Gin, Grapefruit and Elderflower Tonic

This is a perfect example of a great aperitif cocktail. There’s plenty of bitterness coming from all of the ingredients to get you salivating and ready for a big meal. The bitterness is nicely balanced by the strong sourness of the grapefruit and lime as well as the floral sweetness of the elderflower tonic water.

Tips for the perfect G&T

When using freshly squeezed grapefruit be sure to taste before mixing. If it isn’t very sweet you can add more tonic water or a splash of simple syrup to tame it.

Everybody has their favourite gin so I’ll let you make this with your favourite bottle. For the tonic however I can’t stress enough just how important it is to be using good quality stuff. The jump in the price of your drink goes up minimally compared to using a bottle of top shelf gin and the difference it makes is enormous.

By adding a small amount of salt or saline solution to our drink, we are able to tone down the bitterness slightly as well as bring out the sweet and sour elements. Salt has this wonderful ability of turning up the volume on flavours. Having said that, do exercise caution as a heavy handed pinch can render your cocktail too salty and undrinkable.

To preserve the carbonation in the tonic, we chill down all of the other ingredients well first by stirring. By stirring we are diluting the gin and grapefruit mixture slightly and bringing down the temperature of the entire drink. The bubbles in your carbonated drink will last much longer in colder environments and the lower temperature will mean less dilution as the ice melts slower, also preserving your beautiful carbonation.

A little bit of salt and chilling your drink down before adding your tonic doesn’t sound like much, but it’s these small details that can turn your great gin and tonic into an amazing gin and tonic.


2oz gin
2oz grapefruit juice
3-4oz elderflower tonic
Half a lime
Citrus garnish
Salt or saline solution (1:5)
Plenty of ice

  • Pour the gin and grapefruit into a large wine glass (or a copa de balon if you’re fancy like that) and top with a handful of ice.
  • Cut the lime into quarters and squeeze two quarters worth of juice into your drink, adding the squeezed limes to the glass.
  • Add a tiny pinch of salt or a few drops of saline solution to the ice.
  • Stir until the drink is well chilled using a spoon or stirrer.
  • Add sliced citrus for additional garnish and top up with elderflower tonic water to your taste.
Gin, Citrus cocktail

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