How not to make a Gin & Tonic

How not to make a G&T

These simple mistakes are ruining your gin and tonic

For a simple drink there’s a lot that can go wrong with a gin and tonic and it’s partly the nonchalant approach to making them that left gin on the back shelf for so many years. However, now that the spirit is back in fashion, and we’re pouring ourselves a cool G&T after a long day at work, it’s time to address some common G&T mistakes.

It only takes a couple of simple tweaks to take a gin and tonic from average, to frankly sublime…

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Perfect G&T serves


Do you remember the people at university who used to ask for ‘no ice’ or ‘less ice’ in their drink? The thinking being that then you’d get more actual drink for your dolla. Well, that’s one thing when you’re ordering your third vodka Redbull but when you’re paying for a premium gin & tonic it’s actually counter productive. The more ice a G&T has in it, the longer the ice cubes will stay frozen: meaning, your drink wont dilute as quickly. So actually, the more ice, the better the drink. Your bartender knows best…

We all know the saying, if 2/3 of your G&T is tonic then don’t ruin it with bad tonic and it is so important. For very little money you can upgrade your tonic to FeverTree, Fentimens or one of the newer brands like Double Dutch. Less aggressively fizzy and make with natural ingredients these tonics work with, rather than fight against, your gin.

Using bad ice is almost as damaging as using too little ice. The party ice from your corner shop is likely to dilute into poor quality water, ruining all your best efforts to create a perfect G&T. Either buy ice that states it’s from spring water or make your own cubes at home using filtered water.

The recommended ratio for a G&T is one part gin and two parts tonic, and in 98% of cases that’s correct. However, for some gins it’s worth using a little less tonic. For example, a incredibly complex gin like Monkey 47 or a distilled gin like Gin Marecould do with a little less tonic to give the gin more room to express itself.


gin, g&t, gin and tonic, garnish
The garnish maketh the gin


If in doubt head grab the nearest citrus fruit but why not experiment a little? The best tact is to use a garnish that either complements the botanicals in the gin, or directly contrasts with them. For example, Salcombe gin is distilled using pink grapefruit and so they use fresh pink grapefruit to garnish their G&T. Whereas Gin Mare use mango and black pepper to contrast with the botanicals they use. I personally prefer an olive

fishers gin, gin, g&t, gin and tonic
fishers g&t

and a few leaves of basil. You’ll usually find an indication of what botanicals are in a gin on the bottle or on their website.


It’s increasingly de rigueur to serve a G&T in a large, balloon-shaped wine glass (a trick stolen from the Spanish) and this is a vast improvement on the long, skinny tumblers of old. However, the only two things that matter are there being enough space for copious amounts of ice and the glass tapering in at the top to enhance and direct the drinks’ aroma.

Don’t worry, this is not the part where we tell you to only buy £60 bottles of gin. In fact, our website hand picks some of the best priced gins around, but rather the part where we ask you to consider whether that gin in your hand was destined to be part of a gin and tonic? Would it in fact work better with bitter lemon or a measure of vermouth in a martini? Take a look at the gin brands’ website and see what their signature serve it but also go with your gut. There are some gins on our shelf that are just too sublime to be mixed with anything and others that come alive when mixed with tonic. Unfortunately the only way to find out is trial and error.

Have a browse through our gins and if you are stuck for inspiration, why not not try Dodds gin with some Fevertree tonic and garnish with some dried orange or fresh orange


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