Gin and Tonic Recipe // 3 Ways to Customize

Three glasses of gin tonic cocktail garnished with limes and mint.

This Gin and Tonic recipe makes perfecting the gin & tonic at home easy. Learn how to make the tastiest version of this classic drink and how to garnish it in three different ways.

The gin tonic is such a simple, no-nonsense cocktail, you may think, what can really be done to “perfect” it? Well, I believe that with a few simple tips you really can make the tastiest version of this classic drink.

I have had some really bad G&Ts (gin & tonics) in my day. I would say that most of those have come from bars in my college days. My tastes back in those days weren’t too discriminating. Well gin of the cheap sort, pre-cut limes that have been sitting in that little plastic bin for who knows how long (!!!), and flat tonic that comes from one of those point and shoot soda guns.

Well, with my age has come wisdom, and I have realized that the gin tonic can be made much, much better! You may have a favorite gin – and I would say to go with that. I prefer Tanqueray or Sapphire. But, the most important ingredient is going to be your tonic water.

As you may, or may not, know, tonic water is a carbonated soft drink that has quinine added. It was originally used as a prophylactic to ward against malaria and was consumed in the tropical areas of South Asia and Africa, where the disease was an epidemic. The first commercial tonic was created in 1858. It now contains much lower amounts of quinine, which is what gives tonic its slightly bitter characteristic.

Recently, brands such as Fever Tree and Q Tonic have entered the premium tonic water marketplace. These brands place an emphasis on using real quinine and natural sweeteners, as opposed to quinine flavoring and corn syrup. One taste and you’ll realize that there is quite a difference!

Gin and Tonic Ingredients

  • 2-ounces gin
  • 4-ounces good-quality tonic water

How to Make Gin and Tonic

  • Fill a glass with ice and add the gin and tonic water. Stir gently to combine. Garnish.

How to Garnish a Classic Gin and Tonic

I like to serve my gin tonics in the style of a Spanish Gin & tonic. In a large wine glass with the following garnishes for flavor:

  • Lime wedges
  • Mint sprigs
  • Juniper berries
  • Peppercorns

Three gin and tonics on counter.

You can also change up your gin tonic garnish to make other variations.

Blood Orange Gin and Tonic Recipe

  • Gin
  • Tonic
  • Blood Orange Slices
  • Juniper berries
  • Peppercorns

Blood orange gin and tonic

Charred Lemon Gin and Tonic Recipe

  • Gin
  • Tonic
  • Grilled Lemon Slices
  • Rosemary
  • Juniper berries
  • Peppercorns

Charred Lemon Gin & Tonic

Which of these gin tonic recipes would you choose?

Gin Cocktail Recipes:

Three glasses of gin tonic cocktail garnished with limes and mint.

Gin and Tonic Recipe

Perfecting the Classic Gin & Tonic is easy with this Gin and Tonic recipe. Learn how to make the tastiest version of this classic drink at home.
4.08 from 14 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • ice
  • 2 ounces good-quality gin (Tanqueray or Sapphire)
  • 4 ounces good-quality tonic water (Q Tonic or Fever Tree)
  • Lime wedges (for garnish)
  • Sprig of mint (for garnish)
  • Peppercorns & juniper berries (for garnish)

Instructions

  • Fill your glass with ice, all the way to the top.
  • Add your gin and the tonic water.
  • Squeeze two lime wedges into your cocktail and stir well to combine.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with a sprig of mint if desired. 
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg

If you loved this gin tonic recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished cocktail and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

 

24 comments

  1. Christine

    Wait. Mint? *mind blown*

    Reply

  2. peter

    Instead of the mint you can also take a kaffir lime leaf to give it an asian touch

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Sounds great Peter!

      Reply

  3. Keith

    Add a sprig of Rosemary and it will blow your mind!

    Reply

  4. Marlynn | Urban Bliss Life

    5 stars
    I love a good G & T! These are beautiful, Erin! And Fever Tree and Q Tonic really are the best, especially in gin & tonics!

    Reply

  5. Katie Carrick

    5 stars
    I made the switch from Cape Cods to G&Ts in mid-20s and I’ve never looked back. I might try some nicer tonic water next time though (to taste the difference.)

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It definitely makes a difference Katie!

      Reply

  6. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam

    5 stars
    A gin and tonic was the very first cocktail I ever tried – I think I was like 13. I hated it! But I can still taste it so vividly and remember the moment: We were on the final day of a Rogue River kayaking trip, sitting on a sand beach after a long day of paddling, and I had a drink of a friend’s. Although the gin and tonic still isn’t my go-to, I have such fond memories of it!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Love that Catherine!

      Reply

  7. Waz

    5 stars
    Yes! I always love a good gin & tonic. The variation with blood orange sounds perfect. Can’t wait to give that a try!

    Reply

  8. Becca

    5 stars
    These are so beautiful!! I think the charred lemon one is my favorite, and not just because it’s pretty, it looks delicious, too! I’m not sure if I’ve ever even tried a gin and tonic but I think I may need to try one now.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It’s such a refreshing cocktail Becca!

      Reply

  9. Renee | The Good Hearted Woman

    5 stars
    I could in no way be categorized as a beverage expert, but even I can tell the difference between good tonic water and the low-shelf stuff. With the former, the bitter flavor eases smoothly into the gin, like an otter into a slow-moving river. With the latter, it’s more like a belly flop into a public pool. Always get the good stuff!

    Reply

  10. Noel

    Living in Spain 4 months out of the year I’m obsessed with the vast choices of gins and garnish. My summer fav is muddled cucumber with a squeeze of lime or more. Let the Hendricks sit in the bulb glass with the cucumber and lime for a bit then fill the glass with ice cubes and Fever Tree light cucumber flavored tonic. Smooth refreshing. A grown up slushy.

    Reply

  11. Jen

    What variety peppercorns do you recommend?

    Jen

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Jen – I use standard black peppercorns that you would use for grinding pepper. But you can definitely get creative with pink peppercorns too!

      Reply

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  13. Dan

    5 stars
    I have always been a beer drinker ‘ and tequila ‘drinker but now definitely GT drinker.its smooth and great taste ”so i thought” till i changed my tonic ”to fever tree wow what difference.

    Reply

  14. Stephanie Beatty

    Might I suggest the hottest and most delicious gin I have ever tasted?? Blue Ash Farm Gin from Argyle, WI. It is sublime and the most refreshing gin with hints of cucumber and rose and 19 botanicals. I grew up with founder, Bill O’Donnsll, who spent 30 years trading commodities and is now the maker of fine spirits. Check it out!

    Reply

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