Jul 062005

My friend Sally visited us from Melbourne for about 10 days. I’ve known Sally for half my life; we met when I was studying at Melbourne University. Sally received the Gin Award from Rolland House, the hostel where we lived, so she’s been studying the subject for some years and has parlayed her knowledge into a career organizing banquets and functions for the Athenaeum Club, a private gentlemen’s club (think P.G. Wodehouse and Jeeves). I talked Sally into writing down how to make the perfect G&T for posterity, and here it is.

At the end of a long hot day on the road every doctor should prescribe a G&T to restore one’s positive outlook on life. The preparation of the perfect G&T does however take some effort and even more research. Like many things in life it is all a matter of taste but to help in the research phase I will share some of my own personal findings gained over some 23 years.

Select a highball glass made from a glass that is on the finer side as I think it improves the taste. It is possible to mix a G&T in an old fashioned glass but this requires refills more often.

Add ice, which is important to maintain the temperature, to the bottom of the glass (probably more important on the 3rd or 4th glass as these tend to last longer).

Add the Gin. This is the element that requires extensive research. My personal favourite is Bombay Sapphire which has an herbaceous and complex flavour but I would encourage you to sample as many types as possible. Just like a good scotch or wine there are many flavour combinations. Gordons is really light and crisp, it isn’t very complex or herbaceous. Tanqueray is quite lemony and a bit sharper and more bitter.

The amount required traditionally is 30ml but I have found that it sometimes depends on how much positive outlook you require. Once again this also takes some research to get it right and will depend on the gin of choice.

The tonic is often much under-estimated and is worthy of the time and effort of getting a better quality and having a few bottles in the fridge for those emergency situations. I usually suggest the small 300ml splits as they are one use and avoid the disappointment of a half-used flat bottle. I prefer Schweppes. Do yourself a favour and don’t get the diet style, after all this is for medicinal purposes. During my time in Canada I have found the Canada Dry style of tonic water is a very good substitute.

The perfect G&T should have a half slice of lemon or lime to finish it off, I prefer lime with my Bombay gin but if I can’t get it then lemon. I use lemon with Tanqueray or Gordons.

Take the perfect G&T out onto the porch and consume till your positive outlook on life has been restored.

This has been a life-long project and I have spent many hours of research to get to this point. I hope this has inspired you to start your own research project.

  19 Responses to “The Perfect G&T”

  1. […] The Perfect G ‘n’ T A friend of Lauren Wood enlightens us on the perfect G ‘n’ T. Right about now that sounds pretty good […]

  2. For me it would have to be Tanqueray with Schweppes Indian Tonic Water (slimline tonic should be banned), and lime, the slice of lime should be ran around the rim of the glass and then dropped into it and stirred with a gladd stirrer (or the old chopstick i found in the cutlery drawer), and then dive in – ahhhh the delight – its 08:54am and thats left me in the mood for one – now thats scary (or would some just call it devotion?)

  3. links for 2005-08-17

    IDEA 2005 Gallery great looking things! i am not a designer but i think usability is part of design and the Razr and iRiver are not easy to use (tags: design howtodevelopsoftware rolandtanglao usability) Anyway � Blog Archive �…

  4. Believe it or not, I was introduced to the G&T during a weekend in Zion Nat’l Park….After an invigorating hike thru the Narrows and on another day, the climb to Angels’ Landing, the G&T was a refreshing happy-hour by the motel pool….However, I remember a drink called a Gin Rickey. Out of curiosity, I looked up these two drinks in bar guides and the internet….It seems that they are the same…some G&T’s DON’T use the lime/lemon…some DO use the lime/lemon…THAT LOOKS LIKE A GIN RICKEY TO ME…What’s the truth with all this? thanks, Jeff

  5. Polycarbonate glasses may be heretical, but they’re actually useful for G&Ts, because they don’t conduct heat. This is important, not just because you’ll be drinking it on the porch, but because of my other rule: do not put the tonic in the fridge. It kills the fizz. Put the gin in the freezer instead. (I quite like Beefeater for G&Ts: it’s underestimated.) And lemon, please.

  6. There are only two things that can really, truly produce a bad G&T: flat tonic and warm temperature. If its fizzy and ice-cold you can’t go wrong with any brand of Gin or Tonic. Lime is definitely better than lemon but either, or neither will suffice in a pinch! Tip: all ingredients should be cold when mixed to prevent excessive ice meltage. Keep the gin in the freezer.

  7. we manage to get through aroung a litre of bombay evry 3-4 days but have aperpetual problem – flat/limited fizz. You may imagine from our conumption that we’ve tried everything/combination to improve this including all the suggestions above to no avail. Does anyone know the chemistry of how tonic is affected e.g. by too much gin, dirt on the lemon/lime wedge, dodgy water to make the ice? having tried to vary everything still no closer to a really fizzy one. what is it about CO2 that doesn’t seem to enjoy gin for company?

  8. Try adding more Gin/Tonic over time? Um… lol, it might kill the taste, but adding more tonic over time would seem to be the best answer for you…I personally drink it fast enough the Tonic doesn’t go flat.

  9. Sally said to use a highball glass and this is the traditional glass for a G&T. Personally I prefer a collins glass as they’re taller and a little thinner. I have a couple of glasses that I find ideal but I’ve had them so long I wouldn’t know where to get them. If you can’t find collins glasses that you like, you could also try looking for some kölsch glasses. leevalley.com has some that are tall with thin walls that you might like.

  10. any idea where I can buy the perfect gin and tonic glass? I am looking for a tall, thin g&t glass.


  11. Dartington Crystal do gin & tonic glasses, available at John Lewis Department Store. Cost – a bit expensive, but it is the perfect tall, slim glass – £31 for a pair.

  12. I would guess Ian is referring to the Bar Excellence Gin & Tonic glasses.

  13. If you really do love your Gin & Tonic, then you could go the whole hog and bathe in it !

    Our Gin & Tonic Range of Handmade Natural Soaps, Bath Fizz, Bath Salts and paraben-free Hand and Body Creams all contain real gin and organic lemongrass. Cheers! !www.littlecotesoap.co.uk.

  14. […] DRINKS Whatever’s going, but a perfect G&T would be […]

  15. Martin Miller’s gin, fever tree tonic.
    2-3 ‘lumps’ of ice, slicette of lime.
    Quality hi-ball glass from John Lewis, cant remember the name, but made in Poland, £9 per glass.
    The glass has a heavy solid glass bottom which can be held without cooking your G&T, and has the perfect capacity for a 35ml shot plus 200ml of tonic plus ice and slice.

  16. Very interesting comments on this page!

    I worked in a bar for years and have had many a good comment about my G&T skills,

    so I will share them! Your all in the right direction though!

    Firstly the glass – hi ball,

    Secondly Fill the glass with ice,

    Then for the Gin – I prefer Tanqueray but each to their own, (35ml)

    Slice a lime into 6 segments, squeeze one over the gin & throw it away and then squeeze a second segment in and then rub it around the rim of the glass and then pot it in.

    Finally the Tonic – Schweppes and if you can get hold of 125ml bottles then they are perfect! Slowly pour over the ice and when it is half full gently stir the drink.

    Most importantly you need to leave the drink to settle for about 3 minutes – sounds like madness but trust me!

    Give it a go!

    Hope you all like it!


  17. Never ever serve or worse drink your Gin & Tonic with a lime. The proper ingredient is a slice of LEMON as it enhances the taste of the Gin while the lime kills it

  18. LEMON, LEMON, LEMON……It doesn’t kill the taste of the Gin, which happens if you use lime. Lime overpowers the subtle taste of the Gin. Who started teaching bar persons to use lime should be taken out and shot at dawn for the crime against G&T.

  19. Do you knowv gionapremiumglass ?
    This is The perfect gin tonic glass
    Visit http://www.gionapremiumglass.com

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