You would assume that making a Gin & Tonic is easy. After all, it only calls for three ingredients: gin, lime and tonic water. Yet the drink is often inconsistent from one bar to the next, with some achieving the perfect balance while others fall flat from one of the many ways to ruin a good G&T. When it’s done right, however, it’s one of the most refreshing cocktails out there, as every true G&T lover knows.
It turns out, the drink is much more complex than expected. Cocktail genius and mad food scientist Dave Arnold of NYC’s Booker and Dax dedicated an entire section of his book, Liquid Intelligence, to deconstructing the Gin & Tonic. Food scientists believe there’s a scientific reason why Gin & Tonics taste so good that has to do with the interaction of gin botanicals and the quinine in tonic. You don’t need science to tell you that it’s beloved around the world, though. Countries like the U.K., Spain, France and Australia all have their own spin on the Gin & Tonic. Regardless of where it’s from, it all starts with a simple, classic recipe. There are just a few rules to remember to achieve G&T excellence: Buy good, small batch tonic, use ultra-fresh lime juice, stick with London Dry gin and use a jigger for consistent measurements.