Gin and Bitter Lemon Recipe - Classic UK Cocktail

Gin and Bitter Lemon

Gin and Bitter Lemon Recipe - Classic UK Cocktail
Region / culture: United Kingdom | Preparation time: 5 minutes | Servings: 1


Gin and Bitter Lemon
Gin and Bitter Lemon

Gin and Bitter Lemon is a classic cocktail that is refreshing and perfect for any occasion. This cocktail combines the botanical flavors of gin with the tartness of lemon juice and the bitterness of tonic water.


The exact origins of the Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the United Kingdom in the mid-20th century. It has since become a popular drink around the world, known for its simple yet delicious flavor profile.


How to prepare

  1. Pour some ice cubes into a shaker. Add the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well, then strain the mixture into a highball glass. Add more ice cubes and top it off with tonic water.


  • You can customize your Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail by adding different fruits or herbs, such as cucumber or basil, for a unique twist on the classic recipe.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

When making a Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail, be sure to use a good quality gin for the best flavor. You can also adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice to suit your personal taste preferences.

Serving Suggestions

Garnish your Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail with a slice of lemon or a sprig of fresh mint for a beautiful presentation.

Cooking Techniques

Shaking the cocktail in a shaker with ice helps to chill the drink quickly and evenly, resulting in a perfectly balanced cocktail.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, you can use simple syrup instead of sugar in this recipe.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the gin and lemon juice mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just add the tonic water and ice when you're ready to enjoy.

Presentation Ideas

Serve your Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail in a tall glass with a straw for a classic look. You can also add a lemon twist or a sprig of rosemary for an elegant touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail pairs well with light appetizers such as shrimp cocktail or bruschetta. It also complements seafood dishes and salads.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

This cocktail is best enjoyed fresh, so it is not recommended to store or reheat leftovers.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

One serving of Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail contains approximately 150 calories.


The carbohydrates in a Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail come from the sugar and tonic water. One serving typically contains around 5 grams of carbohydrates.


There are no fats in a Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail.


There are no proteins in a Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail.

Vitamins and minerals

Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail contains a small amount of vitamin C from the lemon juice.


This cocktail may contain allergens such as sulfites in the tonic water. Be sure to check the labels if you have any allergies.


Overall, Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail is a relatively low-calorie drink with a moderate amount of carbohydrates.


Gin and Bitter Lemon cocktail is a timeless drink that is easy to make and perfect for any occasion. With its refreshing flavors and simple ingredients, it is sure to become a favorite in your cocktail repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time is still fresh in my mind. It was a hot summer day and I had been invited to a garden party at a friend's house. As I arrived, I was greeted with the most refreshing and delicious drink I had ever tasted - Gin and Bitter Lemon.

I immediately asked my friend for the recipe, eager to recreate this delightful concoction at home. She smiled and told me that it was a family recipe that had been passed down for generations. She graciously shared the ingredients with me: gin, bitter lemon soda, and a slice of lemon for garnish.

I was determined to learn how to make this drink myself, so I asked my friend if I could watch her prepare it. She happily agreed and took me to the kitchen. I watched intently as she poured a generous amount of gin into a glass filled with ice, followed by a splash of bitter lemon soda. She then garnished the drink with a slice of lemon and stirred it gently with a swizzle stick.

As I took my first sip, I was transported to a place of pure bliss. The combination of the sharp gin and the tangy bitter lemon was unlike anything I had ever tasted before. I knew that I had to learn how to make this drink for myself.

After the party, I went home and immediately set to work experimenting with the recipe. I tried different ratios of gin to bitter lemon, varying the amount of ice, and even adding a sprig of mint for an extra burst of freshness. After several attempts, I finally perfected the recipe to my liking.

I was so proud of my creation that I decided to share it with my own family and friends. They were all impressed by the drink and marveled at how I had managed to recreate the flavors so perfectly. I was delighted to be able to pass on this recipe to others, just as my friend had done for me.

Over the years, I have continued to make Gin and Bitter Lemon for special occasions and gatherings. It has become a signature drink of mine, loved by all who have had the pleasure of trying it. I always think back to that hot summer day when I first discovered this recipe and feel grateful for the opportunity to learn something new and delicious.

As I sit here, enjoying a glass of Gin and Bitter Lemon on my porch, I am reminded of the power of recipes to connect us to the past and to the people we love. Each time I make this drink, I am transported back to that garden party and the joy of discovering something new. And for that, I will always be grateful. Cheers to good friends, good drinks, and good memories.


| British Recipes | Gin Drink Recipes | Tonic Water Recipes |

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