The Best Gin and Tonic Ratio - A Guide

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 9, 2023

The gin-to-tonic ratio is one of the biggest questions when it comes to the classic Gin and Tonic recipe. You could go bold with a 1:1 ratio or opt for less boozy options like 1:2 or 1:3. We explain what ratio of gin to tonic is best for whom.
Best Gin and Tonic ratio

To make it short and sweet, the best ratio is 1:3 - one part gin to three parts tonic water. That offers the best of both worlds: Enough gin to highlight the botanical ingredients and enough bittersweet tonic water to balance alcoholic notes and make the drink super refreshing.

As palates differ, the ideal ratio may vary between individuals. Seasoned gin drinkers who also tend to drink the juniper-flavored spirit neat might opt for a bolder ratio of 1:2 or even 1:1. People new to a Gin and Tonic often prefer a less alcoholic drink with a ratio of 4 parts tonic water for one part gin.

In the following, we analyze the most common variants of ratios like 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, and 1:4. We provide guidance for whom each is usually suitable and how the final drinks differ in ABV and taste.

The ideal ratio of Gin to Tonic

The ideal ratio of gin to tonic water contains enough gin to taste the botanical ingredients in the spirit and just enough tonic water to balance the alcoholic notes. Generally, this means a ratio of 1:3, 1 part gin to 3 parts tonic water.

As the ideal ratios can differ from person to person, here's a detailed comparison of the various ratios and how they affect your Gin and Tonic cocktail.

ABV Taste Best for...
Ratio of 1:1 20% strong and gin forward with best chances to detect individual botanical flavors Seasoned gin drinkers looking tasting different botanicals
Ratio of 1:2 13.3% Still relatively strong but harder to detect individual botanicals Experienced Gin and Tonic drinkers
Ratio of 1:3 10% Ideal balance of bittersweet tonic water and botanical flavors of gin A broad audience with different background and expectations
Ratio of 1:4 8% Light and easy drink that predominantly highlights the bittersweet tonic water taste Lovers of light drinks or people who don't like gin

1 part Gin to 1 part Tonic water (ratio of 1:1)

This equal-parts approach is the most potent version of the recommended ratios of gin to tonic. It highlights the distinct flavors of gin. With a lower proportion of tonic water, it is much easier to taste the nuances of the spirit. 

However, what is often not mentioned is that such a Gin and Tonic is much stronger than the standard serve. With a gin that contains 40% alcohol, you get a Gin & Tonic that has a whopping 20% ABV. -Twice as much as a drink prepared with 1:3 parts. 

Recommended for: Whenever you want to taste the nuances of a particular gin, it makes sense to start with this blend ratio. Otherwise, this variant is really only for lovers of very strong drinks.

Gin and Tonic ratio 1:1

1 part Gin to 2 parts tonic water (ratio of 1:2)

A drink with a mixing ratio of one part gin to two parts tonic is good for Gin & Tonic enthusiasts. It's still a strong drink at about 13.3% ABV that makes the distinct flavors of a gin shine.

For those who rarely consume gin or Gin & Tonic, this ratio is usually too strong and gin-forward. Of course, there are exceptions, e.g., when the gin is relatively sweet or has a lower alcohol content (37.5% ABV).

Recommended for: Experienced Gin and Tonic drinkers and people who prefer strong drinks.

1 part Gin to 3 parts tonic water (ratio of 1:3)

This mix ratio seems to be the golden mean for everyone. There is just enough gin included, allowing gin connoisseurs to discover the botanicals in gin. On the other hand, there is also enough tonic water to keep the taste and the alcohol content (10% ABV) in an ideal balance.

As a result, the 1:3 mixing ratio suits a wide range of people. It is also part of our standard procedure when we test a new Gin. First, we taste the gin neat, then in a 1:1 ratio with tonic, and finally 1:3.

With this ratio, you'll get:

  • An approachable drink containing 10% of alcohol
  • A hint of botanical flavors in the gin
  • Balanced flavors between gin and tonic water

Recommended for: A standard serve for a broad audience with different expectations and preferences.

Gin and Tonic in highball glass with ratio of 1:3

1 part gin to 4 parts tonic water or more (ratio of 1:4 or 1:5)

A mixing ratio of 1:4 reduces the alcohol content to 8%, and 1:5 even to 6.7%. Consequently, the drink loses the intense and distinct notes of gin. Due to the higher amount of tonic water, it also becomes significantly sweeter and, at the same time, more bitter.

Gin lovers will frown upon anything with four or more parts tonic water to one part gin. But some people are either not gin friends or prefer lighter drinks.

Recommended for: People who prefer light drinks or aren't big fans of gin.

How much tonic water do I need?

To help you find the ideal amount of tonic water for x amount of gin, we created this handy overview. 

Amount of gin Amount of Tonic water
25ml of gin 75ml / 2.5 ounces
35ml of gin 105ml / 3.5 ounces
50ml of gin 150 ml / 5 ounces
1 ounces of gin (30ml) 90ml / 3 ounces
1.5 ounces of gin (45ml) 135 ml / 4.5 ounces
2 ounces of gin (60ml) 180 ml / 6 ounces

Gin and Tonic Ratio FAQs


The best ratio of gin to tonic depends on your experience and background. The golden mean is a ratio of 1:3 but the ideal ratio for you can vary. The more experienced you are regarding gin, the less tonic water you need in your drink.

In general, the Gin and Tonic is a simple yet adaptable drink. From choosing the ideal gin for the base to pairing it with the perfect tonic water and picking the best garnish. As you learned, even the optimal ratio of both liquid elements is a science in itself. 

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