Plus, six spots in the United States where they put their own spin on the classic cocktail.

By F&W Editors
Updated March 25, 2019
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“In Spain, gin-tonic is not just a cocktail, it is an obsession,” says José Andrés. Here’s everything you need to know to nail this iconic drink at home—and six places in the States with excellent G&T options.

  • In Spain, fresh herbs (lemon verbena, rosemary or lavender), lemon peel, juniper berries, edible flowers and even whole spices are used to enhance the gin’s botanicals.
  • Spanish bars stock as many as 50 different gins. Our choice: a London dry style. José’s two favorites: Rives Special Premium Tridestilada from Andalusia and Xoriguer Gin de Mahón from Menorca.
  • Amplify the aroma of the gin and the garnishes with a large wine glass or goblet.
  • Big ice cubes keep your gin-tonic chilled without watering it down.
  • Look for tonic made with cane sugar or agave (not high-fructose syrup), such as Q, Fever-Tree or Fentimans, for a balanced mix of sweetness cut with quinine bitterness.

Credit: Marcus Nilsson

Of all the gin joints...

Pagu: 310 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA; 617-945-9290

Make your own with Pagu’s tasting tray of gins, tonics and garnishes.

La Vara: 268 Clinton St., Brooklyn; 718-422-0065

Try riffs on the classic formula with housemade quinine syrup or Spanish soda.

Jaleo: Multiple locations

Check out the gin and tonic festival in March and April.

El Chipiron: 2717 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin; 512-518-3618

Chef Pablo Gómez Tollar takes Spain’s signature drink seriously at this new tapas spot.

Corrida: 1023 Walnut St., Boulder

Opening this fall. Bartenders will kick it old-school with tableside prep from a special cart.

Ashland Hill Brick Bar: 2807 Main St., Santa Monica; 310-392-3300

There are 11 G&Ts on the menu, or 55 gins and nine tonics to mix and match.