Cocktails Wiki
Cocktails Wiki
700px-Gin and Tonic with ingredients

The Gin and Tonic is one of the oldest of all classic cocktails, developed by necessity by the British Army in the earlier parts of the 19th century as a means of making the quinine tonic used to prevent malaria more palatable. The addition of lime also adds vitamin C which is in itself useful to prevent scurvy, a debilitating disease.


Originally served in Old fashioned glasses, the reduction of quinine and sweetening of modern tonic water has seen the rocks glass replaced by the taller Highball glass, to the point that today it is classified as a highball.

Many different ratios of the gin and tonic cocktail exist. The most common ratios are 1 part gin to 3 parts tonic and 1 part gin to 1 part tonic. A good gin and tonic, however, is just in the middle of those ratios.

  • Gin and Tonic from the Wikibooks Bartending Guide -- original source of recipe, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
  • Serves: 1



  1. First, take the wedge of lime (or lemon, lime is preferable) and squeeze gently while running round the rim of the glass then drop in the bottom.
  2. Add plenty of ice, filling your glass about ⅔.
  3. Pour the gin first, then fill the glass to the top with tonic.

By tradition, it is not stirred by the mixologist, but a stirrer is provided in the drink for the drinker's use.

Alternative versions

  • Perhaps the best-known version is the Scotch and Tonic, which simply replaces gin with scotch.
  • Rum and Tonic, presumably developed by British Navy personnel, uses a dark rum instead of gin.