Frozen Gin & Tonic

July 14, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

Gin and tonic is a cocktail classic, and with a few small adjustments, it makes an excellent frozen sip. All the usual suspects are here: high-quality gin, like NOLET'S Silver; tonic water; and freshly squeezed lime juice. The addition of a lime-zest-infused simple syrup adds a bit of sweetness, but you can feel free to adjust the amount depending on your preference. If you want to boost the botanical aromas of the gin and bitter notes of the tonic water even further, add a few dashes of Angostura bitters. —Erin Alexander

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with NOLET'S Gin. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the cocktail:
  • 6 ounces tonic water
  • 4 ounces NOLET’S Silver Gin
  • 2 ounces lime simple syrup
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 5 cups ice
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • For the lime simple syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Zest of 1 lime
  1. For the cocktail:
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until slushy and smooth. Serve in a chilled glass with a lime wedge.
  1. For the lime simple syrup:
  2. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan set over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Turn the heat off, stir in the lime zest, and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Strain into a glass jar and let cool. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Steve
  • LadyR
  • W J Freeman
    W J Freeman

11 Reviews

Steve June 11, 2023
Seems really odd to blend a frozen cocktail using a carbonated tonic. The whole point of a gin and tonic is the effervescence. Maybe use some non-carbonated bitter mixer... something like Cocchi Americano?
W J. June 11, 2023
I'm not sure I understand your comment, Steve. Why is it odd to use carbonated tonic water? Or is it the blending to which you object?

If you're concerned about losing carbonation during blending, I can tell you from decades of experience making such drinks, very little carbonation is lost in the procedure described here. I have a ready supply of carbonated water at all times. I make drinks like this and more using it. I add a tonic syrup (SodaStream sugar free), fresh lime juice (always), and gin. Sometimes I will blend it as above, but most times I don't.

If there is anything to object to in the recipe above, I would think it would be failing to adequately caution about adding lime zest to the simple syrup before it has cooled to ambient.

As far as the non-carbonated quinine bitters, I presume that you mean Cocchi Americano Bianco? If one wants to go this route, consider the excellent Jack Rudy Classic Tonic Syrup, made in Charleston, SC and available on-line.

In the long run, there are NO cocktail police. Use what you have, and modify and make it your own.

Steve June 11, 2023
Yup, loss of carbonation during blending is what I envisioned. It seemed like an expected side effect, like shaking up a Coke. Good to hear from your experience. Maybe since there is a lid on, it limits the vapor volume and so even if the CO2 equilibrium under agitation yields a higher vapor concentration, there's just not enough vapor space to lose much from the liquid phase. I might suggest adding this comment to the recipe as a way to assuage any reader's concerns. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
W J. June 11, 2023
It depends a lot on technique, I suppose. For example, my carbonated water is always very cold. I have a kegerator filled with cylinders of carbonated water for instance, which out of the tap is 41°F. My tonic syrup and lime juice are at or near the same temperature, and I keep a bottle of gin in the freezer.

A chemist, I construct my cocktails by weight on a digital scale, so they are always consistent in terms of absolute ratios of key ingredients. In science, this is known as precision, aka reproducibility as opposed to accuracy, aka deviation from a true amount.

Depending on the amount I am preparing, if I were to make a single frozen gin and tonic, I would use my Ninja bullet blender, which is inverted and sealed when blending. If making a pitcher, I would use the KitchenAid blender, which is open to the atmosphere pretty much.

However, having all ingredients cold and adding the carbonated water last, mitigates loss of carbonation.

Carbon dioxide reacts with water to form carbonic acid, as opposed to being just inert and soluble such as nitrogen, for example, is further retained by the fact that the mixture is very cold when mechanically blended. There may well be a bit of freezing point depression owing to a colligative property effect, but I have never measured it, if it indeed is present.

I make frozen Margaritas or frozen Daiquiris this way more often than I make frozen gin and tonics. I have yet to have anyone ever refuse an offered drink owing to anything to do with carbonation.

Some people, in particular the DIL and a granddaughter, rave about my frozen cocktails instead.

My frozen cocktails are at least an order of magnitude above a bar drink which uses some sort of prepared mix as a base and tastes like it as well, in my opinion, of course.

Thanks for your comments.
Steve June 11, 2023
Chemical Engineer here, so I certainly understand and agree with your scientific comments.

My initial reaction was in response to noticing how carefully I have to pour tonic water or Topo into a glass to keep from appearing to lose significant carbonation. Also, every recipe I've seen for a non-frozen carbonated cocktail seems to have all of the ingredients shaken or stirred, then poured into the serving glass, and then topped with the mixer... with a final stir to bring it all together.

I use the Magic Bullet version of your Ninja, so I certainly agree with how it is sealed. And I totally agree with your disdain for items like Margarita Mix.

(though I do have a very specific Beach Marg recipe that is heretical; along with 2 parts tequila and 2 parts Triple Sec, it uses both 1 part Rose's and 1 part frozen MinuteMaid limeade. I make up a quart of this and stor it in the fridge. 1-1/2 cups in a blender, ice to the top, grind and go. Perfect for the beach. It's intended to fill an Igloo 2 qt drinking water cooler, and haul to the waterside with red Solo cups!)

I measure by volume, but I use the OXO 2 oz stainless cup, which has a wonderful gradient of measurements. So I can also be precise and repeatable. Not sure about accuracy. I also have a digital scale, but I've not tested the OXO cup.
LadyR May 9, 2022

Scroll way down to Comments area for add-on gin recipes incorporated at this very long gourmet cooking column.

Although it starts off with loads of cucumber topic, you might find some interesting gin information to add to your treasures.
W J. June 11, 2023
LadyR, I read through the article. I found it rather interesting that you use gin as a literal spritz on cucumber and butter sandwiches to add or to enhance the terpene notes and to a lesser extent a hint of citrus. I can't say I am an aficionado of cucumber sandwiches and their ilk, but I like your spirit!
LadyR June 11, 2023
Thank you, WJ. Your note appreciated. For more than 13 years I wrote a regular gourmet cooking column for an industry newspaper that just closed down. After several months someone bought the remains and is operating very differently. Remains to be seen their future.
I have a gourmet cookbook under contract with a NYC publisher for the past three years and no signs of my cookbook with my original recipes I developed since 1976 when I started writing regular newspaper columns.

I have 13 titles reserved in various stages and really do need a cookbook agent if you happen to know anyone.
I’m not a drinker per se but I cook with spirits nearly every day (the bouquet is wonderful). I develop original recipes for importers and test new products (in the kitchen) often before they go to market.
I so enjoy conversing with folks who love to “play with their food.”
W J. June 11, 2023
Yes, indeed, LadyR. I did read the article and I also explored the links. I tried to order your Kindle cookbook using the link in your article, but got stopped as I was taken to and my Amzaon.US account wouldn't work. So, I searched for the same cookbook on the Amazon US site, read some of the sample recipes available there. I subsequently placed an order for a Kindle copy.

I am more likely to use recipes as suggestions as opposed to absolute mandates. From what little I was able to see, it looked as if your collection of creative, time tested recipes, was worth a go.
LadyR June 11, 2023
WOW! Thank you so much. Amazon is definitely not user friendly and apparently had a falling out with Apple wherein allegedly Amazon was forbidden to use the word Kindle but can sell as an eBook. My “Gourmet Cooking - at home with Carolyne” was initially ONLY available using US dot com Amazon. It was a dreadful experience trying to get as dot ca.

Took MONTHS and hours on the telephone with Amazon, talking with their agents stationed all over the world, literally.

In my NYC publisher contract I’m supposed to have hard cover, soft cover and eBook, none of such has happened to date except they have my cad 5k. That’s a story in itself.

Like you I mostly just read recipes for entertainment and ideas to prepare my own way. I would enjoy staying in touch to hear your further comments. And thank you again. Clearly being an expert in you own right, appreciated.

Having the opportunity to use the designation Lady comes from my husband having been made a Sir due to his having been made a Sir due to his philanthropic work helping Africa build schools and orphanages as Oprah did. Title not recognized this side of the pond, I took advantage of it for marketing purposes.

The NYC publisher is supposedly as well in London UK, the UAE and Australia. The title in production is:
© "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks" ~ Turning everyday meal making into a Gourmet Experience
(can’t use script/italics in this system).
W J. May 7, 2022
The tops!