair with a Gin & Tonic
Gin & Tonics are perfect for snacking and appetizers. The botanicals in gin and the sp
Sweet and tart, fruit is another great choice. Consider fresh berries, orange slices or baked peaches.
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.
The ideal ratio is 1:2, one part gin to two parts tonic water. However, some people may like their
Gin & Tonic cocktails go well with seafood, salty snacks, cheese, berries and chocolate.
For a gin and tonic, pour gin first over ice, then top with tonic water.
More gin cocktails
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Gin & Tonic
- 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.
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