Gin and tonic is undoubtedly one of the most popular drinks around the world. It certainly is one of the quickest and easiest to put together too. All you need is three basic ingredients: a good quality gin, tonic water plus plenty of ice cubes.

Did you know that 19th October marks International Gin and Tonic Day? Though obviously, every day is perfect to enjoy a refreshing gin and tonic.

The classic gin and tonic calls for one to three parts gin to three parts tonic water, depending on your own taste. Pour the gin and tonic water in a highball glass filled with ice cubes, and you are ready to go … ahm drink.

As easy as it sounds – and it really is – the flavour profile of your gin and tonic can differ significantly based on the type of gin you are using, the style of tonic water you add and any other flavour profiles you might possibly want to add.

In short, you can elevate your simple classic gin and tonic into something even more enjoyable without any effort at all. All you need is either a particularly flavoured gin, a tonic water with a particular flavour or playing with additional ingredients such as herbs, fruits, spices and liquors which either enhance or complement the gin of your choice.

The possibilities to alter the flavour profile of your gin and tonic are basically endless and entirely down to your own taste.

Did you know: According to the latest industry literature, there are now more than 3,500 different gins produced around the world; and more than 350 different tonic waters exist.

Personally, I love to play with particularly flavoured gins and simply add some complementing garnishes.

Many gin distillers today produce gins with citrus-forward flavours including gins such as the Malfy Gin con Limone, the amazing flavour range produced by Whitley Neill (think pink grapefruit gin, gooseberry gin, quinze gin, protea and hibiscus gin, and many more), Boodles rhubarb and strawberry gin, Gordon’s Mediterranean orange or Sicilian lemon gin … Well, the list goes on and on.

If you choose to go for a gin that is already flavoured, in theory all you need to add is a good quality tonic water, and off course plenty of ice.

You can still add additional garnishes to further bring out the specific flavour profile of the gin. Typically used garnishes to elevate the flavour of a classic gin and tonic include lemon, lime or grapefruit wheels, rosemary, thyme, lavender, different types of berries, slices of peaches, a vanilla pot or cinnamon sticks.

Once again, what garnishes you use is entirely down to your own taste. That said, you often find gin producers recommending garnishing their gin with those botanicals that are part of their specific gin to enhance the flavour. I suggest to check out the website of your chosen gin’s distillery to see what it’s recommended.

Elderflower gin and tonic

To be honest, this one might not be so unusual at all. But I truly love the delicate, subtly fruity taste of elderflower mixed into a gin and tonic and simply mixing with an elderflower tonic water is likely one of the purest ways to elevate your gin and tonic to something special without even the need for an additional ingredient.

Unusual gin and tonic recipes
Unusual gin and tonic recipes

Serves 1:

60 ml gin

175 ml Fever Tree Elderflower tonic water

2 pink grapefruit slices

Juniper berries

Rosemary spring

Fill a glass with plenty of ice. Squeeze one slice of grapefruit over the ice, add the other slice, juniper berries and rosemary spring to the glass, then pour the gin and tonic water. Stir gently.

It could not be more easy than that.

Pear gin and tonic

Since we are well into autumn and market stalls are currently brimming with apples and pears, why not try this pear gin and tonic?

Unusual gin and tonic recipes
Unusual gin and tonic recipes

Serves 1:

2 small pieces of pear plus 1 for garnishing

60 ml gin

30 ml elderflower liqueur

150 ml tonic water

1 rosemary spring

Muddle the pear than add to a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, add elderflower liqueur and gin.  Shake vigorously for a few seconds.

Strain into a cocktail glass over ice and top up with tonic water. Garnish with rosemary and pear. 

Gin and Tonic with red and green chillies

Sounds somewhat odd? Well, I can only recommend you give it a try. As much as it might be a very unusual combination, you might be surprised you like it.

Unusual gin and tonic recipes
Unusual gin and tonic recipes

Serves 1:

60 ml gin

180 ml tonic water

A handful of red and green chilli wheels

A lime wheel

In a glass filled with ice pour the gin and tonic water and stir gently. Then add the chilli and lime.

Coffee gin and tonic

Another fairly unusual combination I’ve grown rather fond of lately is this easy-to-make coffee gin and tonic.

Unusual gin and tonic recipes

Serves 1:

60 ml gin

30 ml coffee liqueur

120 ml tonic water

Orange wheel

Mix gin and coffee liqueur and fill into a glass over ice. Top up with the tonic water and garnish with an orange wheel.

Apple cider gin and tonic

Apple craft cider is something I have discovered only lately. It’s actually a drink I have always forgone as I’ve forever associated with industrially produced apple wine here in Germany. Which is something you either love for unknown reasons to me, or else you will hate.

However, craft apple cider which wears on the side of sparkling wine is something different altogether, and since I have started to explore it the below recipe seemed quite appropriate to try.

I used a good quality apple cider, and the drink came of as citrusy and fresh.

Unusual gin and tonic recipes
Unusual gin and tonic recipes

Serves one:

60 ml gin

35 ml apple cider

30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

120 ml tonic water

A small piece of apple

A spring of fresh rosemary

In a highball glass combine all ingredients over ice and stir gently. Garnish with one or two small slices of an apple and a spring of fresh rosemary.

Do you like drinking gin and tonic? What is your favoured flavour combination?