Making gin and tonic

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The classic gin and tonic is a light, fresh, and easy 3-ingredient cocktail. Learn how to make a perfect Gin and Tonic at home with this easy to follow recipe and guide.

Gin and Tonic

The gin and tonic. My all-time favorite cocktail. Delicious, versatile, and perfect year-round rain or shine. There are many reasons to love this light and airy cocktail.

That said, there are several key factors to keep in mind when making a gin and tonic. For example…

What gin should you use? Will any tonic water work? Does the ratio of gin to tonic really matter? And what about the lime– does it need to be fresh?

Don’t worry, I have answered each of these questions for you below.

Gin and Tonic History

This is actually quite interesting…

The Gin and Tonic was brought to India by the British East India Company in the early 19th century. Due to the tropical climate faced by India and the surrounding regions, malaria became a revolving issue for all who lived there. When it was discovered in the 1700s that quinine could be used to prevent the disease, people began to drink it in tonic water. Quinine, however, has a very bitter taste.

Fast-forward to the early 19th century…soldiers thought to add a combination of water, sugar, lime, and…GIN…to the Quinine to make it more tolerable. It was then that the gin and tonic came to be.

Thank you, malaria…

just kidding. malaria is awful, horrible, miserable.

Gin and Tonic ingredients

Classic g&t ingredients are just these four. However, feel free to mix-up, spice-up, or sweeten-up your drink with all your favorites.

  • gin
  • tonic water
  • fresh lime wedges
  • ice

Gin and Tonic Ratio

I don’t care what anyone in this world says, this is not an exact science.

That said, don’t start dumping. If you’ve never made a gin and tonic before, I highly recommend a ratio of 2:5.

As in, 2 parts gin to 5 parts tonic (let’s not get TOO wild and crazy here).

If, however, you know you’re going to be using fabulous gin and you don’t mind the taste (aka you’re not trying to hide the taste) try for 3 parts gin, 5 parts tonic water. OR, a simple 1:2 ratio.

A great starting point, however, is 2:5.

How to make a gin and tonic

  1. Chill your glasses. Approximately 20 minutes prior to serving chill your glasses in the freezer. This is optional, but if you can remember this step it really does help keep your drink cooler, longer.
  2. Add ice. Once ready to prepare, add ice cubes to the chilled glasses. Larger ice cubes work best as they provide less surface area for the ice to melt.
  3. Add the gin plus the first lime. Pour the gin over the ice and squeeze in one lime.
  4. Add the tonic water and second lime. Fill each glass with tonic water and garnish with an additional lime wedge.

Tips and Tricks for making the best gin and tonic

The honest truth here is that if you are a person who absolutely hates gin, then you may never really come to enjoy a good g&t- and that’s ok. But, don’t rule it out until you’ve tried these simple tips!

  1. Fresh lime is a must. That concentrated stuff? Don’t do it.
  2. Speaking of lime, use two lime wedges, not just one. The first after you add the gin and the second after you add the tonic.
  3. Always use freshly opened tonic water. Trust me, you guys, flat (or going flat) tonic water is nasty.
  4. In other words, don’t buy big, giant bottles of tonic water. Smaller is better.
  5. One last thing about the tonic water- all tonic water are NOT created equal. Some are sweeter, some are better carbonated. Often tonic water from a glass is better. Fan favorites include Q-Mixers and Fever-Tree as these have been made specifically for mixed cocktails like the gin and tonic.
  6. The gin. I’m not suggesting you should go for the top of the top, but keep in mind the ingredient list. After all, the gin and tonic is, quite literally, all about the gin…and the tonic.
  7. The ice. Larger ice cubes are better as they have a smaller overall surface area for them to melt.
  8. Finally, measure the quantities. Too much gin and your drink will literally taste only like gin. Too much tonic water and…what’s the point?

TIP- If you are more of a vodka person, follow these simple tips, simply swap the gin for vodka.

g&t variations

Of course, not everyone is always in the mood for a classic g&t. Lucky for us the gin and tonic is super versatile.

Using the classic gin and tonic ingredients as a base- gin, tonic, lime- you can mix and play with fruits, liqueurs, or even vegetables to make it uniquely your own!

For example, cupcakes, cheesecake, or this Gin and Tonic Granita.

Of course, if you’re sticking with cocktails you can always add a splash of juice, flavored simple syrup, or flavored liqueur.

In Spain, the Gin-Tonic is becoming more and more popular and is often garnished with a flavor highlighting that of the gin used in the drink.

What is the proper glassware for a gin tonic?

Usually, you will see this light and refreshing cocktail served in a rocks glass or high ball glass.

Why I love this fantastic cocktail

  1. The insanely short ingredient list. I have never had the luxury of extra space and storage in any of the homes I have lived in, so knowing that I can easily store a bottle of gin away for weekends is pretty awesome.
  2. However, my main love comes from the absence of added sugar. Yes, there is sugar in all gin and tonics thanks to the tonic water BUT it is pretty minimal- at least when compared to the oh so popular simple syrup. Now that I am old and I require daily naps, I simply can’t party like I used to. In other words, more than one super sugary drink knocks me out…for the week.
  3. Finally, the gin and tonic really are so dang easy to make. And easy-to-make alcohol containing beverages that basically make themselves are kinda my favorite.

If you try making your own gin & tonic, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.

For more cocktail recipes check out,

  • Fall Sangria Recipe
  • Blackberry Cranberry Moscow Mule
  • Spicy Orange Margaritas
  • Frozen Peach Wine Slushies
  • Holiday Peppermint White Russian

DON’T FORGET TO PIN AND SHARE THIS GIN & TONIC RECIPE TO MAKE FOR HAPPY HOUR, FOOTBALL PARTIES, HOLIDAYS, OR ANYTIME YOU WANT A LIGHT AND REFRESHING DRINK.

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How to make a Gin and Tonic

4.93 from 26 votes The Gin and Tonic is both classic and refreshing. And unlike other cocktails, the g&t does not require added sugar or sweeteners! Pin Recipe Course: Drinks Cuisine: American Prep Time: 2 minutes Total Time: 2 minutes Servings: 1 drink Calories: 223kcal Author Jessica Randhawa

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 2 oz gin
  • 5 oz tonic
  • 2 lime wedges

Instructions

  • Chill your glasses. Approximately 20 minutes prior to serving chill your glasses in the freezer.
  • Add ice. Once ready to prepare, add ice cubes to the chilled glasses. Larger ice cubes work best as they provide less surface area for the ice to melt.
  • Add the gin plus first lime. Pour the gin over the ice and squeeze in one lime.
  • Add the tonic water and second lime. Fill each glass with tonic water and garnish with an additional lime wedge. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Use fresh lime.
  2. Always use freshly opened tonic water such as Q-Mixers and Fever-Tree as these have been made specifically for mixed cocktails like the gin and tonic.
  3. The gin. I’m not suggesting you should go for the top of the top, but try to pick a gin you enjoy drinking.
  4. The ice. Larger ice cubes are better as they have a smaller overall surface area for them to melt.
  5. If you are new to the g&t I highly recommend measuring the quantities.

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 0.8mg (Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.) Did you Make this Recipe? Tag it Today!Tag @theforkedspoon and hashtag it #theforkedspoon and please leave your star rating in the comment section below. 753shares

Nothing tastes as delicious as a cold G&T. In fact, Britain has such a deep love for it that sales of gin are set to rise to £1 billion by 2020.

While we all know how satisfying a glass of gin and tonic can be on a sunny day, we might not actually be aware of how to make the perfect concoction.

According to Sipsmith, the perfect gin and tonic contains three simple ingredients:

  • 50ml gin
  • Tonic water (Fever Tree Indian Tonic is their go-to)
  • Lemon twist or wedge of lime to garnish

We also spoke to two gin aficionados to find out exactly what it takes to transform yourself from G&T novice to fledgling mixologist.

1. The perfect glass. An old tumbler from the back of your cupboard simply won’t do, we’re told: ‘Contrary to the traditional highball glass, one with a good opening – like a copa, tumbler or even a red wine glass – can really enhance the nose and allow you to take in all the fragrant botanicals in the gin,’ says Simon Gamble, Product Creative Director of Two Birds Spirits.

2. The right amount of ice. ‘It’s crucial to get your glass as cold as possible,’ says James Chase, CEO and Founder of Chase Distillery. ‘Add as much ice as you possibly can (and make sure it’s clear). I always say the more ice you use, the less dilution you get – meaning you’ll really be able to taste the quality of the gin.’

MORE: GHI REVIEWS GIN

3. Get the measurements right. ‘It all depends on your day, and whether you’ve had a bad one or not!’ James laughs. ‘But for taste, I always go with a quarter of gin and three-quarters tonic.’

Simon Gamble recommends a nice 50ml glug as the perfect gin measurement per glass.

4. Pick your tonic wisely. ‘As the tonic amounts to three-quarters of the G&T, it should ideally be top-notch quality,’ Simon advises. ‘I’d also stick to “unflavoured” tonic waters, as the garnishes on a G&T really enhance the flavour.’

MORE: HOW TO MAKE OUR TASTY G&T LOAF

Both gin experts love the taste of Fever Tree and Fentimans tonic in their G&T, but James stresses that there are a lot of different tonics to choose from and some are better suited to others to different gins. So if you have Schweppes, or even supermarket-brand tonic knocking about, they’ll still do a good job.

5. Get adventurous with the garnishes. ‘A G&T is personal,’ Simon tells us. ‘If you want something refreshing and citrus-y, you can’t go wrong with a classic lime wedge. However, if you’re after something a little warmer and spicier, orange peel and star anise are delicious. If you’re after a floral G&T, garnish with some thyme elderflower.’

MORE: 10 DRINKS TO ENJOY IN THE SUN

‘You should also consider the predominant botanicals used to make the gin,’ adds James. ‘For example, our GB gin has hints of juniper and ginger, so I always suggest to friends to garnish with a slice of ginger.’

Other garnish ideas can include:

  • Pink grapefruit and rosemary
  • Cucumber, mint and black peppercorns
  • Strawberry and basil
  • Chillies and lime

6. It’s all about the order. ‘The order in which you mix your G&T is crucial,’ says James. ‘Get the glass as cold as possible first, then add the ice and pour out any excess water. Next, add the gin, then the tonic. Finally, stir the drink before adding the garnish of your preference.’

MORE: THE GHI REVIEWS PRE-MIXED G&T

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How to Make a Gin & Tonic

How to Cocktail: Gin & Tonic

The Gin & Tonic is perhaps the quintessential summer cocktail. Choosing a good gin like Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater, or your own personal favorite is the key to making the best gin and tonic you can. Learn how to make this surprisingly simple classic with bartender Jamie Gordon; plus, get his colorful, garden-fresh twist.

Gin & Tonic

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 oz Beefeater gin
  • Tonic water, to top

Garnish: Lemon wedge, lime wedge
Glass: Highball

PREPARATION:
Add the gin into a highball glass over ice.
Top with tonic water.
Squeeze a lemon and lime wedge into the drink, drop into the glass and stir.

Garden Gin & Tonic

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 oz Beefeater gin
  • 1/2 oz Dolin blanc vermouth
  • 2 dashes Orange bitters
  • Tonic water, to top

Garnish: Strawberries, grapefruit and lemon wheels, cucumber slices, lavender sprig
Glass: Goblet or large wine glass

PREPARATION:
Add all ingredients except the tonic into a goblet or wine glass and fill with fresh ice.
Top with tonic water.
Garnish with strawberries, grapefruit and lemon wheels, cucumber slices and a lavender sprig.

Gin and Tonic Recipe // 3 Ways to Customize

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This Gin and Tonic recipe makes perfecting the gin & tonic at home easy. Learn how to make the tastiest version of this classic drink and how to garnish it in three different ways.

The gin tonic is such a simple, no-nonsense cocktail, you may think, what can really be done to “perfect” it? Well, I believe that with a few simple tips you really can make the tastiest version of this classic drink.

I have had some really bad G&Ts (gin & tonics) in my day. I would say that most of those have come from bars in my college days. My tastes back in those days weren’t too discriminating. Well gin of the cheap sort, pre-cut limes that have been sitting in that little plastic bin for who knows how long (!!!), and flat tonic that comes from one of those point and shoot soda guns.

Well, with my age has come wisdom, and I have realized that the gin tonic can be made much, much better! You may have a favorite gin – and I would say to go with that. I prefer Tanqueray or Sapphire. But, the most important ingredient is going to be your tonic water.

As you may, or may not, know, tonic water is a carbonated soft drink that has quinine added. It was originally used as a prophylactic to ward against malaria and was consumed in the tropical areas of South Asia and Africa, where the disease was an epidemic. The first commercial tonic was created in 1858. It now contains much lower amounts of quinine, which is what gives tonic its slightly bitter characteristic.

Recently, brands such as Fever Tree and Q Tonic have entered the premium tonic water marketplace. These brands place an emphasis on using real quinine and natural sweeteners, as opposed to quinine flavoring and corn syrup. One taste and you’ll realize that there is quite a difference!

Gin and Tonic Ingredients

  • 2-ounces gin
  • 4-ounces good-quality tonic water

How to Make Gin and Tonic

  • Fill a glass with ice and add the gin and tonic water. Stir gently to combine. Garnish.

How to Garnish a Classic Gin and Tonic

I like to serve my gin tonics in the style of a Spanish Gin & tonic. In a large wine glass with the following garnishes for flavor:

  • Lime wedges
  • Mint sprigs
  • Juniper berries
  • Peppercorns

You can also change up your gin tonic garnish to make other variations.

Blood Orange Gin and Tonic Recipe

  • Gin
  • Tonic
  • Blood Orange Slices
  • Juniper berries
  • Peppercorns

Charred Lemon Gin and Tonic Recipe

  • Gin
  • Tonic
  • Grilled Lemon Slices
  • Rosemary
  • Juniper berries
  • Peppercorns

Which of these gin tonic recipes would you choose?

Gin and Tonic Recipe

Course: Cocktail Cuisine: American Keyword: gin and tonic, gin cocktail Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Servings: 1 cocktail Calories: 209 kcal Author: Platings & Pairings

Perfecting the Classic Gin & Tonic is easy with this Gin and Tonic recipe. Learn how to make the tastiest version of this classic drink at home.

  • ice
  • 2 ounces good-quality gin Tanqueray or Sapphire
  • 4 ounces good-quality tonic water Q Tonic or Fever Tree
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  • Sprig of mint for garnish
  • Peppercorns & juniper berries for garnish
  1. Fill your glass with ice, all the way to the top.
  2. Add your gin and the tonic water.
  3. Squeeze two lime wedges into your cocktail and stir well to combine.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with a sprig of mint if desired.

Nutrition Facts Gin and Tonic Recipe Amount Per Serving Calories 209 % Daily Value* Sodium 11mg0% Potassium 136mg4% Carbohydrates 24g8% Fiber 3g13% Sugar 12g13% Vitamin A 65IU1% Vitamin C 39mg47% Calcium 44mg4% Iron 1mg6% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you loved this gin tonic recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished cocktail and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

Looking for more gin cocktail recipes? Be sure to try these too:

  • Aviation Gin Cocktail
  • French 75 Champagne Cocktail
  • Bees Knees Cocktail

Gin is the trend that keeps on giving, and statistics show that visitors to the BBC Good Food website are fully-fledged enthusiasts of the juniper-tinged renaissance. While we love a gin cocktail, there’s no denying the timeless charm of gin and tonic. Any gin lover will know that there’s more to a G&T than pouring the two components into a glass. Here, the experts at Craft Gin Club talk us through the mighty gin and tonic and provide us with the ultimate recipe for the best ever G&T.

Where did the gin & tonic come from?

The G&T actually started its life as a medicinal cure. Back in the 1850s as the British Crown took over the governance of India, British colonial officers faced a serious threat from mosquito-borne Malaria.

It was known that quinine – a derivative of cinchona tree bark – not only cured malaria, but also prevented it. The British troops were duly ordered to dose up with quinine to help fend-off the life-threatening illness.

The prescribed quinine powder was extremely bitter, so to make it more palatable, British officials started adding it to sugar and soda to create a tonic water – which some bright spark soon realised tasted even better when mixed with gin and slice of lime… and so, the G&T was born!
Gin and tonics remained a traditional British staple throughout most of the 20th century, although by the 1980s (and along with gin in general) they had gained a somewhat unfashionable and fusty image.


Why is gin so popular now?

Come the millennium, a whole new style of G&T hailing from Spain helped the drink reach a new generation of drinkers. The Spanish gin tonica is said to have originated in culinary capital, San Sebastian, where the local array of Michelin-starred chefs developed a penchant for mixing their after-work gin with lots of ice and tonic, in large-bowled, long-stemmed glasses, garnished with an array of botanicals.

This method, designed to show off the inherent flavours in the gin to their best advantage, quickly spread across Spain and beyond, and today the distinctive balloon-shaped copa glass is the most popular choice among gin aficionados everywhere.

And there a lot of those aficionados these days – in 2018, Brits purchased over 66 million bottles of gin.

How to make a gin & tonic: the ultimate formula

What is the secret behind the perfect G&T? The question was recently debated by Craft Gin Club’s social media fans (over 600,000 of them) and the feedback was diverse, to say the least.
Some were very precise about the number of ice cubes needed – enough to chill the glass, but not too many to dilute the gin. Some people squeezed their limes, while others were adamant this would ruin the overall taste, and there were even some who felt there was simply no need for a garnish.
But, through a gruelling, analytical process, we’ve crunched the data to determine the exact elements needed for the perfect gin & tonic, as voted for by the nation’s gin lovers. You will need:
• 1 Spanish style Copa de Balon Glass
• 1/3 gin to 2/3 premium tonic
• 4 ice cubes
• a slice of lime, to garnish

This ratio of gin to tonic means the tasting notes of the gin come through nicely and the tonic will complement the botanicals in the spirit, without overpowering the taste.

Combine all the ingredients in the glass. It then takes four stirs (no more, no less!) to make the ultimate chilled G&T. Don’t squeeze the lime as the sharpness of the juice may mask the more delicate tasting notes of the gin. Simply add the slice of lime for the aroma and a zesty hint.

Gin & tonic glasses – which one to use?

We would recommend a Spanish-style copa glass (full name Copa de Balon) to enjoy your G&T in. The shape of the balloon glass means the aromas of the gin are trapped to give a better taste to your G&T – 80% of taste is down to smell, which makes this glass style perfect. The size of a copa glass allows you to add a good quantity of ice and will also stop the ice cubes from melting as quickly as they do in a standard Collins glass.

How to match gin with garnishes

Gins with citrus notes work beautifully with herbal garnishes such as rosemary, basil or thyme, spicy gins match really well with orange peel, cinnamon or cloves, while more floral profiles pair well with cucumber, rose petals or a sprig of lavender.

How much ice to use in a gin & tonic

You ideally want to use large ice cubes and four should be just the right amount to keep your G&T frozen but not dilute the drink.

What tonic to serve with gin

For a classic G&T we would suggest a crisp, classic tonic to really let the botanicals in the gin shine. The bitterness in a classic tonic really compliments the piney juniper of gin and keeps your G&T from being overly sweet.

However, there are now many flavoured tonics available – pink grapefruit, cucumber, basil and orange are some of the more popular flavours. When mixing your gin with a flavoured tonic, be sure to do your research to see what flavours will complement the tasting notes of the gin without overpowering them.

For example, a citrus-led gin like Dry Island Gin, which includes botanicals of lemon myrtle and strawberry gum, pairs beautifully with the Fentimans Valencian Orange Tonic water. The sweet and zesty orange of the tonic water balances perfectly with the fruitiness of the strawberry gum.

Adapting the gin & tonic formula

While this provides a good general guide, with such a versatile spirit one size does not fit all. While you could apply the measurements and method of the above calculation each time you mix up your favourite drink, you have to consider the variation of flavours of each gin.

But really, there are no limits or wrong answers when it comes to gin adventures. There are so many amazing gins out there, the best thing to do is experiment with different garnishes, tonics and even glasses to find your perfect match… and the good news is, you’ll have plenty of fun doing it.

Craft Gin Club is a monthly subscription to small-batch gins. Visit the Craft Gin Club website to discover more.

More on gin…

The best gin
The best gin to buy as gifts
The best flavoured gin
The best pink gin
The best sloe gin
The best gifts for gin lovers
10 gin and tonics with a twist
Five ways with gin and tonic
Our best gin cocktail recipes
How to make your own flavoured gin
10 gin cocktails you can make in minutes

What are your tips for the perfect gin & tonic? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below…

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A classic Gin and Tonic is something that every aspiring at home bar tender needs to learn how to make. This recipe will show you how to make the traditional gin and tonic recipe with it’s perfect ratios of gin to tonic and it will also give you a special twist that kicks the classic up a notch.

Need another classic gin recipe? Make the lighter version of this cocktail with this Gin Rickey recipe.

THE CLASSIC GIN AND TONIC RATIO

The ratio in the classic recipe is two ounces of gin to with four ounces of tonic. This is a classic English cocktail that is enjoyed in London in tall wine goblets. In other words, the English are my people.

A traditional gin and tonic its the garnished with at least one lime wedge, but I prefer mine, as many do, with even more.

HOW TO MAKE A GIN AND TONIC

This is a recipe that could not be more simple to make.

Fill a glass with ice – either a tumbler or a fancy wine goblet as the English do – and then add gin and the tonic, garnishing with 1 to 2 lime wedges.

If you are worried about gin and tonic calories (this one clocks in 273 calories), you can always opt for diet tonic or a combination of the two.

When it comes to the gin, there is great debate over what is the best gin to use in a gin and tonic recipe. I lean towards Bombay Sapphire, but if you are going for a classic feel, then pick up some Beefeater.

Looking for a twist on the classic Gin and Tonic? Make this amazing Cucumber Lemon Gin and Tonic.

A FUN LITTLE TWIST

If you want to put a fun little twist on this recipe and enhance the lime flavor, add an ounce of sweetened lime juice to this recipe. You guys know I love a good lime taste to my cocktail recipes, and this is like adding both simply syrup and lime juice on amazing bang. It is not for the faint of heart, but 1 ounce of Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice plus a few lime and lemon wedges, kicks this cocktail up a notch. If you are adding Rose’s Lime, I suggest you also add in two more ounces of tonic water.

  • 1 ounce Rose’s Lime Juice
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 6 ounces tonic water

Combine as you would a classic gin and tonic.

OTHER GREAT GIN RECIPES

I can’t get enough of great gin recipes, so make sure you try some of these too:

  • If you also love champagne, this FRENCH 75 is for you!
  • I love this MOSCOW MULE WITH GIN almost more than the Original Moscow Mule.

If you try this recipe or any of my other favorite gin recipes, make sure you leave me a comment letting me know what you think!

The Perfect Gin and Tonic Recipe

A classic Gin and Tonic is something that every aspiring at home bar tender needs to learn how to make. This recipe will show you how to make the traditional gin and tonic recipe with it’s perfect ratios of gin to tonic and it will also give you a special twist that kicks the classic up a notch. Prep Time5 mins Total Time5 mins Course: cocktails Cuisine: English Keyword: gin and tonic, gin and tonic recipe Servings: 1 cocktail Calories: 273kcal Author: Lisa Longley

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 4 ounces tonic
  • Combine all ingredients in a high ball glass over ice.

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Sodium: 35mg

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Last Updated on June 16, 2018

Gin and tonic recipe

I call it a ‘gin and tonic’. The Spanish call it a ‘gin tonic’. Who needs conjunctions when they taste so good?

In the north east of the country, deep into Catalonia, gin tonics have become the fashionable drink. People sit outside on the street tables drinking them. Some bars serve only gin and nothing else.

One of them is Els Cacadors in the small town of Ribes de Freser. It’s a family business that also has a restaurant and a hotel – but, of course, it’s the drinks I’m most interested in.

The good news is that one of the owners, Ramon Pau, has offered to teach me how to make the perfect gin tonic and let me taste a few different types.

“Ten years ago in Spain people drink wine, now it’s the same with gin tonic,” he explains. “Gin tonic is now a different category and it is a gastronomy.”

He would know. The bar has been in the family for four generations and he’s seen the change in the scene. I settled on to a stool at his bar, gladly accepted the first of the gin tonics and started to ask him to spill his secrets.

Here, now, I share how to make the perfect gin tonic.

The glass

The glass needs to help open up the flavours. The worst thing you can do is drink the gin tonics from a skinny glass.

I know it’s the popular thing in most bars and clubs you might go, but the experts prefer the bigger and rounder glasses. It’s all got to do with the ice, apparently.

Ramon uses two glasses to demonstrate his point. Have a look at the photo below: The skinny glass held three bits of ice while the larger one held eight.

The ice

Ramon looks at me seriously when he makes this next point. “Water is the enemy of the gin tonic,” he says, as though discussing a lethal toxin that can’t be touched.

The aim here is to stop the ice from melting. So the bigger the pieces, the better. The more compact (as in, closer to each other), the better. The more you can fit in, the better.

The gin

“Is there a best gin in the world?” Ramon asks himself. “No, there’s no such thing.”

But choosing the right gin for you is very important. He serves 50 types of gin at Els Cacadors and when he opens his new bar later in the year he’ll have about 100 on offer. Each gin has its own strength, its own fruit influences, its own bitterness.

My two favourites were a German gin called ‘Monkey 47’ and a British one called ‘One Key’.

The tonic

The standard for every gin tonic is a plain Schweppes tonic.

“That’s my reference,” is how Ramon puts it. It will work with everything… but then you can try some other tonics to see if you like them better.

“You can compare it with something more fun, more exotic, more botanic,” Ramon says.

For strong and dry gins, he recommends using the ‘azahar lavender’ tonic. For flowery gins (or ‘lady flavours’, as he calls them), Ramon suggests the ‘pink pepper’ tonic. And for cinnamon gins, try a ginger ale.

The ratio

There isn’t too much room for flexibility here. The gin portion of the drink should be between 30 and 50 millilitres and the tonic should be about 200 millilitres.

“Not too much gin because the mixer must be friendly,” Ramon says. Originally I had found it a bit weird that he kept personifying the ingredients of the drink. Now it seems quite natural. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first person who has spent an evening talking into my glass.

The garnish

This is where I’ve always made the biggest mistakes. I’ve traditionally always used a wedge of lime in my gin tonics but Ramon looks at me with disgust when I tell him this.

“The acid of the lime or the lemon kills the gin,” he admonishes. He uses slivers of lemon rind as the main addition to the liquids. If you want to get a bit fancy, he says you can also use juniper berries, strawberries and mint leaves.

We’re on to our third glass of gin tonic by now. Actually, let me rephrase that. I’m on to my third gin tonic. Ramon has maintained a peculiar degree of professionalism through all of this. That’s because, for him, this is something serious. It all makes sense when I ask him to share his most important tip.

He smiles. There’s no hesitation – he knows the answer immediately. “The most important thing is the company and the friends.”

Too true.

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona tourism board but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.