How to Make a Gin and Tonic

Gin. Tonic. Together, they make perfection.

How to Make a Gin and Tonic

I love Gin and Tonics. Simple, bubbly and refreshing. On a hot day, they can cool you down. When it’s cold outside, they can warm you up as you relax on the couch with a good book or movie. Two ingredients that come together to make one of the world’s, and history’s, most popular cocktails.

Not surprisingly, the history of this drink could fill a book. In fact, the tonic alone had a book published about its history in 2020, Fortum & Mason’s award winning “Just the Tonic: A Natural History of Tonic Water”. Back in the 1700s, a Scottish doctor named George Cleghorn discovered that quinine helped treat and fight off malaria, and by the 1800s British soldiers stationed in India were drinking gin mixed with tonic to help keep them healthy. It is claimed that Winston Churchill declared in the 1900s that “the Gin and Tonic drink has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.”

The drink’s popularity continued to soar throughout the 20th century and well into the 21st, not just in England but worldwide. By the 1950s, the Gin and Tonic became more of a “stiffer” drink; originally a splash of gin was used to offset the taste of the tonic. By this time, however, the mix had flipped. Now a splash of tonic is mixed into the gin, making a more spirit forward mix.

If ever I’m wondering what cocktail to make for myself and I just can’t decide, I make a strong and reliable G&T.

What is the best gin to use in a Gin and Tonic?

You can’t go wrong with a strong, citrusy and juniper forward London Dry Gin. There are a few brands out there that have been around for hundreds of years and do a fine job of “keeping the British end up” as far as traditional Gin and Tonics go. But some of my favorite gins to use are Scottish based, often infused with cucumber and rose petals and make for a brisk and bright (and delicious) alternative to the traditional spirit. We have some amazing gins out here in California that mix up nicely with a light tonic. Try a few different types of gins out to see what you like best. Find your flavor.

How to Make a Gin and Tonic
Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 2 ounces of gin
  • 4 ounces chilled tonic water
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: 2 fresh lime wheels or a wedge if you prefer a squeeze of lime juice


  • Start by placing your highball glass in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Remove the glass from the freezer and fill it generously with ice cubes. The more ice you use, the less diluted your drink will become as the ice melts slowly.
    How to Make a Gin and Tonic
  • Pour 2 ounces of gin over the ice and slowly add 4 ounces of tonic water down a bar spoon or over the ice and gently stir (you want to preserve the tonic’s fizz).
    How to Make a Gin and Tonic
  • Add two lime on the glass edge. If you prefer a stronger lime flavor, squeeze a lime wedge over the drink before dropping it in. Serve immediately with a stirring rod or a cocktail straw.
    How to Make a Gin and Tonic


Calories: 131kcal | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 3mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.03mg
How to Make a Gin and Tonic

FAQs & Tips

How to Make a Gin and Tonic

Gin and Tonic Variations

Whenever I enjoy a cool, crisp Gin and Tonic, it always puts me in the mood for other gin-based cocktails. If you like G&Ts as much as I do, check out some of my other favorite drinks:

  • Negroni – I recently discovered this beautifully bitter cocktail that combines gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. Shaken or stirred, this is another one of my go-to drinks.
  • French Gimlet – I write about this tasty gin and elderflower liqueur concoction here at Twist and Toast.
  • Gin Fizz – Clean and refreshing is how I describe this amazing cocktail in one of my latest articles for Twist and Toast. Try it out and love it like I did.

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