The Best Gin and Tonic

How to make a perfect gin and tonic. We share all our tips, including the best gin to use and the ideal ratio of gin to tonic.

Best Gin and Tonic

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

For more cocktails, see all of our cocktail recipes.

Key Ingredients

  • Gin: When making gin and tonics, choose a mid-to-high-shelf gin. A London dry gin (such as Beefeater), Plymouth, or Bombay work really well. London dry gins are more straightforward in flavor, while Plymouth gins are more aromatic. We’ve also used Bombay Sapphire and loved it, but we really enjoy Sapphire’s extra spiciness.
  • Tonic water: I prefer the tonic water sold in smaller, single-serving bottles. The tonic will be fresh, and you won’t lose any fizz. Many people swear by Schweppes, but we can’t say we have noticed a difference enough to specify. We particularly enjoy the Fever Tree and Q tonics. For a lower-calorie cocktail, use a light tonic. Just be aware that light tonic has less flavor.
  • Lime: A classic gin and tonic needs fresh lime. It should be refreshing and always fresh on flavor. Fresh lime helps with this and brightens everything up. If you don’t have lime, lemon is an excellent substitute.

How to Make a Gin and Tonic

Use a bit more tonic than gin for the best gin and tonic. For one (strong) cocktail, I combine 3 ounces of gin with 4 ounces of tonic water, which tastes crisp, refreshing, and not too boozy.

I always add lime to my gin and tonics, both a squeeze of fresh lime and a wedge or slice in the glass itself.

More Gin Cocktail Recipes

Perfect Gin and Tonic

The Best Gin and Tonic

  • PREP

The best gin and tonic recipe balances tonic water’s bitterness against the gin’s aromatics. London dry gins (such as Beefeater), Plymouth, or Bombay are great. London dry gins are more straightforward in flavor, while Plymouth gins are a bit more aromatic. I also like Bombay Sapphire’s extra herbal spiciness.

1 drink

You Will Need

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

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (1 tablespoon)

4 ounces tonic water (1/2 cup)

Lime wedge or slice



    1Fill 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.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
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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11 comments… Leave a Review
  • Lulu January 3, 2024, 11:27 pm

    Drinking it now! Cheers.

  • 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!

  • Adam January 1, 2013, 1:54 pm

    Awesome idea!

  • 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.


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