How To Make A Gin & Tonic: The Ultimate Formula
What is the secret behind the perfect G& T? The question was recently debated by Craft Gin Clubs social media fans and the feedback was diverse, to say the least.
Some were very precise about the number of ice cubes needed enough to chill the glass, but not too many to dilute the gin. Some people squeezed their limes, while others were adamant this would ruin the overall taste, and there were even some who felt there was simply no need for a garnish.
But, through a gruelling, analytical process, weve crunched the data to determine the exact elements needed for the perfect gin & tonic, as voted for by the nations gin lovers. You will need:
1 Spanish style Copa de Balon Glass 1/3 gin to 2/3 premium tonic 4 ice cubes a slice of lime, to garnish
This ratio of gin to tonic means the tasting notes of the gin come through nicely and the tonic will complement the botanicals in the spirit, without overpowering the taste.
Combine all the ingredients in the glass. It then takes four stirs to make the ultimate chilled G& T. Dont squeeze the lime as the sharpness of the juice may mask the more delicate tasting notes of the gin. Simply add the slice of lime for the aroma and a zesty hint.
How Do You Drink Tonic Without Alcohol
Tonic on its own doesnt contain alcohol. However, it isnt the best on its own in my opinion. I love layering it with other flavors like this non-alcoholic gin.
My friend Eden of Sugar and Charm also takes it to a floral level with her rose water gin and tonic. You could easily make it non-alcoholic as well.
You can simply enjoy tonic water on its own but adding in some other flavors really helps make it more enjoyable.
Why Is It So Expensive
I had this question too I mean, why is it so expensive if there isnt even alcohol in it, then why does it cost so much?
The answer is that even though there is no alcohol in non-alcoholic gins, they still create a blend of botanicals and juniper berries to create the best NA option for you. Most of the companies I prefer buy my virgin gin from, genuinely care about the sober community.
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What Is Tonic Water Made From
Modern tonic water begins like other soft drinks: A flavored syrup is mixed with carbonated water. Tonic syrup ingredients vary by brand. It commonly includes natural quinine , citrus peels or oils, and a sweetener . Other botanicals may include allspice, cinnamon, elderflower, gentian, ginger, lavender, and lemongrass.
Quinine is tonic water’s defining ingredient and the reason it glows under a black light. It is a natural alkaloid extracted from red or yellow cinchona bark . The cinchona tree is native to South Americaparticularly Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuadorwhere it is known as quinquina. In the 1600s, Europeans witnessed its use among indigenous people who made tea of the ground bark.
Quinine’s use helped fuel European colonialism and the slave trade. Dutch explorers introduced cinchona seeds to their colonies in Indonesia and Java in the 1800s later, it was introduced to parts of Africa. Cinchona trees continue to be cultivated in these areas for quinine use.
The British East India Company popularized the practice of adding water, sugar, and lime to so-called tonic water made with quinine. Gin was introduced to the mix, creating the first gin and tonic in the early 19th century.
Most Authentic: East Imperial Old World Tonic Water
This is my favorite tonic water, says Seth Falvo, the bartender at Hotel Zamora in St. Pete Beach, Florida. East Imperial boasts that it is the only modern tonic water that sources all key ingredients from Asia, just like the original tonic recipes.”
This fact is a big draw because over the last century, commercial tonic makers have started dosing tonics with sugars to appeal to the soda-drinking crowd. Now, East Imperials Old World Tonic uses less than half the sugar of a standard can of tonic for a pleasant floral flavor profile. Try it with a bold gin to balance out the strong botanicals.
While its low sugar, low acidity mouthful definitely does not make this something to sip on its own, this tonic does a remarkable job at highlighting the subtleties of your favorite gin instead of burying them, Falvo says.
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Tonic Water Vs Club Soda
Club soda is unflavored, unsweetened carbonated water. Unlike seltzer , it includes a sodium ingredient, such as salt, and sometimes other additives. While the two look the same and are equally refreshing, tonic water has a completely different taste. Its bitterness is immediately recognizable and, despite its dry palate, tonic contains a sweetener.
Glassware And Garnish: Give Up The Lime
You’re not legally required to include you a lime in your G& T. In fact, maybe skip it.
In Spain, the gin tonica is served in a giant goblet, trussed with pretty garnishes. Most of the bartenders I spoke with praised the goblet for its ability to hold loads of ice . But a few mentioned that the goblet can feel precariously top heavy, and if keeping your bubbles is the primary concern, they said, a tall, thin Collins or highball glass is better. Its the same idea as a flute for Champagne, notes San Francisco bartender Meryll Cawn. It keeps it carbonated. Also, you dont have an avalanche of ice cubes coming at your face.
Lemon? Sure. Grapefruit? Highly recommended.
The one garnish Cawn avoids might be the one you see most often: I dont like lime in G& T because its rarely used as a botanical in gin, or in tonic. When you add it, she says, the lime takes over almost the entire flavor of the drink. Ditching the lime may sound like the hardest of all these rules to follow I promise, though, your new signature G& T will go down easy.
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Pink Raspberry & Lime Gin And Tonic
Handful of ripe raspberries 50ml gin125ml tonic Fresh lime
Muddle the raspberries very lightly. Add lots of ice to to your shaker or glass along with the muddled raspberries, gin, tonic and a few good squeezes of juice from the lime. Stir or shake for 30 seconds, until the juice from the raspberries has mingled well with the gin/tonic mixture and the drink is chilled. Garnish with fresh raspberries and a slice of lime. You could use pink gin for this recipe if desired.
Pink Rose Gin & Tonic
Juice of half a lemon30ml simple syrup infused with 1 tsp rosewater40ml gin100ml tonicRose petals, to garnish
To make your simple syrup, simply simmer equal parts sugar and water with 1tsp rosewater for 5-10 minutes until the sugar dissolves and you have a clear syrup. Wait until it cools to add to your glass or shaker. Add the rest of your ingredients to a cocktail shaker and or glass with ice and shake or stir for a minute. Pour over a glass filled with ice and garnish with fresh rose petals and a slice of lemon.
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What Does A Gin And Tonic Taste Like
A classic gin and tonic is bright and zesty. Juniper, coriander and citrus all jump out of the glass to meet your senses. These vibrant aromas are balanced out by the light, bittersweet flavor of the tonic water. Add a slice of lime and you have the quintessential cocktail.
How Many Calories In A Gin And Tonic:
I was surprised to see that a LOT of people are interested in knowing exactly how many calories are in a gin and tonic.
Gin and tonic calories: there are about 125 calories in one gin and tonic .
A single 2-ounce shot of gin has about 125 calories in it and since we recommend that you use diet tonic water, there are next to zero additional calories inside this cocktail outside of the little bit of lime juice that is squeezed in.
All Im saying is that I would MUCH rather have a gin and tonic over a 100 calories beer ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!
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Dont Confine Yourself To One Type Of Glassware
While a highball is the traditional serving choice, these days youll see everything from oversized wine goblets to the occasional champagne flute. I like to build it in a rocks glass, explains Wyatt, to allow the vibrant aromatics of the gin to pop out at you as you sip. I add 1 1/2 oz of the gin, fill the glass with ice, and give it a quick stir to chill it. I then very very slowly add the tonic water, as to not kill any of the bubbles, up to just under the rim of the glass. With a bar spoon, I pull the ice up very delicately then let it down in order to incorporate the two, then express the lemon twist overtop.
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Getting The Details Right
By now were all familiar with the history of the gin and tonic: first a product of necessity, the G& T made bitter and quinine-rich tonic water palatable with the addition of gin, ice and citrus. Despite its initial medicinal use, the G& T has since become a favourite of drinkers around the globe and is prized for its freshness and subtle complexity.
Its no wonder that, given its international popularity, the G& T has a number of different guises. When it comes to the eternal question of lemon versus lime, there are a few different takes on the matter. Those who argue for lime say the fruit, with its bright, punchy flavour, offers a boldness that lemon simply cant match. However, many purists argue that lemon is the only choice: as a more delicate fruit, it is less likely to overwhelm the bounty of a gins botanicals.
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What Are The Best Ingredients For A Gin And Tonic
First off, theres the gin. London dry gin is the go-to style for a gin and tonic. Despite its name, London dry can come from anywhere in the world. While the exact flavors vary slightly, you can expect your classic London dry to have juniper, coriander and citrus notes. Its clean and brightexactly what you want in a gin and tonic. Beefeater, Plymouth and Bombay Sapphire are three common brands.
You can also opt for pink gin to make your G& T. Pink gin is fruitier thanks to the addition of red fruits like strawberry, raspberry and currants. If you love juicy fruit flavors, swap pink gin for London dry. Look for pink gin from Beefeater, Gordons and others.
Oh, and your options dont stop with the gin. There are a few other easy ways to put a spin on a gin and tonic. The simplest personal touch you can add is the garnish. The classic G& T calls for a wedge of fresh lime, but you can use a few cucumber slices, a mix of grapefruit and orange slices, summer berries or fresh herbs from your garden.
You can also pick up a bottle of flavored tonic water to introduce another layer of flavor to your cocktail.
Adapting The Gin & Tonic Formula
While this provides a good general guide, with such a versatile spirit one size does not fit all. While you could apply the measurements and method of the above calculation each time you mix up your favourite drink, you have to consider the variation of flavours of each gin.
But really, there are no limits or wrong answers when it comes to gin adventures. There are so many amazing gins out there, the best thing to do is experiment with different garnishes, tonics and even glasses to find your perfect match and the good news is, youll have plenty of fun doing it.
Craft Gin Club is a monthly subscription to small-batch gins. Visit the Craft Gin Club website to discover more.
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Finish With A Flourish
Garnishes arent just there to add visual interest they can elevate the overall drinking experience through fragrance and flavour. Juniper-forward gins will benefit from traditional garnishes like limes and lemons, as their acidity will help cut through the berrys signature bitterness, while ginger will be a gentler option for gins with more delicate or floral notes. Feel free to experiment with spices and herbs as well.
Perfect Gin Tonic Recipe
It seems that no matter what cocktail party, wedding, reunion or any other social event that I go to, the one mainstay I keep on seeing is the Gin and Tonic. I remember when I was in college, we used to have Gin and Tonic Parties. I dont even remember what Gin we used or how we made them but I do remember that we used to feel so grown up and sophisticated. Back them, the perfect gin and tonic was anything that would get me drunk. I was so young and so uninformed!
Well, now I am at least one of those things and I still love to drink Gin and Tonics. These drinks have become a staple in our household mainly because they are the one alcoholic drink that my wife and I both enjoy.
The Gin and Tonic was first born in India by the British East India Company in the 1700s. Malaria was persistent in that area of the world at that time and it was found that quinine was something that could prevent and treat it. Unfortunately, quinine is disgusting. So, they needed to find something that make it go down a little more easy. The soldiers in India were given a gin ration anyways and it wasnt long before they started mixing the quinine with that and other things that they have on hand such as sugar, water and limes. Mary Poppins said it best: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. A zig here and a zag there and suddenly we had 21-year-olds in college pretending they were real adults.
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Strawberry & Black Pepper Gin & Tonic
3 strawberries Freshly ground black pepper45ml gin Tonic water Wash and hull the strawberries. Slice in half, or into quarters if theyre big. Muddle the strawberries with a good twist of freshly ground black pepper in a shaker, then pour into an ice-filled glass. Stir in the gin and top with tonic. Garnish with a strawberry and serve!
Half a cucumber2-3 fresh basil leaves
Slice thin ribbons of cucumber and place in a highball glass. Gently add a handful of ice cubes. Squeeze half a limes juice into a cocktail shaker and add your gin, a splash of elderflower liqueur, a few leaves of basil, and a few cucumber chunks. Muddle the ingredients well, and then add ice. Shake well, then strain into your glass. Top with tonic and garnish with a few more basil leaves.
More Gin Cocktail Recipes
- You cant go wrong with this Classic Gin Fizz Cocktail. Its uncomplicated, fresh, light, and timeless.
- Learn what sloe gin is and how to use it to make one of our favorite cocktails: The Sloe Gin Fizz.
- Have you ever heard of a Southside Cocktail? Its a simple cocktail recipe Gin-based, mint-kissed with a touch of citrus.
- Add an herbal spin to the classic gin fizz cocktail with fresh rosemary and make Rosemary Gin Fizzes.
Recipe updated, originally posted December 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. Adam and Joanne
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Gin And Tonic Glassware Options
Glassware for a G& T is all about personal preference. A classic presentation is in a tall Collins glass, or a stout double rocks glass. More modern options are a large balloon glass or perhaps a stemless wine glass.
Theres no right or wrong here, but different glass shapes will affect the drinking experience. A rounded, balloon glass will funnel the aromatics of the gin to your nose, which can make for a more flavorful drink. Large balloon glasses are also excellent for garnishing with a variety of botanicals to further emphasize the flavors and aromas of the gin.
A tall and narrow highball glass will preserve more of the carbonation, keeping your drink more effervescent for longer. Try a couple of different glasses with your favorite gin and see which works best for you.
Best For Gin And Tonic: Fever
Fever-Tree’s Mediterranean flavors come from lemon, thyme, rosemary, citrus, and herbes de Provence harvested from rocky hillside farms in Provence, France, just off the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. These ingredients combine to make a lighter, more subtly herbaceous version of the brand’s Indian Tonica profile particularly excellent for mixing with vodka and, naturally, gin.
Fever-Tree is the industry standard for quality tonicat least if you’re not going the extra step to make your own, says Gavin Humes, the director of food and beverage for Scratch Restaurants Group. The small bottles of Mediterranean Tonic are my favorite for a beautiful gin and tonic. It’s got great effervescence, and it’s light and flavorful, but also allows the gin to shine.
I think lemon plays beautifully with this tonic,” he continues, “so a G& T with a twist of lemon instead of lime is my beverage of choice.”
Made with quinine from Peru and sweetened with agave, Q Mixers Spectacular Tonic Water has elegant carbonation and a broad range of flavors.
SeongHa Lee, a bartender at The Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, agrees.
Q Mixers Light Tonic Water skips the sugar in favor of a sugar and sweetener blend designed to replicate the flavors of Q Spectacular without the actual full dose of sugar.
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