Lemon Gin and Tonic Cocktail Recipe

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Lemon 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 a rich history. It dates back to the 19th century when British officers in India began adding gin to their tonic water, which contained quinine, to help ward off malaria. Over time, it became a beloved cocktail for its refreshing qualities and simplicity.

  • Popularity Among Groups: This cocktail is particularly favored by those who appreciate a balance of bitter and citrus flavors. It's a hit in summer gardens and upscale lounges alike.
  • Evolution: While the traditional Gin and Tonic is minimalist, modern variations like the Lemon Gin and Tonic add a citrusy twist, making it even more refreshing.

How Lemon Gin and Tonic Tastes?

The Lemon Gin and Tonic is a symphony of flavors. It's crisp, with a zesty lemon tang complementing the juniper notes of the gin. The quinine in the tonic water adds a subtle bitterness that balances the drink, while the carbonation provides a refreshing effervescence.

Interesting facts about Lemon Gin and Tonic

  • The quinine in tonic water fluoresces under ultraviolet light, making the Lemon Gin and Tonic a hit at blacklight parties.
  • Gin was originally created as a medicinal liquor; modern gins continue to boast a variety of botanicals.
  • The Lemon Gin and Tonic can be considered a 'healthier' cocktail option due to the presence of vitamin C from the lemon.


  • Gin: 1.5 oz(45ml)
  • Tonic water: 4 oz(120ml)
  • Lemon juice: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Lemon wheel: 1
  • Ice cubes: As needed

A few good options for Lemon Gin and Tonic are:

  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Roku Japanese Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The classic spirit of choice for a Gin & Tonic, gin at 1.5oz is just enough to give the cocktail its distinctive juniper and herbal character without overwhelming it. Not enough gin and you might as well be drinking lemon tonic water; too much and you risk overpowering the delicate balance with alcohol burn.

Mary Mitkina

Tonic Water

At 4oz, the tonic water brings its quinine-infused bitterness and effervescence, providing a perfect counterpoint to the gin and creating the signature G&T taste. Leaving out tonic would make it a plain gin and lemon—not a Gin and Tonic.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

A half-ounce of lemon juice adds a crisp, zesty edge, without turning the drink into a sour pucker-fest. Skipping this would result in a flat cocktail, whereas too much could overshadow the gin's botanicals.

Alex Green

Lemon Wheel

Besides being a charming garnish, the lemon wheel releases essential oils and adds an aromatic dimension to your sipping experience.

Mary Mitkina

Ice Cubes

They're not just for chilling; ice helps to slightly dilute the cocktail as it melts, mellowing the flavors and making them more palatable.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Lemon Gin and Tonic Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour in the gin and fresh lemon juice.
  3. Top with tonic water and gently stir.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wheel on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Always use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill the glass before serving to keep the drink colder for longer.
  • If you like your drink a bit sweeter, add a dash of simple syrup.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The fresh citrus notes of the Lemon Gin and Tonic cut through the rich, fatty flavors of cured meats and cheeses.
  • Seafood Dishes: Especially lighter fare like grilled shrimp or calamari, as the acidity from the lemon juice complements the seafood flavors.
  • Salads: A crisp, garden salad with a vinaigrette dressing pairs well with the refreshing qualities of the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Herb-Infused Chicken: The herbal notes of gin will parallel those used in the seasoning of the chicken.
  • Pasta with Light Sauces: Pasta with a lemon cream sauce or a puttanesca can be uplifted by the effervescence and citric components of the drink.

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What you could change in Lemon Gin and Tonic

  • Gin: If you don't have a premium gin, a London Dry Gin will do just fine.
  • Tonic Water: Some prefer a less sweet, more artisanal tonic water to reduce the overall sweetness.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh is best, but bottled lemon juice can be used in a pinch.

Explore all drinks starting with L here

And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Gin and Tonic

  • Ingredients: Replace lemon juice with cucumber juice, and add a sprig of mint.
  • Recipe: Muddle cucumber slices and mint in the bottom of the glass, add the gin, fill with ice, top with tonic, and stir gently.
  • Flavor: This twist will have a more garden-fresh, cooling taste, showcasing the herbal notes of gin differently, with the mint providing a refreshing aftertaste.

Pink Gin and Tonic

  • Ingredients: Add 0.5oz of raspberry syrup and use Pink Gin.
  • Recipe: Pour gin and raspberry syrup over ice, add lemon juice, top with tonic, and gently stir.
  • Flavor: Introducing a sweet, fruity layer that complements the gin's botanicals creates a visually appealing and taste bud-teasing variant.

Spiced Gin and Tonic

  • Ingredients: Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and orange wheel garnish.
  • Recipe: Over ice, combine gin, lemon juice, and bitters; top with tonic and stir; garnish with an orange wheel.
  • Flavor: The bitters and orange add a warm, spiced dimension perfect for cooler weather, adding complexity to the original recipe.

In case you forgot basics how to make Lemon 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 Lemon Gin and Tonic

Can I make a Lemon Gin and Tonic in advance for a party?

It's best to mix the Gin and Tonic right before serving to maintain carbonation and ensure the freshest taste. However, you could prep the lemon wheels and have the gin and lemon juice measured out in advance.

What type of glass is optimal for a Lemon Gin and Tonic?

A highball glass is typically used for Gin and Tonic, as it provides the perfect space for ice and bubbles, and the shape showcases the clarity and effervescence of the cocktail.

Are there any garnish alternatives to a lemon wheel for this cocktail?

While a lemon wheel is traditional for a Lemon Gin and Tonic, you can also try garnishing with a sprig of fresh thyme or mint for a different aromatic experience.

Can I use lime instead of lemon in this recipe?

Absolutely, lime can provide a slightly different citrus note that pairs well with gin, making it a good alternative if you prefer its flavor or simply want to mix things up.

What is the best way to store gin for making cocktails?

Gin should be stored in a cool, dark place. Once opened, it's best to use it within a year to ensure the flavor remains as intended by the distiller.

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