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Best Gin and Tonic Recipe

How to make a perfect gin and tonic. We share all our tips including the best gin to use and the perfect ratio of gin to tonic. Jump to the Gin and Tonic Cocktail Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Best Gin and Tonic Recipe with Tips

How to Make a Perfect Gin and Tonic

The key to a great gin and tonic recipe is to balance the bitterness of tonic against the gin. Never tasting one too much more than the other.

So we already know that there’s gin, tonic water and ice, but how much? What kind of gin and don’t forget the lime, right?

How to Make a Perfect Gin and Tonic

What kind of gin should I use to make a gin and tonic?

When making gin and tonics, choose a gin that is mid- to high-shelf. A London dry gin (such as Beefeater), Plymouth or Bombay work well. London dry gins will be more straightforward in flavor while Plymouth gin will be a bit more aromatic. We’ve also used Bombay Sapphire and loved it, but we really enjoy Sapphire’s extra spiciness.

What’s the best tonic to use for gin and tonics?

I prefer the tonic water sold in the smaller, single-serving bottles. The tonic will be fresh and you won’t lose any fizz. A lot of people swear by Schweppes, but we can’t say we have noticed a difference enough to specify on that one. We particularly enjoy the Fever Tree and Q tonics.

For a lower calorie cocktail, you can use light tonic. Light tonic doesn’t have as much flavor as regular, but it does help to lower the calories. You can also water regular tonic down with a little seltzer water or club soda.

What is the best ratio of gin to tonic?

A gin and tonic should be crisp and refreshing, never boozy or heavy. After doing some research, ratios can vary. Some enjoy equal parts gin to tonic, others reduce the gin and double the tonic. For us, we liked it right in the middle, which kept the drink light and crisp, but still aromatic from the gin.

Do I need to use lime?

A classic gin and tonic needs fresh lime. It should be refreshing and never flat on flavor. Fresh lime helps with this and brightens everything up. If you don’t have lime, lemon is an excellent substitute.

More Gin Cocktail Recipes

  • You can’t go wrong with this Classic Gin Fizz Cocktail. It’s uncomplicated, fresh, light, and timeless.
  • Learn what sloe gin is and how to use it to make one of our favorite cocktails: The Sloe Gin Fizz.
  • Have you ever heard of a Southside Cocktail? It’s a simple cocktail recipe – Gin-based, mint-kissed with a touch of citrus.
  • Add an herbal spin to the classic gin fizz cocktail with fresh rosemary and make Rosemary Gin Fizzes.

Recipe updated, originally posted December 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Best Gin and Tonic Recipe

  • PREP

The best gin and tonic balances the bitterness of tonic water against the aromatics of the gin. A London dry gin (such as Beefeater), Plymouth or Bombay work well. London dry gins will be more straightforward in flavor while Plymouth gin will be a bit more aromatic. We’ve also used Bombay Sapphire and loved it, but we really enjoy Sapphire’s extra spiciness.

1 drink

You Will Need

3 ounces (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) gin

1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice

4 ounces (1/2 cup) tonic water

Lime wedge or slice



    Fill a high ball glass with ice. Add gin and lime juice. Then top with tonic water. Garnish with lime wedge or slice.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Adjust the amount of gin called for in our recipe based on how strong you enjoy your cocktails.
  • If you really want to up your game, make homemade tonic ice cubes. This way as they melt in your drink, it won’t dilute with water.
  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 drink / Calories 269 / Protein 0 g / Carbohydrate 12 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 11 g / Total Fat 0 g / Saturated Fat 0 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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12 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Hilary November 12, 2022, 6:52 pm

    Great recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  • Courtney January 20, 2022, 11:47 pm

    I absolutely love this recipe! I like to replace the lime with lemon and I add a sprig of Rosemary and muddle an orange peel

  • Alexandra Burd July 4, 2019, 2:31 pm

    Best Gin and Tonic I’ve tried yet. Love it!

  • Evan December 23, 2018, 10:15 am

    I recently tried Cotswolds Gin with a Fever Tonic garnished with a slice of pink grapefruit and some bay leaves.. Just Wonderful!!

  • Lucy Garcia-Storey May 7, 2018, 10:19 pm

    I have never used frozen tonic cubes but looks like that is what I should be doing. I love Hendricks, but Sapphire will definitely do in a pinch. Cheers! Enjoying one as we speak.

  • RWilly April 29, 2017, 11:18 pm

    A tall glass full of ice, the juice from half a lime, Fever Tree or Q tonic and Tanqueray Ten.

  • Pete Smith January 3, 2014, 12:07 pm

    4 juniper berries, 1/4 wedge of lime, 5 ice cubes, 70ml Bombay Sapphire, 200ml Nordic blue tonic. Absolute favourite. And it really IS a fab shade of blue!

  • Denise January 22, 2013, 11:26 pm

    A classic cocktail that never goes out of style – a fave with us! Have you tried making tonic ice cubes – a must if you don’t want diluted drinks!

  • Sarah December 31, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Gin and Tonics are my favorite! Fresh lime is a MUST – we’ve done bottled lime juice in place of fresh (we forgot to buy a lime) and it’s just not the same.

  • Chris December 31, 2012, 6:12 am

    A classic glass of tipple. Personally I prefer Hendricks gin, but you can’t go wrong with a bit of Bombay Sapphire.

  • RuthieBinLove December 31, 2012, 12:19 am

    Almost perfect. Make the ice cubes with the tonic and THEN you have perfection.

    • Adam January 1, 2013, 1:54 pm

      Awesome idea!


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