Making a Perfect Gin & Tonic

Spring has arrived once again in the DC area, and it’s time for me to re-post a great blog post from before about how to make the perfect Gin & Tonic. This post was lost to the ether when I migrated my blog over, so alas, my initial writing of this post will never be recalled. But I did save all the photos that went along with this step-by-step procedure for making this great drink, so I can pretty much re-create it for you.

This recipe I learned from a weatherman in Anchorage, AK. He made the most fabulous Gin & Tonics I’d ever had, and he was nice enough to teach me the recipe at a party – which he left in the middle of to do the weather report for a local network affiliate.

What is most impressive about this recipe there is so much more to it all than just “Gin” and “Tonic.” I had always just poured the two over ice and called it a day. But oh no, there are layers to this drink, and when you get it right, it’s something truly magical.


What you’ll need: Gin, Tonic, Lime, a glass with Ice filled 2/3 of the way up and a spoon. This comes to the first point – the Gin is Tanqueray. Bombay Sapphire is nice too, but Tanq really is the best. (This is a completely unsolicited and uncompensated plug on my part.)

The first step actually has nothing to do with gin or tonic, but rather you take a wedge of lime, and squeeze it over the ice cubes. Then drop the lime into the glass on top of the ice.

Pour the gin into the glass, and I like to aim for the lime so as to get the flavors mixing from the get-go. Fill the glass just under halfway. Note, this is not making a mixture that is 50-50 gin and tonic. The ice in the glass is there to take up the space in the glass for the gin, which we add first. At most, this makes the mixture in a 1:2 ratio of gin:tonic.

Not surprisingly, the next step is to add tonic. Basically fill the glass the rest of the way with tonic. I like Schweppes, but I have yet to try any of the higher quinine tonic waters in my recipe. It was a suggestion from my friend Jacob at Liquidity Preference, and I’m sorry to say I’ve still not gotten around to it. But I will report back when I do!

Just like James Bond, we don’t want to stir the gin. Take your spoon, and push the lime wedge – which of course should be floating near the top – down to the bottom of the glass, and then “muddle” it slightly at the bottom of the glass. This action of pushing the lime to the bottom is all that is needed to stir this drink. Nothing else. Remove spoon and set aside for when you have a second glass.

That’s all there is to it people! Enjoy yourself a glass of this amazing drink, and arguably my favorite summertime drink for the patio. Of course there’s always margaritas, but please, don’t make me choose…

Chef Matt

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2 Responses to “Making a Perfect Gin & Tonic”

  1. Swan says:

    Yes, but your Margaritas!!!! Oh my lord, your ‘ritas are TO DIE FOR!

  2. I never knew that there was more to this drink than some gin and tonic! Looks like I’ll have to work on my bartending skills for the next time we have guests over. Thanks for sharing! And where can I find something on these margaritas that Swan is talking about?
    ~Nancy Lewis~