perfect summer gin and tonic

How to make the perfect summer gin and tonic – 11 recipes

Few drinks are so refreshing as a light, crisp G&T with the right garnish. Here is how to make the perfect summer gin and tonic.

Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy a chilling and refreshing drink. Nothing screams summer like a flowery gin and tonic. With gin, some different tonics, and a handful of different garnishes – the possible combinations are endless.

How to make the perfect summer gin and tonic

What sets a good G&T apart from the rest? Two things, the amount of tonic and the amount of ice. In short; use less tonic and more ice than you are used to.

The gin and the tonic

Start with avoiding the cheapest gins, go for well-known brands. Beefeater and Gordon’s are OK but avoid the supermarket brands. The same goes for tonic.

Schweppes Indian Tonic is, in my opinion, underrated but you should know that there are a lot of good tonics around that may work better with certain gins. Besides, there are tonics with ingredients such as elderflower or hibiscus. These tonics will work wonders in a gin & tonic if paired with the right gins and garnishes.

The most important thing about tonic is to never have more than three parts tonic to one part gin.

history of Gin and Tonic

The history of Gin and Tonic

The history of Gin and Tonic is pretty unique. It involves two wars, sickness and, in more recent times, the country of Spain ...
Read More

The garnish

Forget that old lemon

Skip the lemon wedge or lemon wheel. Use the peel, this contains oils with a lot of sweetness and taste. In addition to lemons, you should experiment with orange, grapefruit, and lime. While you’re at it, buy a cucumber, a green apple, and some strawberries.

Dried fruits

Dried orange wheels are both tasteful and visually appealing. (Picture: Unsplash)

Dried fruits are very decorative. Cut oranges, grapefruits, and lime in thin slices.

Depending on the size of the fruit, you might want to cut the slices in half.

If you do not have a fruit/mushroom dryer, you can use your oven. See instructions below.

How to dry fruit slices in the oven

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Place the fruit slices on a plate with baking paper. Make sure that they do not touch.
  • Leave in the oven for four hours or until the fruit is dry.
  • Make sure to turn the slices a couple of times.


Basil is a great ingredient in a gin and tonic with citrus. (Picture: Unsplash)

Make sure to get some fresh herbs, like rosemary, thyme, basil, and coriander.

Using fresh, green garnish like this gives a broader taste, are more visually appealing, and give the drink a delicious smell.

When using fresh greenery like this, remember to always give it a smack in the palm of your hand, this releases all of the good tastes and smells.

The ice

Spherical ice cubes are the absolute best to use in a drink. (Picture: Pixabay)

Ice is, in my opinion, where a lot of people go wrong. First and foremost: Do not skimp on the ice. Use lots of ice, the bigger chunks, the better.

The thing is that ice keeps itself cold, meaning that if you add just a few cubes to a drink, they will quickly melt and thereby dilute the drink. Meaning that, in the end, you will end up with a lukewarm drink diluted by water.

Instead, if you fill the glass with as much ice as you can get in there, the temperature of the liquids will quickly be lowered and the drink will stay cold for a long time with minimal dilution.

The tools

There are not many tools needed to create the perfect summer gin and tonic.

  • Jigger or measuring glass
  • Potato peeler or zester
  • Good knife
  • Cutting board

What type of glass is best?

For a gin and tonic, you basically have two choices. The classic highball glass, or the balloon glass. Personally, I think that the balloon glass is best for the perfect summer gin and tonic. The reason for this is that you hold the glass by the stem, something that actually keeps the drink colder for a longer time since you are not heating the glass with your hands.

If you do not have a balloon glass, also known as a copa glass, use the biggest red-wine glass you can find.

Recipes for the perfect summer gin and tonic

The below gin & tonics should be made with a tonic to gin ratio of 2 to 2.5.
All the recipes are taken from my Instagram account.
Please click on the headings to find out more about the gin.

Beefeater G&T *

Hendrick’s Hibiscus G&T *

Berliner Brandstifter Aromatic G&T

DryFly G&T *

Brockmans Wild Berries G&T *

ELLC Grapefruit and Thyme G&T *

Classic Gordon’s G&T *

Sipsmith Coriander & Basil G&T *

Greenall’s with Rosemary G&T *

Greenall’s gin. Fever Tree Tonic. #gintonic #gin #dandywithlens

A post shared by Bjørn Christian Finbråten (@bcfinbraten) on

Strawberry and Basil G&T

If you do not have a strawberry gin, try Plymouth. *

Monkey 47 & Pink Pepper G&T *

What is your perfect summer gin and tonic? Share your recipe in the comments below.

Disclosure: Links marked with * are affiliate links. This means that if you buy a product using this link, I may get a small commission.

Say something

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.