Now that summer is here, or putting in an occasional appearance, the team at Master of Malt has been thinking about how to make the perfect Gin and Tonic. It might seem like the most humble of all cocktails. In fact, is it really a cocktail at all? Mmmm, one for the philosophers. But to make a good Gin and Tonic, every factor has to be just right. 

As Victoria Moore writes in How to Drink: “To make a good gin and tonic you do not just have to care about every ingredient, you have to be anguished about them.” So to help you in your quest for juniper and quinine perfection.

Here are 8 rules for making the perfect G&T.

Spanish drinks Gin Tonica

1) Choose the right gin

You need a good, pungent juniper-forward gin, ideally with as much alcohol as possible. Over 40% please. Tonic water has a strong taste so you need a gin which can punch through that. Your floral ethereal gin just isn’t going to cut it here. Three great suggestions below. They’re all brilliant:

Bathtub Gin

Tanqueray London Dry Gin

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

2) Fizzy tonic 

Your tonic water must be bursting with bubbles. So please no 1.5 litre bottles that have been sitting at the back of the cupboard. Use those little cans or bottles. As for the brand, it’s up to you. Many people will only touch Fever Tree but don’t overlook Schweppes. In a taste test conducted by Harper’s magazine a few years back, it was that old stalwart that came on top. 

3) Make sure everything is as cold as possible

Gin should be kept in the freezer and tonic water in the fridge. As Kingsley Amis advised, you really want a separate fridge for alcoholic drinks or people will be “constantly filling up any refrigerator they have a claim on, even its ice-compartment, with irrelevant rubbish like food.” 

4) F-f-f-f-freezing ice

This is crucial: the ice must be straight from the freezer and you will need lots of it. Fill the glass with ice. The more cold ice you have, the slower it will melt, so the less dilution you will have. And don’t use that ice from the supermarket which has a hole in it as it will melt quickly. Make your own using ice trays and filtered water. 

5) A nice heavy glass

A beautiful glass can elevate your drink. We love a heavy tumbler for a G&T but a Highball glass works well or if you must, one of those Spanish fishbowl things. Whatever you use, make sure it’s clean with no washing up liquid residue. 

6) Measure your gin

While free pouring looks cool, we recommend you use a jigger. Not only does this ensure that your drink is at the correct strength but it’s also handy for keeping track of how much you’re drinking. On the subject of ratios, one third gin to two thirds tonic makes a good strong G&T, some people will want it weaker or stronger, but whatever you do, don’t drown the gin in tonic. You don’t have to use the whole can. And give it a stir, nobody wants a weak first sip and pure gin at the end. Don’t overstir though, or you’ll get rid of the bubbles. 

7) A fresh garnish

Go with whatever you want: orange, lime, lemon or even rosemary (exotic!) but it must be freshly cut. You don’t want some sad pre-cut bits of lemon that has been sweating in the fridge for days. 

8) Serve with salty snacks

This is very important. A G&T isn’t a G&T without something to snack on so don’t forget the peanuts, crisps or olives. 

While stocks last, Master of Malt is offering free mixers on certain gin lines. Click on link for more information and to buy.