Gin tonic is a classic cocktail and a pair that never fails. You’ve got the zingy botanicals in gin, the mild bitterness in tonic, and a really nice effervescence that ties everything together.
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What is a gin tonic ?
A gin and tonic is a classic cocktail that you’ll find all over the world, on any menu you can imagine. It’s as simple as it sounds – just mix gin and tonic water, over ice, and you’re good to go. But the gin and tonic is a very old pair, at least as old as tonic water itself. I mean the original tonic water, when powdered quinine had to be mixed with carbonated water and sugar (like old-timey Coke).
At some point someone discovered that tonic water had more than just medicinal properties, it also went extremely well with dry gin. So a duo was born, and it’s been around for over a century.
- 2 oz gin
- 4 oz tonic water
- Build in rocks glass with ice.
- Stir lightly before serving.
- The gin and tonic is as simple as highballs get, and you can always turn it into a lowball by dialing down the tonic water.
- The tonic makes or breaks this drink, use one you enjoy.
When is this drink best ?
I find the gin tonic works very well year-round, but if I had to put a season to it it’s probably winter. The juniper in gin reminds me of a crisp winter morning, and paired with the sparkling tonic it feel like I’m getting hit with a thousand tiny snowflakes.
I could see a gin and tonic served in very casual settings, as well a very fancy settings. So as long as this is a drink that pleases you, there is no wrong moment or setting to have it.
My thoughts on gin tonic
I liked gin and tonic, quite a bit. The botanical notes in my gin are quite strong, and the juniper pairs really well with the quinine in the tonic water. There’s a slight sweetness in tonic water that I think tames the gin a little, and I’m not sure I could drink a gin and tonic with zero sweetness.
The tonic water I used was plain, as in it didn’t have a specific flavor as some tonics do. But I’ve heard cucumber tonic water goes especially well with gin, and makes for an extra-refreshing drink.
If you like gin tonic, you might also like…
Gin sonic – gin a equal parts soda and tonic water
Pink gin and tonic – a gin and tonic with aromatic bitters
Rum and tonic – a gin and tonic but with rum (preferably white)
Vodka tonic – gin and tonic with vodka instead
Gin Fizz – a fizzy gin highball
Tom Collins – a gin and soda highball
Notes, substitutes, and tips
This is a very simple drink but both ingredients have to be high quality, or at least a gin and a tonic you absolutely love.
You can add a slight flavor to this by first adding your gin to a shaker, then your choice of fruit (or even cucumber), and muddle lightly. Dry shake and strain into the glass before topping with tonic water.
There are flavored gins you can use in this recipe, feel free to experiment with the gin and the tonic until you find the combinations you love.