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​How to make a gin and tonic - the perfect G and T made simple

​How to make a gin and tonic - the perfect G and T made simple

How do you make the perfect gin and tonic? 

The simple answer is to use a top quality gin. Make sure your mixer is excellent quality too. Don't drown the gin (you can always add more mixer) and use plenty of ice (big cubes are best as they melt more slowly than small ones). 

The perfect G&T will be different for different people, but the main principles apply to everyone.

Follow these basic steps and you'll make a delicious gin and tonic every time - you don’t need to be a fancy bartender to make a world class gin and tonic.

If you're looking for a truly great gin for a gin and tonic, we suggest the gold award-winning York Gin London Dry - buy some here. It's complex, smooth and beautifully balanced. Ideal for this most classic of gin cocktails.

What you need

  • Excellent quality gin
  • Light premium tonic
  • A couple of large ice cubes (not crushed)
  • Lemon peel (or other garnish you love)
  • A hi-ball or Copa (balloon) glass
  • Cocktail stirrer (or spoon)


  • Make sure the glass is not warm and put lots of ice in it
  • Pour in a double measure of gin 
  • Do not drown the gin with tonic! Start with 50:50 then add to taste until you get the perfect ratio for you
  • Add the lemon peel or other garnish. (You don't have to add a garnish!)
  • Stir
  • Drink and enjoy your perfect G&T
  • Ahhhh!
  • Watch our 30-second video if you're still stuck

If you’re concerned about the apparent simplicity of making a beautiful gin and tonic, here are some notes to alleviate your concerns.

Notes & queries

Which type of gin do you recommend?

York Gin London Dry was specifically designed as the perfect classic gin for a gin and tonic. No botanical (from the nine) overpowers the others. It’s smooth, it’s rounded and it’s satisfying.

Buy York Gin London Dry

Superb alternatives are Sipsmith, Martin Millers, Four Pillars, Gin Mare and Makar, among others.

Does the type of glass matter?

As long as you’re using a hi-ball or Copa (balloon) glass, you’re fine. Don’t use a warm pint glass or a child’s plastic container.

We have more glass advice here

Why lots of ice - won’t it dilute the drink?

The more ice and the bigger the cubes, the slower they melt. So, no, they won't dilute your G&T.

Why so little tonic?

You want to taste the gin! Lots of people don’t think they like gin - then they realise it’s tonic they don’t like. A tonic like Fever-Tree Light isn’t too overpowering- neither too much sugar nor too much quinine. You can always add more if it’s too strong. You can’t take it out once you’ve drowned it!

Why not a slice of lime or lemon?

A slice of citrus is fine if you don’t have the highest quality gin - it can disguise the less smooth notes. But if you’re drinking excellent gin, the peel of the lemon or lime enhances the delicate citrus note already in the gin without making the whole drink taste of citrus. But double check the botanicals in the gin you’re drinking. Most classic London Dry gins have lemon as a main botanical. Some other gins have other flavours you may want to enhance - like pepper, orange or even vanilla.

What if I don't have any ice?

Keep your gin in the freezer and your tonic in the fridge!

More gin-fo and helpful articles

What is gin and what are the different types of gin

Gin jokes, one-liners and puns

A short history of gin

Which glass should I use for my G&T

Which are the best garnishes for a G&T

How to choose the perfect gin for you

1st Feb 2023 York Gin

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