Perfect Gin Tonic Recipe
It seems that no matter what cocktail party, wedding, reunion or any other social event that I go to, the one mainstay I keep on seeing is the Gin and Tonic. I remember when I was in college, we used to have “Gin and Tonic Parties”. I don’t even remember what Gin we used or how we made them (or if we even made them correctly) but I do remember that we used to feel so grown up and sophisticated. Back them, the perfect gin and tonic was anything that would get me drunk. I was so young and so uninformed!
Well, now I am at least one of those things and I still love to drink Gin and Tonics. These drinks have become a staple in our household mainly because they are the one alcoholic drink that my wife and I both enjoy.
The Gin and Tonic was first born in India by the British East India Company in the 1700’s. Malaria was persistent in that area of the world at that time and it was found that quinine was something that could prevent and treat it. Unfortunately, quinine is disgusting. So, they needed to find something that make it go down a little more easy. The soldiers in India were given a gin ration anyways (that is awesome, by the way) and it wasn’t long before they started mixing the quinine with that and other things that they have on hand such as sugar, water and limes. Mary Poppins said it best: A spoonful of sugar (and booze) helps the medicine go down. A zig here and a zag there and suddenly we had 21-year-olds in college pretending they were real adults.
But really, this is a great drink. I always look for drinks that are easy to make and everyone likes. If I am hosting a party, I want to find something that people of all ages and both sexes will enjoy. This is actually really hard to do. My beer recipe for Chocolate Porter solves this on the beer side of things. But a perfect Gin and Tonic is the answer for your mixed drink selection.
I have made 1000’s of Gin and Tonics in my day and have developed what I believe to be the perfect method for making this simple, delicious drink. My method, like all successful recipes is a combination of the right ingredients and the right process. But it is also the “condition” of the ingredients that is important. So…. Let’s dive into my process for the perfect gin and tonic recipe. At it’s heart, yes, it is simply a mixture of ice, lime, gin and tonic. But, with a few tweaks, you can really elevate your drink and wow your friends.
Best Gin and Tonic Recipe
So…. what are the ingredients? You may think this part is easy, but you need to put a little thought into it to make the perfect Gin and Tonic.
The second thing to consider is ice. You need to be using quality ice. I have an ice company where I live that is the ONLY ice I use in Gin and Tonics. I want an ice to keep it’s integrity in the drink. This means that it doesn’t melt right away and water your drink down. I don’t know the science behind good ice and bad ice but I do know that the ice my freezer makes will just make my drink worse.
The first ingredient to consider is your lime. Two things here:
No. They don’t need to be organic. But, you should be slicing them into FULL slices. Not half slices. We want as much lime juice as possible in our drink. And, I hope I don’t even need to say this, don’t use the “lime juice” that come is that fake plastic lime. Go to the store, buy a real lime for $0.39, get a knife, and cut it into full slices. The next thing to note about the lime is that it is the FIRST thing that goes into your drink. I see most Gin and Tonic recipes that have the lime as the last thing that goes into the drink. It gets a little squeeze on the top and then put on the rim. I want my lime completely squeezed into the bottom of the glass and then have it infuse everything added to it. So, step 1 towards our perfect gin and tonic, add the lime first:
The second thing to consider is ice. You need to be using quality ice.
I have an ice company where I live that is the ONLY ice I use in Gin and Tonics. I want an ice to keep it’s integrity in the drink. This means that it doesn’t melt right away and water your drink down. I don’t know the science behind good ice and bad ice but I do know that the ice my freezer makes will just make my drink worse.
Step 2… add ice!
This bring is to, of course, the gin.
Best Tonic For Gin
There really isn’t a “best” tonic. Everyone has their own favorite gin. We use Tanqueray and are pretty faithful to this brand. But honestly, any good gin will work. It is all a matter of taste. Just stay away from the cheap stuff. The important thing to note here is that the gin needs to be VERY cold! We keep our gin in the freezer. Do not put room temperature gin into your drink! Pour this ice cold gin into the bottom of your glass over the lime. Step 3: Add gin.
All we need now is the tonic, right. Again, the particular brand of tonic doesn’t really matter (don’t use diet tonic!) as much as the condition of it. Just like the gin, your tonic needs be kept as cold as possible. Obviously, we can’t keep our tonic in the freezer, so the refrigerator will do. Pour the tonic on top of everything.
You Now Have a Perfect Gin and Tonic
We now have our complete, perfect, gin and tonic. Using quality ice and very cold ingredients, keeps the drink from getting watered down. The lime at the bottom give it that fresh citrus zest. Make this standard drink this was next time you have friends or family over and wow everyone!
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