Unwind and enjoy the classic combination of juniper and citrus in a long, cool, perfect gin and tonic – learn how I make my perfect version
A gin and tonic is such a simple, but classic drink. But there is a great difference between the perfect gin and tonic: long, cold, and tasting of juniper, spices and citrus, and a poor effort with poor quality ingredients diluted to nothing with too much ice.
The history of the drink is well known. It was discovered in India that quinine could both prevent and cure malaria, and to remove the bitter taste gin, sugar and lemon juice were added to the daily ration. What started out as a medical necessity has ended up as one of the world’s favourite drinks.
But a little care can make a big difference when mixing the perfect gin and tonic. The first requirement is for the best ingredients. There are so many different craft gins around now that just choosing one can make your head spin, so why not start with a classic like Gordon’s? An equally important decision revolves around the tonic. Good tonic – the major component of the drink – makes a huge difference, and there are now many premium quality ones available. We also tend to buy tonic in small bottles or cans, so that it’s always at its fizziest.
The second requirement is that the drink be cold. To help with this, we keep everything we can in the freezer, and that which can’t (the tonic) goes in the fridge. The freezing point of gin is well below the temperature of a household freezer; it’s just a little more viscous, that’s all. We freeze glasses and slices of lemon and lime as well. Freeze the sliced fruit on a silicone mat and they won’t stick. Once frozen, decant them into a sealed pot to protect them from freezer burn.
The traditional glass is a highball: tall and straight sided. Pour one or two measures of gin, dilute to taste with tonic (we find the 1:3 ratio is ideal), add a slice of lemon and/or lime as you wish, and one or two ice cubes to keep it all cold. With everything starting off at the proper temperature, the ice won’t melt immediately diluting the drink, giving you a chance to enjoy it as it’s supposed to be: properly cold.
- 50 ml Gordon's Gin (from the freezer)
- 150 ml Good quality tonic water (well chilled)
- 1 slice lemon (frozen)
- 1 slice lime (frozen)
- 2 cubes ice
Place 2 ice cubes into a highball glass. Pour Gordon's London Dry Gin, tonic water and frozen lemon and lime slices.
Six twists on the classic Gin & Tonic
- Try adding different flavours: for the right gin a cinnamon stick and a slice of orange, for example, is a tasty and interesting change from lemon or lime
- Add a sprig of fresh leafy herbs – coriander or basil are both delicious and work with either lemon, lime or both
- Make your own infused gin, like this cranberry gin and tonic
- Replacing fruit with a slice of cucumber is a well known option, but go one set further with a little pureed cucumber itself, as in this recipe
- This strawberry mint gin & tonic sounds delicious
- Add sweet vermouth and Campari for this Italian gin and tonic
- For the ultimate fan of the perfect gin and tonic: make your own tonic water which is sure to impress
This Classic Perfect Gin & Tonic recipe is sponsored by thebar.com. All opinions are our own.
Fuss Free Flavours encourages you to drink mindfully. For advice on sensible drinking visit Drinkaware