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Best-Ever Gin and Tonic: Our Easy Recipe Puts a Flavorful Spin on the Classic Cocktail

Enjoy this refreshing sip on Father's Day as it's sure to elevate the occasion

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Make Father’s Day extra special by treating the dad in your life to a homemade gin and tonic. It’s an effervescent cocktail that’s bittersweet and whips up easily with a handful of ingredients. In addition, you can give it a flavor boost using an infused simple syrup, which starts with two pantry staples: sugar and water. Read on for a simple gin and tonic recipe worth raising a glass to during the special occasion!

The ingredients in gin and tonic

At its core, this cocktail simply consists of gin and fizzy tonic water that’s stirred together and served over ice with lime. What began as a prescribed drink to ward off diseases in the 19th century (similar to the mint julep) is now a staple drink you’ll find on most every cocktail menu. Making it at home is just as straightforward since you don’t need any elaborate cocktail equipment like a shaker or muddler. (Though, you can learn how to set up a bar cart to become a home bartending pro.)

What’s the correct ratio of gin to tonic?

Often, this drink contains 1 part gin to 3 parts tonic water to achieve that signature sour yet refreshing taste. But, if you want to add more depth to the drink, try incorporating an infused simple syrup into the base.

Easy syrup trick for a flavorful cocktail

Many cocktail recipes call for preparing simple syrup, which is a sweetener made with equal parts sugar and water. This syrup comes in handy for a gin and tonic as it balances the bitterness from the alcohol and carbonated water without leaving clumps of sugar in the drink. To take this a step further, bartender Maja Jaworska, suggests infusing the syrup with fruit, herbs or spices for extra flavor. “Syrups, in all flavors imaginable, have long been a bartender’s best friend; not only can they add that additional kick of flavor, they can also help control the dilution and texture of your finished cocktail,” she says. Your desired infusion ingredients can simmer with the sugar and water before straining the mixture. Once the syrup has cooled, it’s ready to elevate your homemade gin and tonic cocktails.

How to make gin and tonic 

Our First for Women mixologists have developed a gin and tonic recipe that’s sure to wow on Father’s Day. It uses a simple syrup infused with juniper berries to give the drink a sweet yet piney flavor. This works well with a gin such as Revivalist Garden Gin, which has the right balance of herbaceous and floral flavors compared to other options. For foolproof prep, make the syrup ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge until it’s time to make the cocktails. Cheers!

Gin and Tonic

A gin and tonic drink garnished with rosemary and lime
Chas53/Getty

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6 oz. gin
  • 2 tsp. juniper berries 
  • Rosemary sprig
  • Tonic water
  • Garnishes like rosemary, lemon and lime slices (optional)

Directions:

  • Yield: 4 drinks
  1. In a small pot, add sugar, water, juniper berries and rosemary sprig. Simmer around 3 to 5 minutes until sugar dissolves and flavors blend. Strain syrup and cool at room temperature.  
  2. Divide syrup among 4 glasses. For each glass, add 1½ oz. gin. Top glasses with tonic water and garnish with rosemary, lemon and lime slices if desired. 
    Note: You can find juniper berries like this organic variety from Frontier Co-Op in your store’s spice aisle and online.

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