Nick Hall

How to Make the Perfect Gin and Tonic For Any Palate | Man of Many

To truly trace the heritage of the gin and tonic recipe, you have to go back a surprising distance. First introduced by the army of the British East India Company in India way back in the 1700s, the gin and tonic recipe was not created to the take the edge off a hard day. Instead, it was developed as a potential cure for malaria. During the 18th Century, diseases such as malaria were running rampant in India and other tropical regions, decimating not only foreign occupants but the locals as well. As the illness took a stranglehold on the area, medical professionals worked to discover a cure, eventually noting the positive effect an ancient herbal medicine known as quinine was having on sufferers.

History of the Gin and Tonic

So, now you’ve got the history under your belt, it’s time to get a little gin in your glass. But which gin is best for a gin and tonic? The classic cocktail is simple in nature and regularly involves only two to three ingredients, so as a result, the gin that you choose will have a significant bearing on the final flavour of your cocktail. Even a subtle change of brand, consistency or batch can impact the gin and tonic recipe, so it pays to know what you’re putting in. But before we scare you off too much, it’s not all bad. In fact, there are more quality, accessible gin producers now than ever before. You could say there’s never been a better time to learn how to make a gin and tonic.

Which Gin is Best For a Gin and Tonic?

As far as traditional gin drinking goes, Tanqueray is the gold standard. At a reasonably affordable price point, this gin is the definition of an all-rounder and a highly-valued addition to any liquor cabinet. The London-dry style gin has been a favourite of gin and tonic drinkers since those early malaria-busting days. Use this liquor in your gin and tonic recipe and you’ll note the strong juniper flavour cuts through the bitterness of the tonic without going overboard.

1. Classic Gin and Tonic – Tanqueray

Maybe this is your first experience making a gin and tonic, or maybe you’re on the budget end of the drinking spectrum. Either way, Gordon’s London Dry Gin is a decent alternative that provides an entry-level approach to the iconic alcoholic beverage. The best plastic-bottled gin.

2. Budget Gin and Tonic – Gordon’s Dry Gin

Australian distillery Archie Rose is fast-becoming a world-leader in the gin game. The brand’s signature dry gin features fourteen traditional native botanicals and is accented by native Australian blood limes, pepper leaf, lemon myrtle and mint for a fruity take on the classic cocktail.

3. Aussie Gin and Tonic – Archie Rose Signature Dry

Instead of the regular citrus peels and juniper, Hendrick’s Gin highlights a broad range of flavours like rose and cucumber, giving it a subtle lift. Use a straightforward, name-brand tonic like Schweppes to truly bring those sweet and floral flavours to the surface.

4. Complex Gin and Tonic – Hendricks

If you aren’t necessarily a gin drinker but you want to experience the classic two-ingredient cocktail for yourself, try out a barrel-aged gin. Australian distiller Four Pillar’s Sherry Barrel-Aged gin is the perfect middle ground for dark spirit drinkers to enter the gin game. Aged in sherry casks for over a year, this gin has an extra added spice for a bitey G&T.

5. Barrel-Aged Gin and Tonic – Four Pillars Sherry Barrel Aged

Not many distilleries make a Navy strength gin anymore, but Aussie operation Four Pillars isn’t afraid of the strong stuff. This batch is made in essentially the same fashion as the brand’s flagship Rare Dry Gin, just with half the botanical basket and an added flavour of native finger limes. If you’re a fan of a heavy proof, this is the gin for you. At 58.8 ABV, the Four Pillars Navy Strength gin is an absolute weapon. Not for the faint of heart.

6. Heavy Gin and Tonic – Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin

As we mentioned earlier, a true, traditional gin and tonic recipe calls for just two to three ingredients, so it should be easy to make, right? Wrong. The smaller the list of ingredients, the greater the potential for things to go south. After all, some of the simplest recipes are the hardest to master. With no mixers or additions to hide behind, the true flavour of the gin must remain paramount. Any inconsistencies in the ingredients will be impossible to ignore, so it’s best you get it right.

Gin and Tonic Ingredients

Unlike those early malaria-busting concoctions, the modern gin and tonic recipe calls for a far more refined hand. The measures that we have used in this gin and tonic recipe runs on a 1:2 gin to tonic water ratio, offering a subtle kick with a refreshing bite. Here is how you make the perfect gin and tonic;

Gin and Tonic Recipe

Just like Douglas Adams proposed, almost every culture has its own variation on the classic gin and tonic recipe. One of the most popular is the Spanish cocktail, affectionately known as Gin-Tonic. The mixture differs from a traditional gin and tonic in that it is served in a balloon glass, or copa de balon with plenty of ice and a garnish that is tailored to the flavours of the gin. The garnish plays off the chosen gin’s notes, whether they be herbs, vegetables, fruit or botanicals.

Recipe Variations on How to Make a Gin and Tonic

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