Summer libations: Gin & Tonic



In the second of her series of cocktails suited to warmer weather, Amanda Baxter praises the versatility of the traditional gin and tonic, and how to avoid the rut of ‘ice and a slice’.

The classic gin and tonic is an English staple, a drink that can trace its roots back to the era of the British Raj Empire where quinine-boosted tonic waters were used to counter the effects of malaria, and were greatly enhanced by adding gin. To get the most out of this drink, think outside the standard ‘ice and a slice’ serve and look to the changing seasons for inspirational garnishes. Our No.3 gin and tonic can be easily adapted for all seasons – either playing on the spicy notes in winter or the fresh citrus fruit in summer.

No.3 Gin & Tonic

You will need No.3 London Dry Gin and tonic water, the rest is up to you.

  • First, take your chosen glass, whether it is a rocks glass, a hi-ball or even a large wine glass.
  • Fill it to the top with large ice cubes to ensure your drink does not dilute too quickly.
  • Add your measure of No.3 London Dry Gin; we think 1 part gin to 2 or 3 parts tonic is the ideal ratio.
  • Then add your tonic water (my tip: pour it down the handle of a spoon – it keeps the bubbles). Try a few different tonics from your local supermarket to find your favourite as they vary in sweetness and carbonation.
  • Now the garnish; we suggest a slice of pink grapefruit or orange, both of which are infused into No.3 during the distillation process. If you like your spice, why not try a dash or two of cardamom bitters on top, or for greenery gently smack some basil leaves before dropping into your drink.
  • If you are looking to impress, add an edible flower on the top; it looks pretty, the floral aroma lifts the nose of the drink.

Look out for No.3 cocktails at the pop-up Gin Garden at Kew Gardens over the summer.