A proper gin and tonic

In my house we have cocktail hour(s) daily, and we are not ashamed.  Some days, like today, it starts earlier than others. After a successful but uneventful day at work I needed a little something so I dug around the fridge and liquor cabinet and made myself a proper gin and tonic.

Now a lot of people will say this is a boring drink. They’re doing it wrong.  Or that it’s a drink for old men.  Well, lets change that!

When you go to an average bar a gin and tonic consists of whatever the house gin is (or Tanqueray if they’re getting “fancy”), generic tonic water and a lime slice. It’s passable, I suppose, but here’s how to make a really glorious drink.  The kind that makes you say “oh yeah” in a deep, slightly sultry voice after the first sip.

The first thing you need is good gin.  Many gins out there have a very pronounced juniper berry flavor, which is why people say gin tastes like trees or grass.  A good gin is more subtle and complex and my favorite is Hendricks. This is a gin made “oddly” and in small batches, according to the label on the bottle.  What I love about it is the unusual complexity of it. When you sip this gin there is a subtle aroma and flavor of rose and cucumber with a hint of herbal juniper. It is divine. It does, of course, cost a little more but when I do drink liquor I want it to be worth it. A cocktail is something to be slowly, luxuriously savored, so the flavors need to stand up to that.

Check out their website, it's very quirky.  Reminds me of Monty Python

Check out their website, it’s very quirky. Reminds me of Monty Python

The next thing you DON”T need is that tonic water you get from the store. It doesn’t have a whole lot going on. Thomas loves gin and tonic even more than me, so I splurged on a Christmas gift and bought him small batch craft tonic. Those are the gifts I love giving, something the person would love but would never buy for themselves (well until now, this stuff is so good we plan to keep buying!). Check out the tonic water from the Jack Rudy Cocktail Company. It is so good, I would drink it on its own–except it is a little too sour for that.  This tonic is not carbonated and you add it to the drink last.  It has wonderfully subtle flavors of citrus, lemongrass and herbs. It’s a little pricey–around $30 for 2 bottles–but you only use splashes of it at a time so it should last awhile.

Finally, you will need seltzer water (we opted for this because “carbonated water” is the only ingredient, you don’t want a water with flavor like tonic), plenty of ice and lime.

And, yes, it's completely normal for me to artfully arrange everything before making a drink.

And, yes, it’s completely normal for me to artfully arrange everything before making a drink.

Here’s the recipe:



Hendricks Gin

Lime wedge or peel

Seltzer water

An old fashioned glass (do not use a highball glass. You want a squat glass with lots of compact ice!)

Lots of ice



1. Fill the glass with ice.

2. Add about a shot of gin

3. Fill almost completely with seltzer

4. Add a few splashes of tonic (this is to your taste.)

5. Either squeeze a lime wedge in or make it with a twist.  A fun party trick: hold the lime peel in between your thumb and pointer with one hand–so it’s kinda standing up.  Squeeze it quickly by an open flame.  You will see a little burst (this releases the essential oils).  Rub the peel around the edge of the glass then twist and drop in.

6. Stir and enjoy!

7. Don’t forget to say “Oh Yeah” in your best Barry White voice after taking the first sip.

Sitting on my desk as I write--cheers!

Sitting on my desk as I write–cheers!


Tags: , ,

Categories: Drinks, Edibles, Foodie Products and Events, Recipes


A former English teacher living in Stuttgart, Germany who finds some sanity and peace through cooking.


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

3 Comments on “A proper gin and tonic”

  1. Deborah Brockman
    January 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Oh yeah…that sounds wonderful-even to a gin-hater like me

    • January 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      I’m telling ya, it’s all about what gin you use.


  1. A Gin and Tonic Update | À Point - February 7, 2013

    […] other day I wanted a gin and tonic but there was no seltzer water in the house.  I did have, however, S.Pellegrino mineral water. I […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: