Ask any head bartender, and they’ll tell you that the gin & tonic is at the top of their most requested drinks, especially in the summer. A gin & tonic is refreshing and less sticky-sweet than many other cocktails, plus the variations you can take on it are virtually endless. We’ve picked fifteen of our favorite gin and tonic variations to share with you. We’re sure you’ll find a new favorite on this list.
Delicious Variations on the Gin & Tonic
1. Gin Sonic
If you’re someone who likes the idea of a classic gin & tonic but finds that the tonic water is just too overpowering for your tastes, this Gin Sonic is calling your name. This recipe for a Gin Sonic cuts the amount of tonic in half and replaces it with soda water. This gives the drink a nice, crisp, refreshing taste that isn’t too sweet or syrupy tasting.
- Delicious Variations on the Gin & Tonic
- 1. Gin Sonic
- 2. Pink Gin & Tonic
- 3. Garden Gin & Tonic
- 4. Spanish Gin Tonic
- 5. Italian Gin & Tonic
- 6. Fresh Peach Gin & Tonic
- 7. Cranberry Thyme Gin & Tonic
- 8. Lemon Basil Gin & Tonic
- 9. Elderflower Gin & Tonic
- 10. Summer Gintonica
- 11. Simon’s Gin & Tonic
- 12. Blood Orange Gin & Tonic
- 13. The Pretty Tony
- 14. St Germain Gin & Tonic with Grapefruit
- 15. Gin & Soda
For the best flavor, choose a gin where the flavor of juniper berries really shines through. Also, the soda water really allows the hint of flavor from the garnish to shine through, so choose something simple, like a single lemon wheel or lime wedge, when serving.
2. Pink Gin & Tonic
Pink gin has a flavor profile that’s just slightly more floral than regular gin but still with very prominent juniper notes. Choosing pink gin for your gin and tonic creates a cocktail with a unique taste but still doesn’t stray too far from the classic gin cocktail.
This cocktail recipe features pink gin, tonic water, and fresh lime juice. We think this one looks beautiful and served over ice in a large wine glass with a rosemary sprig as a garnish.
3. Garden Gin & Tonic
There are a good handful of cocktail recipes out there for a Garden Gin & Tonic, but we really like this one from Burrata Bubbles. What each of the Garden Gin & Tonic variations we came across has in common is the inclusion of garden-fresh herbs and fruit, making this one of those cocktails that’s just perfect for enjoying during the summer.
This gin and tonic variation features several types of fresh herbs, with fresh basil, rosemary, and thyme being muddled together in a cocktail shaker before adding in the gin and tonic and serving over ice. A fresh wheel of lime at the end adds a nice touch.
4. Spanish Gin Tonic
A nice Spanish Gin Tonic goes beyond the classic mixture of gin and tonic water and brings the flavors to life with the addition of real juniper berries. We like this Spanish Gin Tonic recipe by Fox and Briar because they encourage you to use whatever aromatics you might have on hand, just in case juniper berries aren’t easy to find where you live.
For the best cocktail, the perfect gin to use is a good quality London dry gin. A few examples of the aromatics suggested in this recipe include juniper, pink peppercorns, rosemary, fresh mint, edible flowers, or citrus.
5. Italian Gin & Tonic
If you’re looking to take an Italian spin on your gin and tonic, this cocktail that features Campari is a sure winner. If you’re unfamiliar with Campari, it’s an Italian aperitif that’s slightly bitter with sweet fruity and floral notes. Combined with gin, tonic water, and a touch of sweet vermouth, this is perfection in a highball glass.
6. Fresh Peach Gin & Tonic
This Fresh Peach Gin & Tonic is full of delicious flavors that are perfect for enjoying towards the end of summer when fresh peaches are at their sweetest and juiciest. Scour your local grocery store for the best peaches you can find, grab a high-quality gin, along with some tonic water, and prepare yourself for an incredible cocktail experience.
This recipe calls for lots of crushed ice, but you could easily use small ice cubes instead.
Fill a tall collins glass with peach slices and ice. Then add the gin and the tonic. Stir gently, and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and lime. If you want this flavor, but peaches are in season, add in a little peach liqueur instead for a little extra peachiness.
7. Cranberry Thyme Gin & Tonic
Who says that a gin and tonic is purely a summertime drink? This Cranberry Thyme Gin & Tonic is full of seasonal flavors that will carry your love of a good G&T far into the fall and winter season.
These cocktails call for a good gin, along with cranberry juice, clementine juice (or good ol’ fashioned OJ), fresh thyme, simple syrup, and tonic. We think this drink would look beautiful in a nice balloon glass. While the recipe calls for fresh cranberries as a garnish, we can also see adding some orange slices, star anise, or even a cinnamon stick to garnish this tasty beauty.
8. Lemon Basil Gin & Tonic
by Cake n Knife
The herbaceousness of fresh basil works perfectly with the botanical flavors of gin. To make this cocktail, start off by muddling together fresh lemon juice and basil in the bottom of a cocktail glass. Next, add gin and lightly stir. To finish this drink, add ice cubes and top off with tonic water. A twist of lemon peel makes a nice garnish. Also, if you happen to find lemon gin, it would be absolutely fantastic in this!
9. Elderflower Gin & Tonic
Elderflower Liqueur has always been wonderful, but it has experienced a resurgence of popularity in recent years. Elderflower works great with the classic gin & tonic, which this cocktail recipe by Garnish with Lemon proves nicely.
To give you fair warning, this gin & tonic is on the strong side. The gin and elderflower liqueur make up half of this cocktail, which equals out to about three ounces. The other half is tonic water or tonic syrup. Garnish with a wedge of lime, and enjoy!
10. Summer Gintonica
This is one of those simple gin & tonic recipes that just slightly varies off course from the classic. With this recipe, gin is combined with fresh lemon juice and Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic water. For a finishing touch, garnish with a few leaves of fresh mint, a lemon twist, and fresh blackberries.
11. Simon’s Gin & Tonic
Simon’s Gin & Tonic is the perfect marriage between a G&T cocktail and the classic martini. For this perfect gin drink, all you need is a good quality gin, dry vermouth, and tonic water. Add it all to your glass over cubed ice, and stir gently. Garnish with a twist of the lemon, sip, and enjoy.
12. Blood Orange Gin & Tonic
This gin & tonic cocktail looks as luscious as it tastes. Because of the sweetness and orange flavors in this drink, we think a nice floral gin goes nicely here, but that’s just our personal preference. In addition to gin, you’re going to need Aperol, a blood orange, and tonic.
Start by filling the glass with ice, and add the gin and Aperol to the glass. Next, squeeze half the blood orange into the glass to extract the juice (watch out for the seeds!). Add tonic and also more ice, if desired. Use the other half of that blood orange to make a slice or two to garnish the glass with before serving.
13. The Pretty Tony
The Pretty Pony is a classic G&T that has been elevated a few notches by the addition of one simple ingredient – Angostura Bitters. There’s just something about the addition of bitters to a gin & tonic that not only enhances all of the flavors of the cocktail but also adds its own notes of citrus and spice.
A lowball glass works well for this drink. Add the gin to ice in the glass, then squeeze half of a lime into the drink. Next, you’ll need about ten drops of bitters, and top it all off with a few splashes of tonic water.
14. St Germain Gin & Tonic with Grapefruit
We already talked about how perfect elderflower goes with gin & tonic, but this recipe takes it one step further into delicious cocktail territory with the addition of grapefruit juice. The result is cocktails that are a little sweet, a little floral, and a little citrusy.
Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and a high-quality gin are musts for this cocktail. Combine them with St Germain Elderflower, grapefruit bitters, and tonic water. This is one of those cocktails that are perfect when served in a pitcher with plenty of fresh grapefruit slices floating throughout.
15. Gin & Soda
Ok, so the gin & soda really isn’t a “variation” on the gin & tonic since it’s a popular cocktail on its own, but it’s the perfect alternative for people who don’t really care much for the heaviness of tonic water. A gin & soda is a crisper, lighter cocktail.
You could also take any of these gin & tonic variations that we’ve listed here and substitute soda water for tonic, and have an equally wonderful cocktail on your hands.
Are you a purist who prefers their gin & tonic traditional style, garnished with a simple lime, or are you more interested in testing the boundaries of what this class cocktail has to offer? Either way, the important thing is that you enjoy sipping on that drink in your glass. Try one of these great G&T variations for a new, refreshing spin on your favorite cocktail.