How to Make a Gin and Tonic

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A gin and tonic is a cocktail made with gin and tonic water poured over ice. It’s a refreshing and easy mixed cocktail, to add charm add a flower on top with a striped paper straw!

Also check out our 5 best gin and tonic recipes and our best gin cocktails too!

Tall gin and tonic cocktail with edible flowers, limes and a green paper straw.

If you’re wondering how to make a Gin and Tonic, it literally consists of 3 ingredients… gin, tonic and lime juice. Yes, the name says it all! It’s that simple and boy is it satisfying. When I traveled to Zurich a few years ago this was the drink of choice.

You could buy them as you walked down the street and they would serve up Gin and Tonics in to-go cups to take with you!

So what makes this classic cocktail so good? Creating a balanced cocktail where you can taste each ingredient is the answer.

Quick Tip – Use the small glass bottles of tonic water so it stays fresh and carbonated and avoids tasting flat. Stay charming!

How to Make a Gin and Tonic Video

Ingredients

Gin – Use any quality gin you like.

Tonic Water – A bubbly water made with sugar and quinine.

  • Add all of the ingredients in a high ball glass with ice and stir.
  • Garnish with a lime or an edible flower. Cheers!

Origins Of The Drink

The Gin and Tonic drink has been around for centuries and was actually created for medicinal purposes in the 1700’s. The cocktail was introduced by the army of the British East India Company in India.

In India and other tropical regions, malaria was a persistent problem. In the 1700s it was discovered by Scottish doctor George Cleghorn that quinine could be used to prevent and treat the disease.

The quinine was drunk in tonic water, however, the bitter taste was unpleasant. British officers in India in the early 19th century took to adding a mixture of water, sugar, lime, and gin to the quinine in order to make the drink more palatable, thus gin and tonic was born. 

Soldiers in India were already given a gin ration, and the sweet concoction made sense. Since it is no longer used as an antimalarial, tonic water today contains much less quinine, is usually sweetened and is consequently much less bitter. Quite the history!

gin and tonic with fruit

How To Make Gin and Tonic – Spanish Style!

In Spain, a variation on the drink called Gin-Tonic has become popular. This differs from a traditional gin and tonic as it is served in a balloon glass (copa de balon) or coupe glass with plenty of ice and a garnish tailored to the flavors of the gin.

The drink could be fruit-based but the use of herbs and vegetables, reflecting the gin’s botanicals, is increasingly popular.

The balloon glass is used because the aromas of the drink can gather at its opening for the drinker to more easily appreciate.

The popularity of this variation of the gin and tonic has led to the establishment of Gin-Tonic bars, in which customers can choose their preferred gin, tonic, and garnish from a menu.

So you can mix things up and go Spanish by serving in a balloon glass and with some fresh rosemary or thyme or other fragrant herbs!

Using Herbs in Your Gin and Tonic

Here are some great herbs and additions to lift your gin!

Lavender

Lavender is so much more than your auntie’s preferred soap scent. In moderation, lavender is warm and wildly aromatic, a scent memory of Provencal summers.

If you like your gin and tonic garnishes on the floral side, don’t stop there: edible flowers are also an increasingly popular – and visually impressive – garnish.

Rosemary

Powerful, robust rosemary adds a deliciously savory note to any G&T. Thanks to the herb’s piney flavor profile, it also plays very well alongside the juniper.

Cinnamon Sticks

The sweet spice of cinnamon is a potent flavor addition to your G&T, so be sure you’re using a gin that can hold its own. Just don’t be tempted to use your cinnamon as a swizzle stick – you don’t want your G&T becoming under-carbonated after a few idle stirs.

Lemon Thyme

If you’re a tippler who’s always come down on the lemon side in the great garnish debate, then consider adding a few sprigs of lemon thyme to your G&T. The end result should be equal parts of lemony and herbaceous.

Top Tips For a Gin and Tonic

  • Ger creative with garnish. Aromatics are especially important in such a refreshing and simple drink as the G&T.
  • Choose a good gin and a good tonic water. The quality of the ingredients makes a difference.
  • Garnish with lime.
  • Serve with a striped paper straw or a reusable straw.

When to Serve a Gin and Tonic

This is a simpel cocktail to make and can be enjoyed during happy hour or at any of these speical occasions:

Brunch

Pool Party

 Beach Bonfire 

Birthday Party it’s also perfect for a last-minute birthday party!

Carnival Party

Garden Party 

Tropical Party

Cookies and Cocktail Party

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ratio of gin to tonic?

The ratio for a gin and tonic can vary and be altered to the way you like it. A good ratio is 2 parts tonic water and 1 part gin with a splash of lime.

Check Out These Other Delicious Cocktails

Lavender Gin and Tonic Punch

Cranberry and Thyme Gin and Tonic

Pretty Pink Cranberry and Gin Martini

Snow Globe Cocktail with a Rosemary Gin Fizz

A Gin and Jam Cocktail

How to Make a Coffee Tonic

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How to make a gin and tonic

HOW TO MAKE A GIN AND TONIC

Start making the best gin and tonics!
4.25 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drink
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 Serving
Calories: 133kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces good quality gin
  • 4 ounces fresh tonic water, use the small glass bottles to ensure freshness
  • 1/2 lime juice. You can cut the lime into 4 wedges and use two wedges per drink or juice ½ lime

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients in a high ball glass with ice and stir.
  • Garnish with a lime or an edible flower. Cheers!

Nutrition

Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 24mg | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin C: 3mg
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