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How to Make the Perfect Gin and Tonic

By Anna Spooner on 26/10/16 11:30 AM

One of the most divisive drinks in the British bar repertoire is the Gin and Tonic. The ‘Great Debate’ rages on – which garnish, what ratio, which vessel and, ever increasingly, which gin?! So how do you make the perfect gin and tonic?

We’ve quizzed the experts and scoured the internet to secure the best advice on how to make the ultimate G&T….

Bartender Making Gin and Tonic

The Garnish

The guys at Tanqueray suggest a slice of lime – pure and simple and many say the traditionalists.

Bombay Sapphire go one step further and suggest that you squeeze your lime before popping it in the glass for that extra citrus kick.

Gordon’s on the other hand, have long been advocates of the wedge of lemon, hardly surprising since lemon peel is a very common botanical in gin. In fact, many gin advocates will actually serve a G&T with lemon peel rather than wedge.

The guys at Half Hitch believe that a slice of orange or orange peel complements the bergamot in their gin better than any other citrus fruits.

Or, do you stray away from citrus all together with a sliver of cucumber like Hendricks; a sprig of rosemary like Gin Mare; or a slice of apple like Bulldog?!


The Vessel 

How to serve and gin and tonic is really up to you. Pretty much everyone agrees that cubed ice is essential so you need something to house a few meaty rocks… after that, the choice is yours. Highball glasses are the traditional style and allow for lots of mixer for a more dilute drink; a short glass will make a punchier drink and allows the gin to speak for itself; or a ‘balloon’ glass (the Mediterranean goblet style) allows plenty of aromas to come out the glass.

Gin and Tonic Mixing

The Ratio

Stuart Bale, commissioned by Gin Mare, recommended that the ultimate gin and tonic recipe should be about 14% ABV (alcohol by volume) and so that’s about 1-part gin to 2-parts tonic (once you factor in a little bit of melted ice).

Tanqueray London Dry believe that the perfect ratio is 35 ml of & 85 ml of tonic, slightly more fiddley but they have clearly done their research.

Fever Tree, one of the UK’s most popular tonic brands recommend a 1 quarter to 3 quarters ratio of gin to tonic water and recommend you don’t scrimp! They also suggest that different gins should be served with different garnishes, so it’s worth looking into what the recommended serve is with your favourites (see above for some ideas).


Don’t even ask about the perfect gin, we could be here for months. Why not have an explore of the site in our gin section and see what takes your fancy.