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.
There are, of course, many other classic cocktails as well as gin and tonic. For recipes for cosmopolitans, mojito, margaritas, strawberry daiquiris and more, visit thebar.com.
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.
How to make the perfect Gin and Tonic
- 50 ml Gordon's Gin ((from the freezer))
- 150 ml Good quality tonic water ((well chilled - I use a naurally light NEVER diet)))
- 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
If you fancy a twist on a classic gin and tonic can we recommend,
A strawberry gin with black pepper, also delicious with tonic
or a delicious rhubarb and ginger gin
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
Ahhh it’s coming up to 5pm on a Friday and could really do with a perfect refreshing G & T fancy popping over to mine to make one lol?!
Absolutely. I just popped some tonic in the fridge!
five little doves
Ooh great tips!! I could just do with a gin and tonic after a stressful week, I’ll be following these tips over the weekend!
Nice to be able to enjoy a decent drink come the weekend.
Rachel @ Coffee, Cake, Kids
I’ve never really thought about it – just glugged in some gin and tonic, but I’m going to have a go at doing it properly – it deserves to be done properly!
Little improvements can make all the difference, and the drink becomes more enjoyable.
I really like your ideas for a twist on the classic G&T – would love to try these :) x
Most enjoyable when you get things just right.
Never thought about freezing lemons and limes before – thanks for the tip
It is a useful tip for adding to drinks to make them just right.
Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
Sounds refreshing! I am more of a Vodka girl, but my cousin would be all over this :)
The same tips could of course be used for serving the perfect vodka and tonic.
I am not a big fan of gin but after reading your post I would absolutely love to have one.
I find that there is a big difference to how a gin and tonic tastes with how it is served. Served this way, you may change your mind.
Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
I’ve never had gin (except maybe as part of a cocktail) so maybe I’ll take your advice and let you know how I get on ;)
It is a lovely refreshing drink when served in this manner, so perhaps worth trying out.
Great tips! We’d never had thought to freeze the sliced fruit on a silicone mat! Can’t wait until we can sit out in the garden with a G&T xx
Freezing the fruit just makes that little bit of difference to the temperature, and improves the quality.
So I heard Gin is the next big thing. Yet, to my own shame, I still didn’t get to taste it. O.O
I have to catch up. In fact my husband wanted to star brewing something like schnapps, vodka or maybe even gin. He loves Gin! Thanks fro sharing these tips Helene, saving this for my hubby. :)
Give it a go Helene, it is a lovely refreshing drink, particularly on a warm summer evening.
Freezing the citrus is such a clever idea, I’m going to have to try this!
It does really help adding more cold to the drink, and keeping it refreshing.
Gin is like the drink of the moment isn’t it?! This looks delightful, a far cry from the reputation of mothers ruin
I fear Mother’s Ruin is more of a slug of gin , topped up with tonic. With a little tweak, it becomes something much more and certainly something to enjoy.
Freezing the lime or lemon is a great tip, we often have some in the freezer as if we don’t use a whole lemon up in a recipe it can get wasted. Good way to use it!
I hate throwing away half a lemon or lime if it hasn’t been used, so freezing them is indeed a great way of less waste.
Delicious G&T with the twists! It’s AM but I’m waiting for 5PM somewhere!
5pm, gin time! On some days anyway.
I am currently enjoying a gin and tonic as I type. Good quality gin and tonic too is so important.
Absolutely Dannii, the key ingredients make all the difference with the quality.
I love gin and tonic. Can you believe that I’ve never thought to put everything in the freezer x
Having everything nice and chilled helps hugely with the quality and enjoyment of the drink.
Ana De- Jesus
Its like making a mojito, good quality ingredients really make the drink. Never tried making a G&T though, that would be fun x
With any recipe, quality is often most important for taste. You should give the G&T a go, I’m sure you’d enjoy.
I can see this post being very popular!! I am off to pin, as I think my readers will love it
So many of us like a decent G&T, sometimes a little advice makes for a nice surprise improvement.
I love a gin and tonic!! Great tip about freezing slices of fruit on a silicone mat too!
I’ve been freezing lemon and lime slices for years. Perfect for drinks, and also for using up that half lemon in the fridge.