7 Must-Try Twists on a Classic Gin and Tonic
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7 Must-Try Riffs on the Beloved Gin and Tonic

Let’s get mixing with seven tasty twists on a classic gin and tonic. (Photo: Vinícius Caricatte/Pexels)

Did you know that the gin and tonic has a whole day dedicated to celebrating it? International Gin and Tonic Day takes place on Oct. 19 and honors one of the world’s most iconic two-ingredient cocktail.

International Gin and Tonic Day was started in 2010 by the friends and family of Mary Edith Keyburn, who passed away at the age of 95 with a gin and tonic by her side. It is believed that the cocktail was smuggled into the hospital in a water bottle and served in a teacup.

The gin and tonic has been around since the early 19th century when it originated as a clever way to make bitter quinine more palatable for army soldiers who drank it to prevent malaria. The mixed drink is now easily one of the most popular cocktails in the world — especially in the U.K., where 38% of the “adult population had one in the last three months,” according to a study.

Here are seven tasty twists on the gin and tonic to help get your cocktail appreciation rolling. Grab a glass, fill it up with ice and let’s get mixing!

Sloe Gin and Tonic

(Photo: Charlotte May/Pexels)

Have you heard of sloe gin before? It’s a popular gin-based liqueur infused with a plum-like hedgerow fruit called a blackthorn, or sloe. The sweet tipple is a great option for anyone wanting a lower-ABV cocktail while still enjoying the flavors gin has to offer.


  • 1 1/2 oz. Sloe Gin
  • 6 oz. Tonic Water
  • Rosemary sprig
  • Lemon wheel

In a glass full of ice, pour in the sloe gin and tonic. Give it a soft stir with the rosemary sprig. Sloe gin has a thicker consistency than true gin, so you’ll want to give it a nice mix. Keep the rosemary sprig in as a scented garnish and top the cocktail off with a zesty lemon wheel.

Bramble and Tonic

(Photo: Bombay Sapphire)

Light, bright and uplifting.


  • 1 1/2 oz. Bombay Bramble
  • 3 oz. Premium tonic water
  • Lemon wedge

Build ingredients over a glass full of ice. Squeeze and drop in the lemon wedge and enjoy!

Herb Garden

(Photo: Karolina Grabowska)

This herb garden gin and tonic utilizes a bundle of fresh herbs to highlight gin’s bountiful botanical base.


  • 1 1/2 oz. Gin of choice
  • 3 oz. Sanpellegrino Tonica Citrus
  • Sage leaves
  • Thyme sprig
  • Lemon wedge

Pour the gin and tonic into a glass with ice. Give the sage and thyme a quick roll in your hands and add them to the mix. Squeeze the lemon over the cocktail and drop it in.

Rose’s Gin and Tonic

(Photo: Charlotte May/Pexels)

This gin and tonic takes full advantage of the many deliciously floral gins on the market. Specifically, the rose-flavored ones.


  • 2 oz. Rose-flavored gin (recommendations below)
  • 4 oz. Tonic water
  • Pinch of edible rose petals (or 1 tsp. rose water)

Three excellent rose-flavored gins to use in this cocktail are Atian, Bloom Jasmine & Rose Gin and Glendalough Rose Gin. As for the rose petals, you’ll want to make sure you’re using pesticide-free roses from a reliable source. Dried rose petals or rose water will be excellent substitutions if you can’t find fresh petals.

Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in the rose-flavored gin and tonic water. Before adding in the rose petals, give them a hard smack by clapping them once between your hands — this action is similar to a bartender spanking mint to awaken its oils before garnishing a Moscow mule.

Give your cocktail a gentle stir and don’t be afraid to munch on a rose petal or two.

Presse and Tonic

(Photo: Bombay Sapphire)

An elegant, simple serve bursting with freshness.


  • 1 1/2 oz. Bombay Citron Presse
  • 3 oz. Premium tonic water
  • Lemon wedge

Build ice in Copa or balloon glass. Pour in the gin and top with premium tonic water. Stir and garnish with fresh lemon wedge.

Bitters and Tonic

(Photo: Cottonbro/Pexels)

This gin and tonic pays homage to tonic’s tart origins by adding in two generous dashes of bitters.


  • 2 oz. Dry gin
  • 5 oz. Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • Optional: orange slice

Build all ingredients in a glass full of ice. Add more bitters if needed. You can also toss in an orange slice for added citrusy flair.

Very Berry Gin and Tonic

(Photo: Gonzalo Guzman Garcia/Pexels)

Grab your favorite berries and get a muddlin’!


  • 2 oz. Gin of choice
  • 5 oz. Tonic water
  • Handful of fresh berries
  • Citrus wedge of choice

Strawberries, blueberries or raspberries would be wonderful options for this gin and tonic.

Before adding in ice, place a handful of fresh berries at the bottom of a glass and gently muddle. Fill the glass with ice and pour in the gin and tonic. Garnish the rim of the glass with a lemon, orange or grapefruit wedge. Give the cocktail a stir and sip away.


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Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping a Negroni while drawing or relaxing by the pool with a campy mystery novel.