The 6 Mistakes You’re Making When Pouring Your Gin & Tonic

You might think that the perfect gin and tonic is as simple as open, pour and enjoy, but there is an art to the perfect drink. From the ratios of gin to tonic, to things that you probably may not even think would affect its taste, there are a few simple adjustments that may completely change your G&T game forever.

Greg Cartwright, from Craft Drink Festival, takes you through some simple, effective and easy to implement changes that’ll really improve your gin and tonic experience.

1. You’re Using The Wrong Glass

The glass in which you serve your gin and tonic isn’t just an aesthetic aspect of the drink. Sure, the old style, Gatsby-esque glasses are definitely back in fashion, but the shape of the glass could be affecting the taste.

“First thing is first,” Greg begins, “make sure that the glass is clean. Aside from that, opt for a highball or copa glass. They both have wide necks so you can really enjoy the smell of your drink,” he goes on. “Ultimately, though, it can depend on where in the world you’re drinking it. The highball is more traditional in the UK – particularly in bars – whilst the copa glass is more common in Spain,” Greg explains.

2. The Temperature Of The Gin Isn’t Optimum

One of the key differences between wine and gin, amongst many things, is the fact that unlike wine where the flavour is negatively impacted by warmth, gin keeps itself very stable and even has a shelf life of a number of years.

That said, “make sure your gin is chilled before serving,” Greg reveals. “Although, if you don’t have any ice then simply pop your gin in the fridge for a short period of time so that the gin is at least chilled when you serve it. A warm gin and tonic is not going to get you any points”.

3. You’re Not Using Enough Ice

It’s a common thought that if you use too much ice, it will dilute the taste of the drink. The logic is there, but the end result of lots of ice cubes isn’t actually a bad thing – in fact, it is what you should be doing.

“The next time you have a gin and tonic, make sure you fill your glass with lots of ice cubes. It won’t dilute the drink but ensure that it is the perfect, chilled temperature,” reveals Greg.

4. Not Knowing Which Slice To Use For Which Gin

It’s time to shake things up when it comes to your garnishes. Lemon is most people’s go-to but it’s crucially important to match your garnish with the botanicals of the gin.

“Choosing your complementing garnish is actually very simple,” Greg explains. “Simply have a look at the ingredients and match your slice to enhance the recipe.”

For instance, Marylebone Gin recommends using grapefruit peel as a garnish as they feel it complements the recipe’s tangy and floral taste notes, whilst Greg opts for a sprig of thyme when drinking Tapper’s signature Darkside gin.

craft drink festival

5. Using Low Quality Tonic

If you don’t scrimp on the quality of your gin, don’t do it for the pairing tonic.

“Craft gin distillers in particular put a lot of thought and experimentation into their gin recipes, so by pairing it with an low quality tonic, you could be ruining the experience,” Greg discloses. “Try matching your tonic to the gin and if in any doubt, do some research. Many gin distillers can actually recommend suitable tonics as well as their preferred choices to really complement their gin’s ingredients,” he continues.

6. You’re Stirring Your G&T

It’s probably a force of habit more than anything, but next time you go to stir your drink, think twice before doing so.

“If you stir your gin and tonic too much, you run the risk of upsetting the bubbles,” says Greg. “What you should aim to do is simply dip your spoon in and pull it back out. This will keep the fizz in your drink without running the risk of ruining the taste.”

Craft Drink Festival takes place at Birmingham’s famous NEC on 28th and 29th July. Tickets start at just £18 and are available from, or click here to win a pair of VIP tickets!