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Refreshing and bubbly, gin and tonic is one of the best-loved cocktails worldwide. It’s made up of herbaceous, botanical gin and bitter yet slightly sweet tonic water. It’s wonderfully simple and delicious.
This gin and tonic recipe is beautifully simple and a real treat. It combines gin, a botanical spirit made from juniper berries, and tonic water, a delightfully bubbly, slightly sweet, somewhat bitter mixer. Together with a generous portion of ice to keep them cold, they make a cocktail that is the perfect mix of sweet and bitter that really allows the flavors of the starring spirit (gin) to shine through. Finish it off with a wedge of lime and you’ll be everyone’s new favorite bartender.
Gin and tonics have been in existence for over a century. Despite their longstanding history, to this day these refreshing drinks have maintained a place in the hearts of cocktail connoisseurs worldwide. It’s one of those recipes that everyone should have in their back pocket if you ask me. So here’s mine.
Why You’ll Love This Gin and Tonic Recipe
So why is everyone so gah-gah over a simple gin and tonic? You’ll see once you try it but here are some of my favorite things about this particular recipe.
- Simple ingredients. This cocktail only requires 3 ingredients (not including ice). I love how each simple, bright, flavorful ingredient shines with every sip.
- Quick and easy. In 5 minutes or less, you could have a classic gin and tonic. All it takes is a little measuring and a little pouring and that’s it. What are you waiting for?
- Better for you. This drink is surprisingly low in sugar. Gin itself is a relatively low-calorie, low-sugar spirit. In addition, tonic water is slightly lower in sugar content than other mixers. So you’re getting away with a relatively “healthy” cocktail.
What You’ll Need
You only need 4 ingredients to make this beautifully simple cocktail (3 if you don’t count the ice). Here’s what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Gin – There are many gins, ranging from floral to herbaceous to citrusy and everywhere in between. Choosing a gin for this drink is really a matter of personal preferent. Because it is a simple cocktail with few ingredients, the flavor of the gin really comes through. So I suggest aiming for a mid or high-shelf gin that smells and tastes delicious to you. This might take some experimenting but I suggest starting with Bombay Saphire (or Bombay Dry), Hendrick’s, Nolet’s, or Tanquere.
- Tonic water
- Fresh limes – These are optional but I think they add the perfect hint of citrus.
How to Make a Classic Gin and Tonic
It only takes 5 minutes (or less) to make this classic, refreshing cocktail. Here’s a quick overview of how to do it. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Start with the gin. Pour the gin into a glass with ice.
- Add tonic water. Pour the tonic water over the gin and ice.
- Garnish with fresh limes.
Here come some commonly asked questions (and their answers) about this wildly popular beverage. Please feel free to leave any additional questions in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
This recipe makes a cocktail that is a little over 11% ABV (alcohol by volume). To put it in perspective, the average ABV for a shot is 40%, 12% for a glass of wine, and 5% for a beer. You’ll feel the effects of the alcohol in this cocktail but, if you savor it and sip slowly, it’s not going to knock you out.
Hmmm not really. It has a lower sugar and calorie content than other sodas but it still does pack a punch of sugar. So, when compared to products like Pepsi and Sprite, it’s a good choice but that doesn’t mean it’s “healthy”. Just a little healthier.
This recipe calls for a 1:2 ratio of gin to tonic. I think that’s the sweet spot but I have certainly encountered people who like a little more or less tonic. The choice is yours.
Choose your own adventure here. I love a lime here (so do many people) but a lemon wedge would work equally well. If you’re purest, leave the citrus out altogether.
Gin and Tonic Variations
I think it’s good to master the classic before moving on to more complex recipes. Once you get this one down, though, don’t be afraid to stray outside the norm and add your own flair. Here are a few ideas to get you inspired.
- Less sweet. A Gin Sonic is a slightly less sweet take on a gin and tonic. Half of the tonic water is replaced by soda water, cutting the sugar content and allowing the botanical flavors of the gin to shine.
- Get fruity. Add a splash of orange juice, grapefruit juice, or whatever else you please. Check out Grapefruit Gin and Tonic to learn how to do it.
- Try it the Spanish way. Instead of a lime, garnish your gin and tonic with juniper berries, thyme, and a lemon wheel. Olay!
- Make a batch. Cocktail party? Make this gin and tonic with lime for a crowd. Fill a pitcher halfway with ice and top it off with 1 part gin and 2 parts tonic water. Give the whole thing a stir and serve it in glasses over ice with a lime garnish.
Can This Cocktail Be Prepared in Advance?
You can. It is possible to make gin and tonic in advance. I highly suggest making them fresh if you can, though. The tonic will start to lose its fizz the longer it sits, leaving you with a somewhat disappointing cocktail.
If you decide to make these fizzy cocktails in advance anyway, cover the glass you made the cocktail in tightly with saran wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Alternatively, you can prepare a batch of gin and tonics in advance. Just mix together the gin and tonic in a 1:2 ratio. Store it in an airtight container (such as a mason jar) for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to serve, pour the cocktail into glasses with ice and garnish with a lime.
More Easy Cocktail Recipes:
Looking for more inspiration for cocktail hour? I’ve got you covered. Play bartender for the night and try one (or several) of these exciting adult beverages. Let me know what you think.
- Sunset Cocktail
- Pineapple Paloma
- Blueberry Mojito
- Pineapple Orange Rum Punch
- Watermelon Mint Margarita
- Aperol Spritz
Easy Gin and Tonic Recipe
- 2 ounces (57 ml) gin
- 4 ounces (113 ml) tonic water
- Fresh limes
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- Measure and pour gin into a low ball glass with ice. Add tonic water on top and garnish with fresh limes.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.