Espresso & Tonic has been a massive trend for the past couple of years. It is a mix of chilled, strong coffee and bittersweet tonic water, often garnished with an orange peel. With a good splash of your favorite herbal spirit, you can turn it into a low-ABV cocktail.
Quick Facts Espresso G&T
- Method: build in glass
- Flavor profile: coffee, slightly bitter and herbaceous
- How to serve it: over ice
- Best glassware: highball glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 7,5%, 14 grams of alcohol per serving
Bright, refreshing, bubbly, and bittersweet. This drink is a creative riff on the G&T and something you should try this summer.
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Bar spoon
- 1.5 oz London Dry Gin
- 4.5 oz Indian tonic water
- 1 oz Freshly brewed espresso - (chilled)
- Orange peel
- First, brew the espresso and try to chill it down as fast as possible. Put the espresso cup into an ice-filled bowl for this matter.
- Then, add ice cubes into a Highball glass and stir for 10 seconds to chill it.
- Remove excess water and pour in half of the tonic water. Then add the Gin, followed by the other half of the tonic water.
- Gently float the drink with the chilled espresso.
- Press or slightly twist the orange peel above the drink and drop the peel into the Highball glass.
Ingredients of an Espresso Gin and Tonic
You don't need much to make an Espresso Gin & Tonic, and here are our recommendations for each component:
Picking the best gin for a regular Gin & Tonic can be an overwhelming task due to the many different options. In this cocktail, things are a bit easier. The strong coffee notes and bittersweet taste of the tonic water will dominate the flavors of the drink.
Therefore, using an expensive, extravagant gin is unnecessary. Go with a solid yet affordable London Dry gin like Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater, or Tanqueray. If you feel a little fancy, you can try Hendrick's Gin.
In combination with gin and espresso coffee, you may want to opt for a more classic Indian tonic water. I recommend staying away from overly sweet tonics. Instead, go with Fever-Tree Indian tonic or dry tonic.
If you feel the drink lacks sweetness, add a bar spoonful of simple syrup at the end.
It's also amazing how many different tonics we can choose from these days. The varieties and flavorings are endless, and matching tonic water with a gin has become a science of its own. Nevertheless - keep it simple for this recipe!
Using freshly brewed espresso in this cocktail is vital. -The fresher the coffee, the more aromatic and flavorful the resulting drink.
So, the challenge is to cool down your espresso as fast as possible. One way to do this is by pouring it into a freezing cold glass directly after brewing.
Garnish for an Espresso G&T
An Espresso Tonic usually comes with orange peel - unlike a Gin & Tonic, which commonly features lime or lemon. That has to do with the dominant flavor in the drinks. Espresso pairs much better with orange aromas than it does with lemon or lime.
For our Espresso Gin and Tonic, we recommend an orange peel too. Before dropping it into the glass, you can twist it to release the essential oils, making the drink more fragrant.
Maybe you even came across videos on social media where people combine espresso with orange juice. -It sounds a little off, but the combination of coffee and orange actually works.
Tips for Mixing
The technique is what is most important for this drink - mainly because you want chilled but fresh espresso.
In shaken coffee cocktails, you cool your espresso down with the ice you add to your cocktail shaker. However, this drink is prepared in the glass, so that is not an option.
Instead, you can put the espresso cup into an ice-filled bowl to speed up the cooling process. Don't let it sit and cool down by itself. The slow process allows the coffee to release bitter, acidic and unpleasant flavors that you don't want in your Espresso Gin and Tonic.
Another Pro Tip: Use large, clear ice cubes. They melt slower and cool your ingredients better. Also, put gin and tonic in the fridge well before mixing.
More Coffee Cocktails
If you like our Espresso G&T or like coffee in cocktails in general. Why not try some other cocktails that combine booze with caffeine? Here are some of our favorite recipes: