Cocktail Anatomy: Sippin’ on Gin and Tonic


Gin and Tonic has all the allure and sexiness of a big-girl cocktail, with none of the effort.

Here’s your recipe:

  • Gin
  • Tonic
  • Lime

You’re gonna pour gin and tonic over ice in a highball glass (or a mason jar, or really, let’s face it, a coffee mug) and garnish with a slice or wedge of lime. The best part is that it’s all according to taste (some people prefer gin to tonic 1:1, but I prefer 1:3).

Like many nice things about British culture, G&T has a history that’s been tainted by the stain of colonialism and empire. First introduced by the army of the British East India Company in India, it was popularized as quinine (the unsweetened bitter part of tonic water) was discovered as a treatment for that pesky malaria problem. But since quinine’s kind of nasty, officers in the Company during the 19th century would add water, sugar, lime and gin to taste.

So there you have it. It’s about as foolproof as a cocktail can get. No matter if you’re stuck with that weirdly yellow bottle of Seagram’s Extra Dry at someone’s gross house party, or you’ve pulled out a splurge bottle of Hendrick’s or Tanqueray on the back porch in July sun, G&T will not let you down.

Art by Anna

About Meaghan Murphy

lives, studies, makes radio in Chicago. writes about it too.


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