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How to Make the Perfect Gin and Tonic

Gabriel loves a gin and tonic and makes no excuses when it comes to the perfect G&T.

This guide will provide you with the secrets to making the perfect gin and tonic every time.

This guide will provide you with the secrets to making the perfect gin and tonic every time.

I have a claim to fame: I am an expert gin-smith, pouring a gin and tonic that rivals all others. How do I know this? I have been pouring this particular bevy since a very tender age—not for me, for my parents (No, they are not alcoholics; they simply drink like Irish people. Why? Because they are Irish people!)

The simple fact is that once I pour a gin and tonic, the receiver of my alcoholic delight is lost for words . . . well, other than asking for another one, that is. I am always elected the chief gin-and-tonic-maker and am persistently told that no one makes a G&T quite like me! And, of course, I totally agree. I am the proud owner of a gin-and-tonic-only fridge, which, of course, only ever has those precious ingredients cooling in it. I even have special glasses, an ice bucket, tongs, and a measure. In fact, I even have a T-shirt; no, I really do. It bears the words "I make the best G&T."

I know, I know, you're wondering: how do you make this delightful tipple? Boys and girls, let me share.

A little TLC, of course.

  • T for tonic
  • L for lime
  • C for cubes of ice

I am pretty sure you're getting the idea that this is my signature drink for a good reason. But, hey, don't take my word for it. Try out my recipe and my method, and let the result speak for itself.

The Perfect Gin and Tonic Recipe

Firstly, please make sure your measure is void of all other liquids. I recently had the misfortune of finding my G&T tainted by olive oil. Said guest now knows where the teaspoons are and is eternally banned from ever, ever making me a G&T again. It's absolute madness to use an alcoholic measure for anything else other than measuring alcohol. If you do this: stop it now.


  • Gordon's gin (my fav) or a good-quality gin, straight from the fridge
  • Cold tonic water (It has to be Schweppes and it has to be fresh; cans are best)
  • Ice cubes (frozen to within an inch of their life, not just made an hour ago)
  • Fresh, juicy lime slices or wedges
  • A clean slim jim or highball (tall slim glass; there's a picture below)
  • A 50 ml measure


  1. Rub your lime wedge lightly around the rim of your slim jim or highball (always make sure your glasses are exceptionally clean).
  2. Squeeze a little juice from the lime wedge into your glass before dropping the wedge in.
  3. Add four large ice cubes.
  4. Pour in 50 ml of cold Gordon's gin and top with cold Schweppes tonic.
  5. Take a moment to savor the image of your perfect G&T.

Bartender's Tips

  • Dry Limes?: If your limes are a little on the dry side, put them in the microwave for a few seconds. This will soften the skin and release more juice.
  • Cool Your Glasses if It's Hot Out: In the summer months, put your slim jim glasses in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before you need them. A cold glass will prevent your ice cubes from melting too quickly and prevent your gin from becoming watery.
This is a highball glass—perfect for gin and tonics.

This is a highball glass—perfect for gin and tonics.

Don't Be Afraid to Experiment With Other Gins

Once you have mastered the perfect Gordon's gin and tonic, you might like to graduate and stretch your imagination.

  • Bombay Sapphire: Try Bombay Sapphire instead of Gordon's. It is more expensive, however. I pay about 18€ here. However, for those of you that like a smoother alcohol, Bombay Sapphire is indeed a smooth liquid and is a good gin for your tonic. This bevy also needs to be served cold. Follow the guidelines for the G&T, replacing Gordon's with the Bombay.
  • Hendrick's: Another solid gin is Hendrick's, and it has a mild cucumber flavor. This bevy is very good served with crushed ice and sliced cucumber. In fact, this gin is so smooth, you can enjoy Hendrick's without the tonic. Do remember that if you choose to leave the tonic in the fridge, your staying power will be a little on the short side, so take it easy. The downside for me with this smooth cucumber is the cost. A bottle of Gordon's gin sets me back about 9€, while Hendrick's is about 30€. That is pretty expensive for me. Perhaps for a special occasion, the cost is worth it.

A Note About Hendrick's: There is one other thing I must mention about Hendrick's—not everyone likes the flavor. (It even says so on the bottle: not that people don't like it, but that it's a particular flavor.) It seems an acquired taste is necessary. I have found that I have the necessary acquirement, the taste that is.

At least you know what to buy me for my birthday! Yep! A bottle of Hendrick's or, to be honest, three bottles of Gordon's would be just perfect.

Gordon's is my favorite gin.

Gordon's is my favorite gin.

© 2010 Gabriel Wilson


Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on June 02, 2018:

I use 50 ml of gin with 2 to 3 large ice cubes and top my glass up with tonic, about 100 ml. Start with that and if it's a little too strong add a little more tonic :)

So 2:1 regarding tonic to gin.

Kristy Lombardo on May 31, 2018:

Could you please give a ratio of gin to tonic since my glasses may be of a different size or shape?

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on February 18, 2018:

Hey Jewels, I would suggest topping up your gin with tonic and tasting, add more if too strong. I like lots of ice (big ice cubes that don't melt quickly) and 100ml of tonic water. Cheers.

Jewels on February 16, 2018:

Fabulous tip I’ve just started drinking Pink Gin & Tonic got fed up with Prosecco

How much tonic? do you add to a 50ml shot of gin thanks Gin

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 21, 2013:

It's also the expense; sure there are other gins but they cost a small fortune. Leopolds; Rusty Blade; Martin Miller's Gin; Tanqueray No 10 Gin and Citadelle French Gin for example are all good quality gins but you won't buy them for 9€. Hendrick's is a top class gin and and by no means mediocre. By all means if you've got the dosh go for it.

Josh on April 20, 2013:

I would branch out on the gins. Bombay, Gordon's and Hendricks are all pretty mediocre. Schwepps is as well for that matter. A good starting point though I guess.

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on October 14, 2012:

I will certainly give it a try; tanx for the info :)

Stephen Watson on October 13, 2012:

"it has to be Schweppes" ... Well I thought that once, until I tried Fever Tree tonic water. Do a direct tasting between the two and you will never touch Schweppes again.

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on August 04, 2012:

Hello there, what great info! I will be honest I do like a good whiskey. I'm partial to a Glenfiddich now and then. I will check out the site. Thank you for the tip and for your time :)

lower saxon taff on August 03, 2012:

Hi Gabriel,

I absolutely love Gordons (its mid range price but still on top for taste)!! Personally I don't think you can get better than Gordons for a G&T, Bombay Saff' and the like are a bit over powering on the botanics side of things, but still a nice drop, I think you should try some of Penderyn distillery's Brecon Gin....its superb (Im from Wales but im not being biased)!!! It also won the IWSC gold medal last year (2011)!! I can't get it where I live so have to order it online(try the whisky too, its wonderful....and im not a fan of whiskies in general) you have to go to www.welsh-whisky.co.uk

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on June 27, 2012:

Hi Mavis. I have never heard or seen this gin, is it available in Europe? I'm not sure about drinking neat gin, I might end up a little worse for wear, although I'm willing to be proved wrong. Thank you for your comment and your info, very interesting. Will I be converted? Watch this space :)

Mavis Gulliver on June 27, 2012:

Come on now! Gordon's? I'm one of the botanists involved in The Botanist gin from Bruichladdich distillery. If you haven't tried it please do - it's so flavoursome with its 22 Islay botanicals that some people drink it neat instead of whisky. As for adding ice - no need to dilute it further. Keep bottle and tonic in the fridge - and as for adding lemon or lime or anything else The Botanist doesn't need it.

e do

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 20, 2011:

I love Margaritas. I agree; keep the table salt where it belongs. On the table. :-)

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on April 20, 2011:

Same for properly made Margaritas. You don't want to know what happens when my pre-dinner 'rita arrives with no sea salt on the rim...or gawdforbid, rimmed with regular table salt. ;D

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 20, 2011:

Ahh! but once you've had a chilled G&T with lime around the rim, there is no going back.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on April 19, 2011:

This former bartender is embarrassed to admit that I never knew to chill the ingredients of a G&T, or to run the lime around the rim. Obviously, my G&T customers had never had one of yours and didn't know the difference! ;D

electricsky from North Georgia on December 08, 2010:

Thanks for your hub.

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on September 18, 2010:

Trust me, you will never just add tonic again. The perfect G&T is an art in itself.

Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on September 18, 2010:

Wow,I never knew there was more to a gin and tonic than simply adding the tonic to a tot of gin! Will have to try this one!

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on May 26, 2010:

that's great, welcome back to the G&T brigade!

Jeff Berndt from Southeast Michigan on May 25, 2010:

Oh, mate, thanks a million! I just made a G&T with your recipe/technique and it's brilliant. What was I doing wrong before? My gin (even though it was quality stuff, Bombay Sapphire) wasn't chilled and I hadn't been rubbing the wedge around the rim. Surprising how much difference those little details can make, eh?

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on May 23, 2010:

remember to use a good quality gin too, and you'll be back on the G&T A list for sure

Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on May 23, 2010:

I used to drink only G&T maybe now I will have to try it again with your recipe

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on May 23, 2010:

the cold gin and cold tonic make a real difference, as does the lime on the rim of your glass,

Jeff Berndt from Southeast Michigan on May 22, 2010:

Nice advice. My G&Ts have been lackluster in the past. I'll have a go at this method next time.

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