How to Make the Perfect Gin and Tonic Every Time - Gin Raiders
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How to Make the Perfect Gin and Tonic Every Time

There’s hardly a more iconic duo than gin and tonic. Some popular variations of the drink include citrus fruits and fresh herbs like rosemary or mint. (Photo: Studio Naae/Pexels)

The gin and tonic has a long history that dates back to the 19th century when quinine-based tonic water was combined with gin by British soldiers stationed in India. Then, quinine was widely used as a cure for malaria, a disease commonly transmitted by infected mosquitos. Mixing tonic with gin made it leagues easier for the soldiers to drink the incredibly bitter, medicinal brew.

The gin and tonic quickly gained popularity and was eventually introduced to England. Over time, the straightforward recipe changed and several adaptations emerged, some of which included extra ingredients like citrus fruit or bitters. Today, the gin and tonic cocktail remains a favorite, as it continues to be heartily enjoyed at home and in countless bars and restaurants.

And there’s good news for everyone! With just a few easy steps, the perfect gin and tonic can be made every time. Here’s a simple recipe to get things started.

Classic Gin and Tonic Recipe

  • 2 oz Gin of choice
  • 4-6 oz Tonic water (to taste)
  • Ice
  • Thick lime wedge (optional, for garnish and/or for squeezing)


Fill a highball or rocks glass with ice. If possible, try to use large, solid ice cubes as they melt slower than small cubes and can prevent your drink from becoming too watered down.

Pour in 2 oz of gin and top it with 4-6 oz of tonic water, depending on your taste preferences. For the best flavor, use high-quality or “premium” tonic water (tonic recommendations here).

Gently stir the drink to combine the gin and tonic water and garnish with a lime wedge if desired.


Tips for Perfecting the Gin and Tonic

First, always try experimenting with different gins and tonic waters to find the perfect combination for your tastebuds. Some people prefer a peppery, savory gin, while others would rather reach for a citrusy or sweet expression. And don’t be afraid to have fun with garnishes, like fresh herbs, different sliced fruits or even vegetables.

Next, if you prefer a stronger beverage, try using more gin and less tonic water (but do be sure to drink responsibly!).

Finally, for a twist on the classic, try using flavored tonic waters or adding other mixers such as bitters or a splash of fruit juice. One of the most popular flavors of tonic water used today is elderflower, so give it a go if you like the idea of adding a little extra floral zip to your cocktail.


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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.