A Totally Normal Gin & Tonic

Yes, this Gin & Tonic is totally normal, but it’s also exactly the kind that most people want to drink, I think. I’ve tried them with summer fruits; gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, even some kind of business with a peach; I’ve tried them with additional mixers which make them interesting colours; I’ve tried them with rosemary, thyme, even chilli. In the end though, if I want a Gin & Tonic, I probably want a drink with plenty of ice, and with lime.

I suppose, in its most classic form, you’d use lemon or cucumber as a garnish, but I have a weakness for lime in this drink, so lime it must be, and plenty of it, as well as plenty of ice. Follow those rules and I’ll be happy, and I think others would be too.

I haven’t specified brands here, either of gin or tonic water, partly cause people know what they like where these things are concerned, and partly cause for us, and I suspect for most people, this is the kind of thing you want to pull out of the cupboard and throw together after a long, hard day. For the record, we used Bombay Sapphire and Schweppes: everyday ingredients for an (almost) everyday drink.

You will need:

  • A bottle of gin (you might not use it all)
  • A bottle of tonic water
  • Some limes
  • plenty of ice


Take a couple of medium to large glasses (something like a Collins glass, maybe, but anything from a large whisky glass to a pint glass will do). Take your limes (I think the citrus plays a vital role in the flavour balance here so I see no point in scrimping; when I see a single slice floating on the surface when I order one from a bar, my heart sinks slightly), roll them firmly beneath the palm of your hand, chop them in half and squeeze half into each glass. Add plenty of ice to each (I go two thirds of the way up the glass). Pour over a measure of gin (I use a shamelessly touristy shot glass we bought on Crete which I love with all my heart. It holds 30ml), and then fill the glass with tonic water. Give each a vigorous stir with a long spoon, run a slice of lime around the rim, and drink, preferably in the garden.


Repeat as desired.

Purists will complain this recipe is too fruity, gourmets will complain of the plainness of it but, when I reach for the gin bottle at the end of the day, this is the picture playing in my imagination.

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