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How to make the best Gin and Tonic

Posted by Bastien Poulain on

Or how to succeed with your gin and tonic every time..

Comment faire le meilleur gin tonic


We will start on the simple principle that not everyone is a mixologist! I don't know how to make lavender-infused white chocolate syrup.

I have nevertheless been able, over the years, to learn simple rules which mean that, now, my family asks me to be the one behind the bar when we have parties.

No pretenses there, just “common sense”.

To make the best gin and tonic, 4 things are essential:

  • The ice
  • The Gin (duh)
  • The Tonic (DUH!)
  • The garnish

A very cold gin and tonic please!

Ice is often underestimated. Despite the fact that I was not the best student in my high school chemistry class, I did remember one rule: the more ice cubes, the less it melts.

We'll tell each other that a hot gin and tonic, half diluted with water, is not very good. Whether in a cocktail or in a simple gin and tonic, always add ice in good quantity.

For my personal taste, I always put half the glass (at least) with ice. It allows the gin and tonic to stay cool and the ice to not to dilute your cocktail. It lasts longer and it's better. A gin and tonic is not a shot (although…! :P).

Choosing the best gin… for you!

This is where it gets complicated. Gin, there are a lot of them. A lot. A lot. Grain-to-bottle, floral, color-changing, cucumber-tasting…I would say go with your own palate. You must taste and discover. It's like oysters, you don't know you like it until you taste it.

Gins québécois, meilleur gin tonic


On my part, I have, of course, a preference for Quebec gin. We have very good products here. Passionate people who work very hard. So, at home, it's 100% Quebecois gin.

However, there are also very good imported products. To each their own!

For the amount of Gin in your gin and tonic, I would say it will depend on the glass used. A highball, a wine cup… it all depends. Me, I don't like too much gin, so I'll go for one, or one and a half ounces.

Choose the right tonic for your Gin Tonic

There, now we're talking!

Well, without claiming to be the tonic guru, we've been making it for 7 years and 1642 is lucky to have a loyal community that places us among the market leaders!

Not all tonics are created equal, but I would say the same is true for gin. I often say: “If you have a $45/$50 bottle of gin, it’s a shame to ruin it with an overly sweet tonic that will cover up all the aromatics in the gin. »

1642 tonic léger, 1642 tonic fleur de sureau, 1642 tonic, meilleur gin tonic


This is true for a $45 gin but it's also true for a $30 one. Ninety-five percent of people who drink gin consume it with tonic. You may as well choose the best.

What I look for first in a tonic: the amount of sugar and what kind of sugar we are talking about. Personally, I don't like the taste of aspartame or stevia, so that's a big no-no for me. I'd rather drink a few good gin and tonics than drink a ton of bad ones.

« Je préfère boire moins de gin tonic que d’en boire plein de mauvais. »

Between 6 and 8 grams of sugar per 100ml is fine with me. It doesn't cover the taste of gin and, but we still have a little kick from the sugar that enhances everything.

To have the perfect gin and tonic, I add 1/3 of gin and 2/3 of 1642 tonic. I mix, I taste, and if it's too strong, I add more tonic.

A beautiful gin and tonic!

A slice of lime is nice, but there are plenty of other options!

In my favorites and often available in my fridge:

  • A ribbon of cucumber
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • A bouquet of basil leaves
  • A slice of grapefruit
  • A citrus zest
garniture gin tonic, meilleur gin tonic


The idea is to be able to drink a simple gin and tonic, with simple ingredients, but which still looks appealing. Impressing the visit with two or three tricks is always a good thing.

Drinking in the tonic with your eyes is fun. The garnish, often forgotten, makes you thirsty and awakens your senses.

A great trick to create the perfect gin and tonic is to add a complementary flavoring to the gin as a garnish. For example, a bouquet of basil with lime and basil gin from the Distillerie des 3 Lacs, harmonizes really well.

In short…

Beyond gin and tonic, the most important thing to remember from all this is that the best gin and tonic is the one that makes you happy. Have fun, that's the most important thing!

With that, I'm going to make myself a gin and tonic (with the 1642 tonic, of course), because all this has made me thirsty.



(Aspiring mixologist apprentice and fake tonic guru)