All-Natural Gin and Tonics

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Two glasses of our All Natural Gin and Tonic recipe for the perfect spring drink

I’m becoming a gin and tonic girl. Is that OK, Mom?

There’s something mesmerizing about how light and bubbly this drink is. So refreshing and simple. I’m not even usually one for dry cocktails, and I’m certainly no gin connoisseur. But come springtime, gin and tonics are practically all I want in my hand.

OK, that and margaritas. Tequila, I’ll never quit you.

Jar of adorable kumquats for making homemade Gin and Tonics

How is this recipe “all natural?” I’m glad you asked!

Most store bought tonic waters have weird, unnatural ingredients and are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

So lately, John and I have been making our own, all natural version by sweetening with maple syrup, agave or honey, and then relying on seltzer or sparkling water for the fizz. Works like a charm!

So fizzy, refreshing, and easy.

Using a muddler to mix sweetener, gin, and kumquats

Using a spoon to mix a homemade Fresh Citrus Gin and Tonic

This version gets a tart-sweetness from sliced kumquat that’s been muddled with gin and sweetener. However, for first timers I would recommend trying this with lime (see notes) for a more traditional flavor!

I’m a sucker for colorful spring produce, hence this brightened-up orange version.

Pouring sparkling water into a glass to make a homemade All Natural Citrus Gin and Tonic

I think you guys are going to love this cocktail! It’s:

Refreshing
Fizzy
Light
Perfectly sweet
Slightly tart
& Simple

This has been our go-to drink for at home happy hours (the best kind of happy hour in my opinion). I can’t wait to experiment with other infusions and flavors!

If you give our version a try, let us know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram. It will be like a virtual cocktail party. Trust me, you wanna be there. Cheers, friends!

Two glasses of our refreshing and simple Kumquat Gin and Tonic

All-Natural Gin and Tonics

Simple, spring-inspired gin and tonics with sparkling water in place of tonic for a healthier, more natural cocktail. Pick your citrus to customize flavor!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Kumquats and ice cubes in glasses filled with our homemade Gin and Tonic recipe
4.6 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Course Beverage
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? No

Ingredients

  • 2-3 whole kumquats (or other citrus* // thinly sliced)
  • 1-2 Tbsp sweetener (such as agave nectar, maple syrup, cane sugar, or honey if not vegan)
  • 2 ounces dry gin (4 Tbsp yields ~2 ounces)
  • Ice
  • 2-3 ounces unflavored sparkling or seltzer water (4-6 Tbsp yield ~2-3 ounces)

Instructions

  • Add kumquats, sweetener, and 1/2 ounce gin (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) to a serving glass and muddle to break down sweetener and release citrus juices. Add remaining gin and stir well to combine.
  • If you’re not into citrus pulp/skin, scoop out or strain the kumquats from the drink. The whole fruit is edible though, so I left mine in! Otherwise, move onto the next step.
  • Add ice and top off with sparkling water to achieve desired strength of drink. Add 2-3 ounces for a stronger drink and 3-5 ounces for a weaker drink (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Taste and adjust sweetness and strength as needed. Optional: Garnish with additional kumquat slices. Serve.

Notes

*If subbing lime for kumquats, add 1/2 lime, juiced, to the cocktail when sweetening. Then slice the other half for garnish.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 Gin and Tonic with 1 Tbsp sweetener.

Nutrition (1 of 1 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 240 Carbohydrates: 23 g Protein: 0.8 g Fat: 0.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 6 mg Fiber: 2.5 g Sugar: 20 g

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  1. Todd says

    I just made this! I made 2, one with gin and one with vodka. Both were tasty. For each drink, I used half of a Meyer lemon from our backyard, sliced thin and seeds pulled out. Added 1 Tbsp Agave nectar and 1/2 oz. gin or vodka. Muddled and topped off with another 2 oz. gin or vodka and 3 oz. sparkling water. I did have to strain that to another glass of ice so I’ll use a shaker next time, but this made drinks my wife and I really enjoyed. And lemon works here, too!

  2. Laura at Creative Supergirl says

    I love this gin and tonic idea with the kumquats! I’ve been drinking the most amazing gin from right outside my hometown in Louisiana. I could seriously drink it on the rocks it’s so good. It’s called Oryza from DP Distillers. I hate to even share it for fear they will run out. It is made with Louisiana sugar cane. Their vodka is a dream too! I was putting blood limes in my gin and tonics, tart and yummy. I will definitely try it with kumquats because blood limes are not that easy to find. Only at some farmers markets here in the SF bay area and not all year round.

  3. Jessica says

    Have you guys also tried a more herb infused version of tonics?
    We’ve made a few batches of this version from Pinch and Swirl.

    It’s been awesome!
    Feels kind of like making your own vanilla extract but less wait time.

    Gonna try your version too now! See how a side by side compares!

    Side note: Thanks so much for all the blogger / photographer resources. Much appreciated. I’ve come back to your site for so many refreshers!

  4. Mokhe says

    While this is beautiful and looks tasty, it’s not a gin and tonic. You actually do need tonic for that! This is closer to a gin rickey which is made with soda water and limes and skips the sugar all together.

  5. Emma {Emma's Little Kitchen} says

    I feel so foolish for not knowing “the truth” about tonic water… I’ve been a gin girl for years! Thanks for alerting me to this atrocity, and giving me an easy solution to fix it!

  6. Julie says

    Hi Dana,

    While I LOVE a gin cocktail, I was just wondering what app/program/website you use to calculate the nutrition info for your recipes. I’m looking for something that’s less painful to use than a free website. Thanks!

  7. Lydia @ Suitcase Foodist says

    Gin has recently become my go-to after judging a cocktail contest. I thought I didn’t like it much before, but discovered I was buying poor quality gin that had a medicinal taste.

    Good quality gin = good cocktails = happy me.

  8. Jenn says

    I, too, have been on a gin kick. Recently discovered Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin (small batch producer from Oregon). It’s so good paired with FeverTree or Q Tonic. I never knew how much influence the tonic has on the taste and a high quality tonic infused with botanicals can really change the whole drink. Will have to try your version. I highly recommend you pick up a bottle of Uncle Val’s. It’s a really cool bottle too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

  9. Sam says

    Many people interested in staying healthy have switched to agave as an alternative to HFCS. However agave is actually a worse choice than HFCS in many cases it contains an equal amount or more fructose than HFCS. Most agave syrup or nectar is nothing more than a laboratory generated super condensed fructose syrup devoid of all nutrient value. The average percentage of fructose ranges from 70-97% much higher than HFCS.

  10. Jessica says

    I love this–thanks so much for sharing! I wonder if there’s a way to make an all-natural negroni… :)

  11. Ella says

    For Australians, Capi brand tonic water is all natural, and a good pick for a G+T.

    Kumquats sound great with gin! In the absence of those, I’d go lemon over lime. Even orange is nice. Or straight up with a good tonic water :)

  12. Kelsey M says

    Thanks for sharing this! I absolutely adore gin and tonics but I have some of the same uh, “questions” about tonic and some of the strange ingredients in it.

    This looks so refreshing- I can’t wait to try it!

    -Keley

  13. Emily says

    Also, forgot to mention, we got the large ice cube tray recently as well, and it changed our world! Not to mention, it makes cocktails look even more beautiful. Don’t you think?

  14. Emily says

    We’ve been on a cocktail kick recently, and this beautiful and simple recipe just sounds lovely! I am quite a fan of the gin and tonic, but this one ups the ante. Nice work, you two!

  15. Jessica says

    Gin and Tonic, AND kumquats! Only my two favorite things, I can’t wait to try this recipie!

    Jess
    x

  16. Emily says

    For those who enjoy the bitter taste of the quinine in quality tonic water, try Q brand. Q has a natural source of quinine, agave nectar, and zero corn syrup. It’s pricy but well worth it. Gin and soda water with fruit is very tasty indeed, but it’s not an actual gin and tonic.

    When I am out of Q tonic or want a lighter flavor, I do a gin and soda water with fresh grapefruit juice. It helps replace that bitter flavor more authentically. :) I love Hendrick’s for gin and sodas, and prefer Tanqueray for gin and tonics.

  17. Erin @ The Almond Eater says

    I love this idea and I actually just bought some kumquats the other day… I thought, “I’m sure I’ll find SOME use for these”

  18. Georgie says

    Ughhh your photographs slay me every time. This is just simply stunning! I love making homemade syrups (or tonics) makes cocktails so much more refreshing (in my opinion)

  19. Wilma says

    I’ve been making a variation on a gin martini by adding lemon and a few shakes of bitters. This looks really good though, so I think I’ll try it this afternoon.

  20. Dana says

    I totally agree about gin and tonics! I just rediscovered them this spring and I’m loving how refreshing and bright they are – but I’ve been kind of revolted about using tonic (!) since I’m not a soda drinker and the idea of drinking high fructose corn syrup is, well, gross.

    So thank you so much for showing me another way!! I will be buying some seltzer asap :)

  21. Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) says

    In the last year I’ve been really liking gin, especially Sloe Gin. When a gin and tonic is made with seltzer or sparkling water it’s called a Gin Rickey. It’s usually what I drink. I love the addition of kumquats. We have a ton right now at work, so I’m going to grab some and make this! Thanks for the beautiful recipe.

    • john wall says

      Myself I’m not much of a Gin person. I like to do the same with Black Velvet, Crown Royal or Canadian Mist. Mist is the best;can’t beat the price either!
      My favorite BV drink in the summer is BV & Ice Tea! BV&T! Yea buddy!

      • jane says

        But your drink is not “tonic” i agree, the tonic waters available in the mass grocery stores are like drinking cat pee. i just found a wonderful tonic with, surprise surprise, SUGAR at Fresh Market. It is really good. – like old times.

      • Kelli H says

        This was delicious! I used 1 tablespoon sweetener but I think next time I’ll use 1/2 tablespoon. Love this drink!