The Key Ingredient Swap For Velvety Frozen Gin And Tonic Cocktails

Frozen gin and tonic cocktails are a fun twist on a classic beverage, perfect for sipping poolside on a hot summer day or batch-prepping for a surefire party pleaser. The only problem is, if you make the drink with your usual ingredients (tonic water, gin, and lime), you'll end up with a less flavorful, more watery version of its non-frozen counterpart. Luckily, there's a key ingredient swap that can not only boost your flavors but also ensure a smooth, velvety mouthfeel that really delivers. Enter tonic syrup.

Essentially, tonic syrup contains all the ingredients that are in tonic water, sans carbonated liquid. Since it's a concentrate, a small amount packs a punch, flavor-wise. When using it as a substitute for tonic water, you get the signature bitterness that tonic water lends to a standard gin and tonic, but you'll avoid the pitfalls of a diluted drink with a weak flavor profile. And the thicker consistency of the syrup also plays better with ice.

Why tonic syrup is superior

With only three ingredients (like your classic gin and tonic), the frozen version is simple to make. But it's in the tonic – a combination of carbonated water, sugar (usually high fructose corn syrup), citric acid, quinine, and natural flavors – where this casual cocktail can lose its luscious zing. And here's why.

You're not only adding fizzy water to this cocktail, but you're also adding blended ice (making for easy freezing). Also, during the process of blending the drink, the tonic water loses its fizz, eliminating one of its tastebud-tingling purposes. You might think freezing tonic water is an easy fix, but if you've ever tried to freeze carbonated drinks, you know carbonation and icy cold temperatures don't go hand-in-hand. The same applies to frozen gin and tonics.

Liber & Co., a tonic syrup purveyor, advises that ratios are the key to this slushy cocktail. For cocktails à deux, it recommends adding 2 ounces of tonic syrup to a blender followed by 3 ounces of gin, before finishing with lime juice. The amounts can vary based on personal preference, but Liber & Co. cautions that drinking something icy can dull your tastebuds, so you might want to amplify those flavors with some extra lime juice and maybe even some gum syrup to round out the texture. Lastly, add 1 ½ cups of ice, blend until smooth and creamy, then top with any additional upgrades for your gin and tonic, and sip slowly.