8 Simple Steps for the Perfect Gin & Tonic
Nothing can go wrong if you use this guide and follow all these steps. In no time you’ll conjure up the perfect G&T for your friends… Who am I kidding? I know you want those Gin and tonics for yourself. I certainly can’t blame you! So here it is, the simple 8-step plan for you to follow. Enjoy! And if you feel like it, share some of your awesome creations below in the comments.
Step 1: Choose the right glass
This is very important, but some people fail to do it right. There is simply no excuse to skip this step, since it is the foundation of your perfect Gin & Tonic. Always go for a large balloon glass like the one in the picture. Long drink glasses, tumblers… definitely aren’t the best choice around. Now why would that be? By using a large balloon glass, the aroma’s will be better captured and thus giving you a better drinking experience. But that’s not all. The single most important reason to use a balloon glass is the fact that it can hold a lot of ice. Let’s read on!
Step 2: Check the glass for any stains
And wipe them off. A very logical step, as everybody wants to drink out of a clean glass. While I’m writing this, let me give you an extra hint: always store your glasses with the opening facing upwards. This prevents them from becoming stale.
Step 3: Fill it up with ice
Use a minimum amount of 2/3 of the glass. Yes, you read it right, 2/3. Minimum. I know it sounds a bit contradictory, but a large amount of ice will prevent dilution of your gin and tonic. The more ice, the longer it takes for it to melt. As there is a lot of it, the ice will keep itself cool. And that’s also why we choose a large balloon glass: it can hold more ice. Haven’t you noticed that most of the bars serve their GT’s in tumblers? Or even long-drink glasses? And haven’t you noticed how fast the ice melts? Exactly. So do yourself a favour and use a balloon glass.
Step 4: Stir the ice. And stir it well.
Stirring results in the cooling of the glass, which, of course, contributes to the perfect serve. The keen eye will notice that melt water is created at the bottom. You can easily use a cocktail strainer to get rid of it. If you don’t have one, try using a spatula (it works just as well). By doing this step, you avoid re-dilution of your gin and tonic. It’s all in the details!
Here’s another little tip: don’t use crushed ice. The same volume of crushed ice has a larger surface area than ice cubes, which results in faster dilution. Also, don’t keep ice too long in your freezer, since it has the tendency to rapidly absorb the flavours of other products.
Step 5: Choose your gin and pour it in!
Use a jigger. If you don’t have one, buy one. The international standard is 4.5 cL (this corresponds to about 1.7 oz). Obviously, you’re free to do whatever you want, but believe me, there is only one correct amount to preserve the complexity of your gin and tonic.
Step 6: Add garnish
Make sure everything is fresh and, if needed, cut the garnish at the last minute.
Step 7: Add tonic
The ideal amount of tonic should be about 125 mL, but this depends from person to person. If you serve a GT always limit the amount of tonic to 125 mL and serve it together with the bottle that holds the remaining tonic. In this way, you’ll give people a choice. Either they add it all or they have the opportunity to drink the tonic water by itself. Also, don’t forget to put the tonic bottles in your fridge (serving temperature should be around 4°C). Oh, and another important thing to keep in mind: add the tonic at the edge of the glass, but you can also use a bar spoon for this (picture below). Just try to keep the bubbles of your tonic in stead of pouring it in all at once and lose any sparkling sensation while drinking your gin and tonic. Again, it’s all in the details!
Step 8: Serve with a stirrer… and with pride!
And don’t forget: always drink in good company. Enjoy!