Bold Gin And Tonic Cocktail Recipe

The gin and tonic is one of those cocktails where the name pretty much gives you the entire recipe right there. In its purest form, the drink consists of just the single spirit and the named mixer. All you need are the proper proportions, and those can vary with just how strong you want your G&T to be. Recipe developer Michelle McGlinn appreciates its simplicity, calling it "a super classic, super easy highball that takes no time to prepare."

McGlinn, however, does like to fancy up her G&T from time to time, as evident here. While a simple slice of lime is what you'll typically get if you order the drink at your regular bar, here she really goes to town with embellishments, including juniper berries and lime balm. The former she uses because, as she points out, "gin is made from juniper," while the lime balm, she says, is meant to pair with the lime that traditionally garnishes the drink. "I was trying to give it a bold profile with the garnishes," she explains. "To me, that meant lots of bright green color with punchy lime flavor. Juniper berries offer a peppery, anise flavor that is very bold against the lime."

Gather the ingredients for this gin and tonic

The main ingredients you need for this drink are, of course, gin and tonic water. You'll also want some ice. To garnish the drink in McGlinn's "bold" fashion you will need a fresh lime, juniper berries, and lime balm (lemon thyme and mint also work well here).

Pour the gin

Pour the gin into a tall glass. Add a couple large ice cubes and lime slices to the glass, then add a sprig of the lime balm, lemon thyme, or mint.

Top the drink with tonic water

Fill the glass with the tonic water (about 3 ounces, or more to taste). To finish it off, float the juniper berries and additional herbs on top of the drink.

Vary your drink by using different gins

Another way to change up the drink, besides using unique garnishes, is to use different types of gin. As McGlinn tells us, "the gin and tonic is probably the best drink to try out new gins, since tonic water doesn't change the flavor of the gin very much." She prefers to use a classic London dry gin, but suggests using a colored gin (such as pink gin made with distilled rosé) if you want some visual appeal. You can also find floral, citrus, cucumber, and even tea-flavored gins, which could also help inform your garnishes.

Bold Gin And Tonic Cocktail Recipe
5 from 41 ratings
The gin and tonic is a classic and simple cocktail, but sometimes the classics deserve to be elevated. A few specialty garnishes give the drink a bold twist.
Prep Time
Cook Time
gin and tonic with garnishes
Total time: 3 minutes
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 large ice cubes
  • 2 lime slices
  • 2 sprigs lime balm (or lemon thyme or mint)
  • 3 ounces tonic water, or more to taste
  • 5 juniper berries
  1. Pour the gin into a highball glass.
  2. Add the ice, lime slices, and a sprig of lime balm.
  3. Fill the glass with the tonic water.
  4. Garnish the drink with juniper berries and a few leaves from the remaining herb sprig.
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