Gin and Tonic Recipe (+ 3 Ways to Customize It!)

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.

Note: You can also make a vodka and tonic. Learn all about the differences between gin vs. vodka here.

Three gin and tonics on counter.

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!

Ingredients Needed

  • Gin
  • Good-quality tonic water

What is the Ratio of Gin to Tonic

The perfect ratio of gin to tonic is 1:2. So, I like to use 2 ounces gin to 4 ounces tonic water.

How to Make It

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

What to Put in a 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

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

Gin & Tonic 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

Which of these gin tonic recipes would you choose?

Charred Lemon Gin & Tonic

More Gin Cocktail Recipes

Did you try this gin tonic recipe?

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

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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.
5 from 13 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail


  • 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)


  • 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!


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

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This gintonic post was originally published in 2019. It was updated in 2023 to add new content. The gin tonic recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

30 thoughts on “Gin and Tonic Recipe (+ 3 Ways to Customize It!)”

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 5 stars
    Great article. Variations are quite elegant. However, where do I get juniper berries?
    Totally agree on tonics. Q or Fever Tree for me. There are a few other good ones out there, but don’t go by price. Some bad but expensive ones on the market.
    Have you tried it with basil? I love my basil smash.
    Nice work!!

  8. Simple recipe but what a pain to follow/figure it out with the many ANNOYING popup ads. Made me dizzy. So hard to follow any recipe anymore.


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