Cold cocktail with lime, tonic, vodka and ice
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Vodka Tonic Cocktail

It’s often the simplest things in life that can give us the most joy, and this is true in the cocktail world as well. As the vodka tonic proves, you don’t always need long lists of ingredients and fancy mixing techniques to make a magical drink. Sometimes, as in this case, all you need is two key ingredients poured together over ice and savored with a smile.

History of the Vodka Tonic

This cocktail is an alternative to the more famous gin and tonic, and while we can’t be entirely sure of its origins, it’s highly likely that it was created around the same time as the classic G and T, presumably around the 19th century.

It was around this time that tonic water first started being produced and sold on a commercial level, and this is when we started to see tonic mixed together with spirits too.

Tonic water was hugely popular at the time, first being used as a preventative measure in India against malaria because of its high quinine content. The popularity of the drink soon spread across the world, quickly proving popular with its refreshing flavor and straightforward recipe.

How to Make it – Recipe

As stated earlier, this cocktail is one of the easiest to make, and a big part of the fun is simply experimenting with different vodkas and tonics in order to get slightly unique experiences every time. The recipe below should fill a standard highball glass, and you’ll need to assemble a couple of ingredients to mix it at home.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz (60ml) of vodka  
  • 5 oz (150ml) of tonic water
  • Ice cubes
  • A wedge of lemon or lime to garnish (optional)

Preparation

  1. Add the ice cubes to your glass 
  2. Pour over the vodka 
  3. Then top up the glass with the tonic water 
  4. Squeeze in a little juice from a wedge of lemon or lime, if desired, or use the wedge as a garnish

How to Drink it

There are no strict rules or practices when it comes to this cocktail. It’s a cool, refreshing drink that can be enjoyed at any time of year and in all kinds of circumstances, before, during, and after meals as well.

Variations

While this cocktail may seem simple on the outside, it’s a great choice for experimentation, and you can produce some really different experiences by making use of various types of vodka or tonic. Some tonic waters are sweeter, for example, while others are more bitter and dry. Vodkas, too, can have different tastes depending on how they’re made.

In terms of actual variations, the obvious alternative to this cocktail is the classic gin and tonic, which is made in much the same way, but with gin instead of vodka.

You can also experiment by adding in fruity ingredients like lime juice, orange juice, and lemon juice, or other extras like spiced syrup and grenadine to really shake up the formula.

Simple, refreshing, and open to experimentation, this cocktail is the perfect way to cool off after a long day.

My Bartender

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