Giiiiiiiiinnnnnn, tooooonnnnnnic, squeeze of lime

Are you concerned about scurvy or malaria this summer? I know I am.

Do you find that beer, wine or soda are not quite refreshing enough when you are sitting on your deck or patio after a day in the sun? Don’t be embarrassed, it happens to me too.

Do you wish there was way to address all of these concerns at once? Of course you do!

Thankfully, there is solution and it is called a gin and tonic. Many of you already know this answer, but I fear you don’t know the full glory of this cocktail. Most if not all gin and tonics I have ever ordered at a bar have been mediocre or just plain bad because of poor ingredients. By following the recipe below, you can realize the pefect gin and tonic this summer.

First things first, what is the most important ingredient in a gin and tonic? If said gin, you are incorrect. In fact, gin may be the third or fourth most important ingredient because a great gin and tonic starts with the tonic. Inferior or warm tonic (like many bars use) or club soda will ruin a gin and tonic faster than anything. To avoid this, I use Schweppes tonic water exclusively. If I don’t have any, don’t bother making a gin and tonic until you get some and refrigerate it because no other tonic water comes close. Schweppes stands alone at the top because of its excellent carbonation — tiny bubbles instead of big ones. Buy it in little glass bottles (if you can find them) because they are superior to the big plastic ones because the chill and carbonization is retained. The extra cost is worth it.

It is debatable whether the ice, which should be fresh, the lime (I like cutting it when I make the drink, not before), or gin is the next most important ingredient. I’ve had good gin and tonics made with rail gin and bad gin and tonics made with good gin.

After years of tinkering my method, I have come up with what I believe is the best way to make a gin and tonic. You’ll need the following:

  • gin (I usually use Gordon’s or Beefeater)
  • tonic (Schweppes, chilled)
  • lime
  • ice
  • glass or cup (I’m partial to Solo cold cups)

    Start off buy cutting about 1/8 of the lime into a wedge. Squeeze the lime into the cup and then rub the it the rim and drop in the bottom.

    Pour about two fingers of gin into the cup.

    Feel free to add another wedge if you really like lime or don’t have a real juicy one.

    Add ice — I typically go with 8-10 pieces from my icemaker, but used about six when I used trays. Make sure there isn’t too much ice, you need room for tonic.

    Empty bottle into cup slowly.

    Stir and enjoy a scurvy and malaria free summer! Drink responsibly!


    This entry was originally posted on William World News

  • 12 Comments so far

    1. Wayan (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

      WFY, a few corrections to your recipe.

      1. You keep using the word “gin” when you mean “vodka”
      2. You mistakenly say “two fingers” when you mean “half the cup”
      3. You left too much room for tonic – only need a splash, for coloring.
      4. You never use the mystery squeeze bottle contents.

    2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 2:13 pm


    3. Ms. Tart (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

      Salud! There’s no better drink, and there’s no better city in which to drink it. It’s 95 and as humid as gym sock out there. Nothing like a G&T to cool off and class up.

    4. Don (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

      1. No, he meant gin you damned commie-ette. Vodka drinks are for cossacks, slavs, and other damned fur-hat-wearing heathens.

    5. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

      One of my favorite drinks is exactly your recipe except with a few minor changes. First, I leave out the lime and tonic. Second, I use Wayan’s half-cup method and add ice.


    6. Mitch & Murray (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

      Velvet Lounge makes great Gins and Tonic.

      To make a good one at home, the recipe above has good stuff in it, but I suggest this one:

      Take an 8 oz GLASS (Not a fucking dixie cup! The vessel matters to the taste!)
      Take one QUARTER of a lime and squeeze the juice in, throwing the remaining lime into the drink
      Fill with ice CUBES (not crushed ice)
      Take Tanqueray Gin and pour in either one shot (1.5 oz) or fill half the glass (should be about the same). Bombay Sapphire is allowed in a pinch, but anything else is a waste of tonic and lime. Do not overpour unless you love the taste of gin, in which case, stop making a gin and tonic and make a martini.
      Fill remainder with fresh tonic. Giant brand is fine, but you are right, quality tonic makes a huge difference, so go for Schewpp’s since you just dropped some green on proper gin (Tanquery)
      Stir and enjoy.

      Remember, in a bar, always order Tanqueray, because it’s very slight sweetness compared to other gins can mask the shit tonic you may or may not get.

    7. darpino (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

      Mitch and Murray – great handle!

    8. Joseph Price (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

      Don’t forget to keep your gin (and vodka for that matter) in the freezer. Especially if you want to make martinis.

    9. EdTheRed (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

      WFY: Hayden’s at 7th, Independence, & N. Carolina SE (across from the north side of Eastern Mkt.) carries the small bottles of Schweppes.

      Solo cups should be reserved for 1) picnics and tailgates and 2) Monica Goodling.

      I add a couple dashes of either Regan’s orange bitters or Stirring’s blood orange bitters. Perks things up a bit.

    10. WFY (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 3:43 pm

      I’ve got no quarrel with those using glasses. Years of post-beach g&t’s down the Shore have forever endeared (or is it conditioned?) me to Solo cups.

      Can the small bottles be found regularly at Hayden’s? Many places carry them, but often run out.

    11. EdTheRed (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

      Re: Hayden’s – Don’t know. Friends live a few doors down from there. I was over there two nights ago and noticed they had bottles of Schweppes – I asked where they got it, and they said Hayden’s. It’s a small place, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they run out on occasion (I also wouldn’t be surprised if my friends are to blame – they go through a lot of tonic).

    12. MBFan#2 (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 4:23 pm

      I am impressed by the well-manicured hands in the pic #3. Lucky wife!

      Wow, all this talk of yummy booze, are we there yet?

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