Gin and Tonic Cocktail Recipe

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Gin and Tonic Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Gin and Tonic is a classic cocktail with origins dating back to the 19th century when British soldiers in India mixed gin with tonic water to help combat malaria. The quinine in the tonic water was believed to have medicinal properties, and the gin helped to make the bitter taste more palatable. Today, the Gin and Tonic is enjoyed by people all over the world and is a staple at bars and cocktail parties.

How Gin and Tonic Tastes?

The Gin and Tonic is a refreshing, crisp, and slightly bitter cocktail with a hint of sweetness. The botanical flavors of the gin are complemented by the sharpness of the tonic water, creating a balanced and invigorating drink.

Interesting facts about Gin and Tonic

  • The Gin and Tonic was originally created as a way to make the bitter taste of tonic water more enjoyable.
  • The quinine in tonic water was believed to help prevent malaria, making the Gin and Tonic a popular drink among British soldiers stationed in India.
  • There are countless variations of the Gin and Tonic, with different gins and tonics offering unique flavor profiles.


A few good options for Gin and Tonic are:

  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Roku Japanese Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


  • Used for its botanical and juniper flavors which are the heart of this cocktail. 2 oz is the sweet spot; too little and you'll just be drinking spiked tonic water, too much and it's goodbye taste buds, hello floor.

Alex Green

Tonic Water

  • Brings effervescence and a quinine bitterness that balances the gin. 4 oz keeps the cocktail light and refreshing. A different ratio could either overpower the gin or leave the drink flat and overly sweet.

Emma Rose


  • Adds a fresh citrus zing. Half a lime's juice is enough to tantalize without turning the drink into a pucker-fest. Omitting it could mean a one-dimensional drink. Limes are like the life of the party – without them, things just aren't as lively.

Mary Mitkina


  • Keeps the drink cold and dilutes it slightly as it melts, which is crucial for mellowing the flavors. No ice means a warm and too-concentrated cocktail that won't hit the refreshing notes you're after.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Gin and Tonic Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour 2 oz of gin over the ice.
  3. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the glass.
  4. Top with 4 oz of tonic water.
  5. Stir gently to combine.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality tonic water. The tonic water makes up the majority of the drink, so its quality will greatly affect the overall taste.
  • Experiment with different gins. Different gins have different botanical profiles, which can add a unique twist to your Gin and Tonic.
  • Don't skimp on the ice. A Gin and Tonic should be served very cold, so fill the glass to the top with ice.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Seafood: Classic Gin and Tonic pairs splendidly with light seafood dishes, such as shrimp cocktail or a fresh ceviche, where the citrus notes can complement the seafood flavors.
  • Salty Snacks: The bubbly and crisp nature of Gin and Tonic can cut through the saltiness of snacks such as salted nuts or chips, making for a refreshing contrast.
  • Spicy Foods: The effervescence and cooling sensation can help to balance the heat in spicy dishes, such as a Thai green curry or spicy tapas.

Drink Pairings

  • Light Beers: To maintain the refreshing profile between courses or bites, a light Pilsner or Lager can be a delightful segue.
  • White Wine: Alternatively, a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc has similar citrus notes that will dance well alongside your Gin and Tonic.

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What you could change in Gin and Tonic

  • Gin: You can experiment with different types of gin to change the flavor profile. For a more floral taste, try using a gin like Hendrick's.
  • Tonic Water: For a less bitter taste, you can substitute the tonic water with soda water.
  • Lime: If you don't have lime, you can use lemon instead. It will give a different taste, but still refreshing.

Explore all drinks starting with G here

And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Gin and Tonic

  • Ingredients: Gin, Tonic Water, Lime, Ice, Cucumber slices. Recipe: Slice cucumber thinly. Follow the standard recipe but add cucumber slices along with the lime for a spa-like refreshment. The cucumber adds a cooling sensation and a touch of garden-fresh elegance.

Elderflower Gin and Tonic

  • Ingredients: Gin, Elderflower Liqueur, Tonic Water, Lime, Ice. Recipe: Cut back on gin to 1.5 oz, add 0.5 oz Elderflower Liqueur. This twist introduces a floral sweetness, perfect for those who enjoy a softer, more perfumed drink.

Spiced Gin and Tonic

  • Ingredients: Spiced Gin, Tonic Water, Lime, Ice, Star Anise, Cardamom. Recipe: Use spiced gin in place of regular gin and garnish with star anise and cardamom. It’s a warmer, more aromatic take that’s great as an evening sipper as the nights draw in.

In case you forgot basics how to make Gin and Tonic

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Gin and Tonic

What other mixers can I use with gin besides tonic water?

You can mix gin with a variety of juices like grapefruit, lemon, or orange. Also, you can mix it with soda water, ginger ale, or bitter lemon.

What's the difference between a gin & tonic and a Tom Collins?

While both drinks contain gin and lemon, a Tom Collins also includes sugar and it's usually topped with soda water.

How correct is perception that gin and tonic is a 'summer' drink?

It's absolutely acceptable to enjoy a gin and tonic year-round. However, many people associate it with summer because it's refreshing and served cold.

I'd like to try a non-alcoholic version. Any advice?

Non-alcoholic gins, also known as 'gin alternatives', are a good starting point. Mix with tonic water and you can enjoy your non-alcoholic gin & tonic.

What’s the shelf life of gin once it's opened?

Quality of the gin decreases slightly after about one year. However, it's still safe to drink past this point.

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