How to Make Gin and Tonic

Two Parts:Selecting the IngredientsMaking the Gin and Tonic

There are very few things quite as simplistically elegant as the Gin and Tonic. It is a drink that spans centuries and locations--from the parlors of Queen Victoria to your favorite wicker chair on a hot summer's afternoon, the G and T never fails to please. Wouldn't you agree that a drink so steeped in adoration and history deserves to be created with the utmost attention to detail? Us wikiHowians do! Follow the steps listed below to create the perfect Gin and Tonic.


  • Ice cubes.
  • 2 oz. (60mL) of gin.
  • Tonic water.
  • Garnish of lime or lemon.

Part 1
Selecting the Ingredients

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    Selecting the right Gin. When it comes to Gin and Tonics, you will want to select a decent gin. A cheap gin will give your G and T a cheaper flavor (and by that, we mean one that might not be quite so tasty as G and Ts made with higher quality gin.) Dip no lower than the middle shelf when selecting your gin. If you can afford to do so, buy your favorite gin or, if you don’t have one, a gin of a higher quality. The flavor of the gin really does affect the taste of your cocktail.[1]
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    Purchasing the Tonic. While you might think that the gin is the most important part when it comes to determining the flavor of the G and T, the tonic water you use is actually equally, if not more, important. After all, the tonic makes up two-thirds of the drink. When purchasing tonic water, look for tonic that has real quinine as opposed to artificial flavoring--artificial flavoring can give tonic water a sickly sweet flavor that will most likely leave a bad taste in your mouth. As soon as you buy the tonic, put it in the fridge--warm tonic water can ruin a perfectly good G and T.[2]
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    Lemons or Limes. A slice of lime or lemon is the traditional garnish to the classic G and T. The quality of that slice can, at times, make or break a Gin and Tonic. You want to select limes or lemons that will depress slightly when squeezed but do not become mushy when touched. Citrus that is too soft may have gone bad, meaning it can leave you with a whole lot of pulp and not nearly enough juice when added to your drink.
    • If you are hoping to make the prettiest G and T possible, do not choose limes or lemons that have brown spots. Instead, choose citrus that is bright in color and has a pleasant aroma.
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    Consider other garnishes. While limes are the traditional garnish, new garnishes have been popping up on the G and T scene at a steady rate. If you feel bold, try a different garnish. For instance, Hendricks Gin recommends creating a G and T with a cucumber garnish. If you have a gin that is more floral in flavor, some gin drinkers recommend adding basil. For spicier gins, an orange wedge is recommended.
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    Prepare the garnish. Whatever garnish you choose to use, you will want to slice it up before making your drink. Cut limes or lemons into wedges. If you are using cucumber, you can choose to leave the outer layer on or peel it off--the choice is up to you. It is important to remember not to over power the drink with the garnish--one wedge of your chosen garnish should be enough.
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    Using the correct glass. For this, you have two options. If you prefer your gin and tonics a bit on the sweeter side (meaning the tonic is highlighted rather than the gin flavor) use a tall glass. This is what gin drinkers call a ‘thin gin’ and is generally made in a Collins glass. For those who prefer their G and Ts with a heavier gin flavor, use a short, fat glass.[3]

Part 2
Making the Gin and Tonic

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    Squeeze a lime or lemon wedge into a glass. Once you have squeezed most of the juice out of the wedge, rub the lime or lemon along the inside of the glass edge. In this instance, the citrus is not just a touch to add aesthetic appeal to your drink--it actually binds the flavors of the cocktail together. Drop the used wedge into the glass.[4]
    • If you are using an orange as your garnish, follow the same instructions as listed in this step.
    • If using a cucumber, you should generally wait until the end to add the garnish to the rim of your glass. Some people like adding cucumber to the bottom or sides of their glass to give their G and Ts an extra cucumber-y flavor.
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    Pour the gin into your glass. Most G and Ts are made with one parts gin to two parts tonic. This means that your G and T should contain roughly 2 oz (60mL) of gin. If you are using a jigger, which can hold 1.5 oz (44mL), then fill it all the way up, pour it, and then it fill it halfway up again.[5]
    • If you are using a a barman’s pourer, you should turn the bottle upside down over your glass and count to five.
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    Adding Ice, Gin, and Tonic water. Fill the glass to the brim with ice, add in the tonic water, and stir the ice around with your spoon--the gin will melt the ice down slightly. Add the tonic water. Your tonic water should be fresh out of the fridge so that it is as cold as possible. For tonic at its most bubbly, use an unopened bottle. Pour until the drink is almost to the brim of the glass. If you prefer to taste the gin more than the tonic, pour less of the tonic.[6]
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    Stir politely. When stirring for guests, use a swizzle stick or long spoon. When stirring, press the ice cubes down gently so that they mix the gin with the tonic.[7]
    • In a pinch you can also use a knife to stir your drink. If you’re just serving yourself and really don’t care, you can also just use your finger to mix the flavors together.
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    Add an extra garnish to the rim of your drink. Do not squeeze it--this garnish is for aesthetic appeal rather than flavor. Drink with refinement.
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  • It is best to use premium gin and artisan tonic water to get the full botanicals from the gin to come out.


  • Drink Responsibly

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