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Gin and Tonic Recipe

A Gin & Tonic has to be one of the most refreshing drinks you can have and it's such a simple recipe, Gin, Tonic, Ice and your choice of garnish.

Here we share some small but important tips to make sure you have the Best Gin and Tonic!

Gin and Tonic
Gin and Tonic Recipe

I'm going to write this with two versions:

1) Short and

2) Long.

If all you want is a delicious G&T in your hand ASAP (and I get that), take the Short version and get mixing.

If you want to dive a little deeper into the Chemistry of that simple little drink then take the long version.

Or, if I can suggest, read the Short Version, make a G&T, then relax with said G&T in hand whilst reading the long version.

Two Things are essential before I get into it:

1. Australian Gin

There are so many amazing Australian Gins that my number one suggestion is to buy Australian and support local business.

2. Quality Tonic Water

There is plenty of readily available tonic waters out there. I like Fever Tree and CAPI. If you are more into Soda do that too !


Short Version

  • 30ml Quality Australian Gin. I suggest either our Sydney Dry Gin or Juniper Dry Gin

  • 100 -120 ml Quality Tonic - COLD - Really important! My go to is Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic

  • ICE: Ice is Critical for the temperature of the drink

  • Garnish. I suggest a wedge of Ruby Grapefruit if using Sydney Dry or a slice of lemon for Juniper Dry Gin.

Method: Pour the Gin first into the glass. Add lots if ice - 3/4 of the glass full. Add the tonic, Stir, Garnish and your ready to go. Keep reading if you want to know more.


Long Version

The ingredients are the same as the short version, but I would like to explain my reasons. I'll try and not use too much Chemist-like talk here but rather explain in simple terms what you can do to make a great G&T.

  1. Temperature is Critical for so many reasons.

Have you ever had a G&T with no ice and thought it tasted different? Perhaps more bitter? Or even worse, a G&T with no ice and room temperature tonic?

Most drinks taste best at an ideal temperature of between - 5 to 4 degrees Celsius at the time of serving and become more bitter as they become warmer. There are some easy steps you can follow to make sure your G&T tastes perfect every time.

The first is that you must use Cold, refrigerated Tonic Water and plenty of ice.

I did a little experiment to help me show what the impact is if you don't:

First, as my control trial I made a G&T using Room Temperature Gin (23 degrees Celsius), refrigerated Tonic (4 degrees Celsius), and a 3/4 Glass of Ice Stirring for a few seconds prior to measuring the temperature.

The result? The G&T was at a refreshingly good at a ideal 1 degrees Celsius.

So what if I use no ice, but still 4 degrees Celsius Tonic Water? Shouldn't matter that much? Ahh yes it does.

Even though the tonic was cold, when we repeated the experiment without ice the G&T was about 16 degrees Celsius. Well above our target range.

What if there is no ice and the tonic water is room temperature as well (23 degrees Celsius)? There is actually a increase in temperature to about 25/26 degrees ! Definitely not ideal.

How and why is this possible for the temperature increase? Almost everything involves chemical reactions.

Even though a G&T is such a simple drink there is so much more going on in that glass.

For ease of explaining let's consider the Gin to be Ethanol, and the Tonic to be Water.

These are two separate compounds.

Ethanol, CH3-CH2-OH and Water, H20. O= Oxygen and H = Hydrogen.

Hydrogen Bonding occurs between the O and H.

The Ethanol has Hydrogen Bonding between the - O - H. Water also has Hydrogen Bonding between the H- 0-H.

When the Booze and the tonic are mixed together what's actually happening at a intermolecular level is that the Hydrogen bonds within each individual component are being broken.

Then new Hydrogen Bonds are being formed between the Ethanol and Water, holding them together.

When the new bonds are formed, heat is released by the reaction into its surroundings, causing the temperature of the solution (or cocktail) to increase in what's known in Chemistry speak to be a Exothermic reaction.

So by using lots of Ice and Cold Tonic, we are keeping the drink at the ideal serving temperature and minimizing the impact to taste caused by the increase in temperature when Ethanol bonds with Water.

Fun extra fact: When Ethanol and Water are mixed together the total volume is actually decreased- This is because the new Hydrogen Bonding joining the Ethanol and water molecules causes them to be pulled closer together, reducing the total volume :)

Takeaway: Use 3/4 glass Ice and have cold Tonic Water !

2. The Size of the Ice Cube

Ice is just frozen water right so the size shouldn't matter? SIZE MATTERS!

When adding ice to a G&T or any cocktail for that matter, the Size of the Ice Cube is important and it's to do with the relationship between the surface area and volume.

When you add the ice to the drink there is a reaction that happens caused by the temperature difference between them. Heat from the liquid will be transferred into the ice causing it to melt and dilute the drink.

The amount of ice that melts into a drink is proportional to how much heat gets transferred in,and is proportional to the surface area of ice that is exposed to the environment.

If you triple the size of a ice cube from 1 cm to 3cm, the Surface Area increases by a factor of 9 (3^2) but the Volume in that same cube increases by a factor of 27 (3^3).

The larger volume of ice thus melts much more slowly than the small ice cube, diluting the drink more slowly and keeping it colder for longer.

Take Away: *Use Large Ice Cubes!

So now you have all that you need to make a cracking Gin and Tonic ! All you need now is to make sure you head over to our Online Shop and Order some Gin ! We post Australia Wide !

If you would like to know more about us please click here !




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