Instead Of Tonic, Mix Gin With Coke For A Sweeter Experience

The gin and tonic is a timeless classic, but it is not without its detractors. Gin can be a polarizing spirit, thanks to its intensely botanical flavor profile, while tonic itself is known for its bitterness thanks to the presence of quinine and other flavorings. The combination of the two tends to mellow each out, but the resulting cocktail is still quite a dry affair. As such, if you or a guest is seeking an introduction to a gin and tonic or even just a more approachable version of the drink, we recommend substituting the tonic for a more familiar mixer — Coke.

It may sound a little bit unorthodox, but the pairing of Coke with gin has quite a few benefits. First, and perhaps most obviously, it provides the same bubbly drinking experience as tonic but with a much sweeter flavor. Coke has more to offer than just sugar, though; you'll find tasting notes like lemon, cinnamon, and vanilla. These notes, in particular citrus and spice, can be found in gins all on their own, so introducing them by way of cola can help to further highlight traits within the spirit that are more accessible.

Find the perfect gin and Coke combination for you

When it comes to making this substitution, one thing worth being mindful of is what kind of gin you use. There is nothing wrong with modifying a gin and tonic cocktail to better suit your palate, but by using a mixer with a more dominant flavor, you will be competing with or entirely masking some more subtle qualities found in your gin. As such, you may not be able to appreciate the full experience of flavor from an expensive or specialty gin. The good news is that this means you can easily use a rail gin. These are gins that are manufactured with both consistency and affordability in mind, meaning it will provide all of the predictable flavors expected from a gin without making you pay for a complex taste that will end up getting lost.

Swapping Coke for tonic also allows for some fun experimentation and creativity, since there are many versions of the soft drink beyond the classic. Try using a flavored Coke, like cherry, vanilla, or even ginger lime, to put a spin on your new cocktail. This playfulness extends to your choice of garnish as well. Gin and tonics are traditionally served with a lime, but we recommend adding a slice of lemon instead in order to complement the flavors of the cola. Other options include a maraschino cherry or an orange slice.