How To Make A Classic Gin and Tonic - Just what the Doctor Ordered!
Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Spare me the lecture - Jump to the recipe It's the Batman and Robin of Drinking. Gin and Tonic - name a more iconic duo. I'll wait. Aromatic and poised for easy drinking, the G&T is not only the precursor to other (read as, lesser) highballs but is proof that sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. Unlike cocktails and beverages that can sometimes be overloaded with flavor, complex ingredients, and tricky techniques, this simple mixed drink is easy to execute. It is suited for almost every occasion when liquor is available. The fun of a classic Gin and Tonic, however, is in the quality of its ingredients. Traditionally botanical and aromatic with a light citrus note, the rise of craft distilleries and sodas has given bartenders and mixologists alike the ability to enjoy more sophisticated tonics and gins to balance each other, rather than depending that staple Canada Dry (although there's nothing wrong with that). That said before we get to mixing - a little backstory.
The Origin of the Gin and Tonic
To understand how the Modern Gin and Tonic came to be, you first must understand the two main ingredients from which the drink is derived. We'll start with the Gin. Gin has its roots in the dutch beverage Jenever (sometimes referred to as Dutch Gin), which British Soldiers stumbled across while fighting on Dutch land in the thirty years war, and like Brits tend to do - brought it back with them to England in the 17th century, where it spread like wildfire. That's not an exaggeration either. When I say Gin went on a tear, I mean everyone and their grandma was drinking the stuff. At one point, it was estimated one-fourth of the population was not only tanked on gin but also brewing the stuff. Who doesn't love a little bathroom hooch? Life continued on this way until the 1800s, when the Brits did what they were known for in this period and began to colonize India. And that, my friends, is where the Tonic comes in. It turns out Malaria is a real son-of-a-bitch, killing 400 thousand people annually. India, due to its climate, was a hotbed for Malaria. Now. back in the yesteryear of the 1700s, a Scottish doctor realized that the ingredient "quinine" was an effective treatment for said Malaria. Fun fact - back then, quinine was the main active ingredient in tonic water. So as the occupation progressed, the British Government advised soldiers to drink tonic water to fight off the disease. There was only one problem. Tonic, especially then, was bitter as all hell. For this reason (among others), the soldiers began to mix the tonic with the botanical gin and eureka! The Gin and Tonic was born.
Fun Facts About Gin and Tonic
Modern tonic has significantly less quinine in it to the point where you'd almost have to drink yourself under the table to get the benefits - so on that note, stick to the Malaria pills when you're traveling.
Gin and Tonics are not only tasty subjectively, but their deliciousness is also supported by science!
Classic Gin and Tonic Recipe
And now my friends - we mix! For best results, please be sure to check out the tips below.
Jigger or Shot Glass
2 Ounces high-quality Gin
4-6 Ounces of artisanal Tonic
1 lime wedge (optional)
Fill Glass with Ice and add your gin
Fill the remainder of the glass with Tonic
Gently stir to complete the mixing
run the lime wedge around the rim of the glass and garnish the glass with it
G&T Mixing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
How Much is Too Much? - Gin and Tonics are one of those drinks where you can make it as strong or as weak as you'd like. If you're finding the G&T too boozy, simply add more Tonic to dilute to perfection. For perspective, The average gin and tonic has around a 10% alcohol by volume
Now that's Refreshing! - You can increase the crisp, refreshing sensation of a gin and tonic by ensuring that all the ingredients are chilled in addition to the ice. If you're looking for your drink to be more flavour forward then simply have your ingredients cool rather than chilled. In every occasion however G&T's are always best served cold.