Gin and tonic is not only a classic cocktail but also a beautiful partnership. Whether you’re looking for a cocktail to turn heads or settle in with, the right gin makes all the difference. However, it can be a daunting task to sift through the shelves of gin at your liquor store and try to discern why one is more appealing than the other.
Honestly, the best gin for you is the one that suits your drink, and your mood. Whether it’s a classic Martini or a gin and tonic. In our opinion, the best gin for a gin and tonic is one balanced enough to allow plenty of room for fruitier additions but with a backbone to stand up to the tonic water and botanicals alike.
Whatever your reason for drinking, we’re sure there’s a gin out there that will match your taste perfectly.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
Gin was originally made for medicinal purposes back in the 1500s and didn’t become legally available in England until 1738. A drink that’s been popular for 700 years is sure to have quite an intriguing history. And indeed it does; gin was at one time used as a cure for ailments ranging from pain to fever.
Back in the day, if you were to drink tonic water, it was often sharpened by the presence of quinine. Tonic water was actually created for medicinal purposes and then later re-imagined as the perfect pairing for a gin or vodka-based cocktail drink. Tonic water was actually created for medicinal purposes and then later re-imagined as the perfect pairing for a gin or vodka-based cocktail drink. People soon found that the addition of gin, sugar, ice, and citrus was the perfect way to temper the bitterness and make the cure palatable.
If your Friday could use a 5-star tonic to make it more interesting, try any of these gins for your G&T, and don’t forget that garnish!
For a classic gin and tonic, Tanqueray London Dry Gin is the gold standard. There are so many reasons why Tanqueray is the classic, go-to London dry gin for the perfect G&T. Tanqueray's dry, refined nature pairs perfectly with tonic as well as any mixer you can think of.
Its refreshing taste is balanced by a complex flavor with subtle notes of juniper, citrus, and spice along with tonic water - topped off with a slice of lemon, a sprig of fresh rosemary, and a garnish of mint.
This iconic gin has been the industry-preferred base for countless gin and tonics for decades. Try it yourself and see why.
Every drink of Plymouth London Dry Gin is a sip of history and the flavor, the same ones that our ancestors loved. This is because Plymouth is still distilled in the same pot that was installed at the distillery in 1855.
While London Dry Gin is known for its bold juniper flavor, Plymouth sets itself apart with a softer and more floral approach. Plymouth is the softer, more flowery sibling of London dry. Made with 7 botanicals: juniper berries, coriander seeds, citrus fruits, angelica roots, green cardamoms, and orris roots as the main ingredients, it's sure to excite your senses.
Overall, it’s a full-bodied spirit that’s perfect for sipping neat or mixing into a classic dry. To accentuate the gin's smoothness, use a fruity tonic.
Instead of just your average gin and tonic, try a Hendrick's Gin and Tonic. Heidrick's is a stunning gin crafted in small batches with an unexpected flavor. It’s bold, fragrant, and complex – the signature Hendrick’s aroma is developed through a unique double-distillation process before botanicals are added.
Hendrick's is unusual in that it does not contain any citrus peel and instead focuses on flavors such as rose and cucumber. The result is delicious. Our tip, combine this high-quality gin with Schweppes Tonic for a refreshing drink.
FEW American Gin
There's a new kind of gin in town. Crafted by craft distillers in Chicago, FEW American Gin is as fresh and clean-tasting as the city it comes from. Following its delicious introduction, it quickly established itself as something different. This new world gin is encased in an elegant bottle with a vintage label featuring different illustrations from the Chicago World’s Fair of 1982. Truly a unique piece of local history.
Using a mix of American grains in conjunction with traditional juniper berries and later-additional lemon peel, the resulting liquid is fun, easy to drink...and a whole lot less stuffy than the run-of-the-mill stuff.
The powerful quinine taste of tonic typically overpowers a weak gin. Even though this gin has mild flavors, it holds up nicely and produces a light and pleasant cocktail with the classic mid-palate bittersweet flavor of the quinine. The citrus and vanilla shine well in a Gin and Tonic and will be a delicious, effervescent surprise.
Beefeater London Dry Gin is first and foremost a gateway gin: it beckons newbies, who appreciate its accessibility and classic profile, to discover the wider realm of gin. BEEFEATER London Dry Gin is produced in the heart of London and uses hand-selected, premium ingredients to create a luxurious, well-balanced gin with a fresh citrus flavor.
Made with nine simple ingredients, including juniper, Seville orange, lemon peel, and a few other botanicals and herbs, this dry gin offers a flavor that’s crisp and refreshing.
Just add Beefeater London Dry Gin to a glass with ice, add Tonic Water then Lemon or Lime and strain into a champagne flute. Enjoy!
Passed down through the generations since 1842, Highclere Castle Gin is distilled above an ancient underground water source on the grounds of Highclere Castle.
This limited-edition expression is an artisanal take on the London Dry style gin, with botanicals grown in the gardens that lend it its namesake.
Its beautiful mahogany color is the result of macerating the gin on stone fruit skins. It features elderflower and lavender notes with a lovely malty flavor and a finish of lime peel on the palate. A fantastic gin served neat with ice or with tonic on a sunny afternoon.
Junípero is a gin for those who pride themselves in defying convention, starting their own movements, and creating an adventure of the senses.
Junípero is distilled in a small copper pot still and proudly made in San Francisco using a time-tested, traditional technique. Slinging gin since 1996, Junípero proudly finishes just as it began: by hand. Its signature aromatics are stone and tropical fruits including pineapple, angelica root, citron, and lychee. Sold in a sleek bottle, the small-batch is masterfully crafted to showcase the bold character of each botanical.
Nikka Coffey Gin is an innovative Japanese spirit, which expresses the depth of new flavors and feels familiar at the same time. This Oriental Gin combines the natural citrus fruits Yuzu, Kabosu, Amanatsu, and Shequasar with eleven expertly selected botanicals. Inspired by the spirit of Tokyo, Nikka Coffey balances new unexpected flavors with the classic soul of London Dry.
The body is warm, complex, and inviting with a pleasant richness that makes it incredibly versatile. Try it in a Gin & Tonic or in long drinks served over ice, in cocktails, and as a stand-alone drink.
With a deep and complex aroma, this American-style gin is the perfect addition to any home bar. It has notes of lime and grapefruit that develop into a floral bouquet. Each ingredient in this was thoughtfully considered for its unique qualities and then blended to help create this delicious spirit that is bright, complex, and packed with character.
Starting with an oat-based spirit, ten botanicals are painstakingly selected and distilled into an expertly balanced artesian spirit that is crisp and winningly floral on the nose. Soft vanilla tones emerge as juniper shines through to deliver a perfect balance of brightness and intensity.
Juniper Grove is tailor-made for a tonic yet still brings its own character. It’s an experience to be had.
The Botanist Islay
This gin embodies the rare, hidden botanical heritage of the Isle of Islay in the form of 22 hand-foraged ingredients from island shores and meadows. This includes a dozen indigenous, wild and cultivated herbs, flowers, berries, and peels including sweet gale, sea buckthorn, bog myrtle and heather.
It is a modern re-interpretation of the classic European dry gin with a nod to Asia in its blend. Each botanical is distilled separately with care and then blended together to create The Botanist. The collection of botanicals was selected for their unique characters and each played a role in helping convey a sense of place.
The wonderfully floral ingredients result in a dynamic taste experience which pairs wonderfully with rich tonic water but will also enhance other spirits if you're willing to be experimental. With an aroma of citrus fruits this gin is soft yet balanced with juniper berries.
Due to the low number of bottles produced, this is one for true connoisseurs.
HOW TO MAKE A GIN AND TONIC
The perfect G&T is a very personal thing. For such a simple and straightforward drink, you may wonder what can be done to "improve" the gin tonic. We can’t tell you what the ideal ratio of gin to tonic is for your taste buds. However, maybe you’ll end up discovering the best way to create the best-tasting version of this traditional cocktail by following a few of our suggestions.
Choose quality tonic water
First of, the most important ingredient will be your tonic water. In case you didn't know, tonic water is a carbonated beverage containing quinine. It was first prescribed as a malaria preventative. In 1858, the first commercially available tonic was produced. It now has a lot less quinine, which is what makes tonic taste a little bitter.
Select an excellent tonic water brand. Despite the abundance of tonic water produced there are in the local grocery ,most of these drinks are either extremely sweet or taste synthetic, or some mix of the two.
Perfect your ratio
We recommend using a ratio of 1:3, or 2 ounces of gin to 5-6 ounces of tonic water. Some people prefer a slightly lower ratio of tonic water to water, such as 1:2. In our opinion, it's a less balanced cocktail as it is more potent.
Choose limes/lemon that are ripe and ready
A squeeze of citrus lends brightness and balances the tonic's bittersweet taste. You may add lemon or lime depending on your gin and tonic water of choice. If you want to make a great cocktail, look for citrus fruits that are ripe and juicy. A quality lime or lemon will be hefty in your palm, have smooth skin, and yield slightly when squeezed.
Use a lot of high-quality ice
Adding a lot of ice to your drink will actually make it less watered down, rather than more watered down. As a result, it will get colder more quickly and last longer.
Use huge blocks of ice in your beverages if possible.
Gin and Tonic Glasses
G&T glassware is entirely subjective. A tall Collins or double rocks glass is a classic presentation while modern variations includes huge balloon glass or stemless wine glass. That said, differing glass shapes will impact the drinking experience. To enhance the flavor of the gin, a rounded, balloon glass will funnel the aromatics to your nose. Large balloon glasses are great for garnishing with botanicals to enhance the gin's tastes and fragrances.
To keep your cocktail effervescent for longer, choose a tall and thin highball glass. Try a few different glasses with your favorite gin to choose your favorite.
Garnish with care
The garnish completes your ideal Gin and Tonic. A lime wedge or lemon wheel is fine, but explore adding herbs, fruits, or spices to complement your gin. Garnishes can also be used to add seasonal flavor to the drink, making it an easy and delightful cocktail for seasonal events.
You can also use botanicals like Lime wedges, Mint sprigs, Juniper berries to flavor your gin in addition to garnishing it with fruits or herbs.
Making the Cocktail
- Pick your glassware. Think about the. size and shape
- Fill the glass with quality ice.
- Pour 1.5 to 2 ounces of premium gin over the ice.
- Add in a few drops of fresh lime or lemon juice for extra zing. Stir.
- Pour in around four to six ounces of ice-cold, high-quality tonic water on top.
- Garnish to complement the botanicals in your gin.
And there you have it: some great gins, and some fresh ways to enjoy the perfect G&T. After reading through our description, flavors, and recipes we hope you found your new favorite gin or tried a new way to make your gin and tonic.
Remember, the most important factors are patience, shaking things up and adding your own twist, and perhaps most importantly of all: keeping an eye on your bubbles.