How to make the perfect gin and tonic: The expert’s guide

Knowing how to make the perfect gin and tonic is a skill that every G&T aficionado should have up their sleeves. Thanks to the recent gin resurgence, more and more of us are mixing up homemade gin and tonics than ever before –  but it’s both a science and an art, and despite what you might think, there’s much more to it than simply pouring and enjoying.

We asked Greenall’s master distiller Joanne Moore – one of the only female master distillers in the world – for her top tips to take your bar skills from standard to sublime. Let the lesson be-gin…

how to make the perfect gin and tonic
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How to make the perfect gin and tonic

Nail the ratio

It’s all down to personal preference, but as a general rule, it’s 1/3 gin to 2/3 tonic water – (50ml gin to 100ml tonic, for example).

Stir, stir, then stir again

It’s important to mix the gin and tonic to avoid layering of flavours. Mixing allows the two to marry together and complement each other.

Keep it chilled

Your glass should be filled with lots of ice cubes. Too much ice doesn’t dilute gin but keeps it perfectly chilled. This dulls the effect of alcohol in your mouth, meaning the drink is more pleasant to taste.

If you don’t have any ice about keep your gin in the fridge so it’s still served cold – no one likes a warm G&T (unless it’s a hot toddy cocktail).

Pick your glass wisely

Ideally a martini glass should be used for a short cocktail and either a high ball or Copa for long cocktails such as a G&T. The Copa glass is traditionally used as the standard G&T glass in Spain, whereas in the UK we have typically used a high ball; there’s a difference of opinion as to which glass lends itself better to your G&T.

For me, they both work equally well – the key is to have lots of ice, good quality tonic and the right garnish.

Say no to plastic

Glass does matter. Glass as a material is better suited than plastic as it doesn’t contain any elements that could potentially react with your spirit and leach into your drink.

Get your garnish right

I am a firm believer that you should match garnish to your gin as it can really enhance enhance the experience. Greenall’s, for instance, has citrus notes and warm earthy spices, I like to use lime to bring out the flavour palette.

Smell it (no, really!)

Aroma will have a major impact on your drinking experience. Its vital to remember we perceived aromas not only through our nose but also our mouth – i.e. each time we swallow the aromas go from the back of our throat up to the nose. So before you sip, take a sniff!