Vodka Tonic Cocktail Drink

Vodka Tonic

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If you want to make a quick and delightful drink, this Vodka Tonic recipe has you covered! With minimal ingredients and a straightforward make, this cocktail is a refreshing choice for anything crisp and delightful.

Vodka Tonic Recipe

Elevate your evening with this straightforward Vodka Tonic recipe! Combining Vodka, tonic water, and a hint of citrus, this refreshing cocktail is a delightful sipper for any occasion.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

171 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 4 oz tonic water
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon or lime wedge, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka over the ice.
  • Add Tonic Water: Measure and pour 4 oz tonic water into the glass.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently.
  • Garnish: Squeeze a lemon or lime wedge into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

Gin is a fantastic substitute for Vodka if you prefer a more botanical flavor. For a citrusy twist, I sometimes use lemon or lime-flavored soda instead of tonic water.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 16 oz of Vodka and 32 oz tonic water.
  • Mix: Combine the Vodka and tonic water in a large pitcher and stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with a lemon or lime wedge, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic vodka substitute; several brands offer a similar taste without the alcohol content.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic vodka substitute instead of regular Vodka and follow the original steps to enjoy a refreshing non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Good news for our vegan friends! A standard Vodka Tonic is inherently vegan. Ensure that the vodka brand you choose does not use animal products or by-products in its filtration process, and you're good to go. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories
171
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
16
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
11
g
4
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Potassium
 
1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.01
mg
0
%

 

Vodka Tonic Cocktail Drink

Vodka Tonic Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Elevate your evening with this straightforward Vodka Tonic recipe! Combining Vodka, tonic water, and a hint of citrus, this refreshing cocktail is a delightful sipper for any occasion.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 171

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 4 oz tonic water
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon or lime wedge - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka over the ice.
  • Add Tonic Water: Measure and pour 4 oz tonic water into the glass.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently.
  • Garnish: Squeeze a lemon or lime wedge into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

Gin is a fantastic substitute for Vodka if you prefer a more botanical flavor. For a citrusy twist, I sometimes use lemon or lime-flavored soda instead of tonic water.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 16 oz of Vodka and 32 oz tonic water.
  • Mix: Combine the Vodka and tonic water in a large pitcher and stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with a lemon or lime wedge, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic vodka substitute; several brands offer a similar taste without the alcohol content.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic vodka substitute instead of regular Vodka and follow the original steps to enjoy a refreshing non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Good news for our vegan friends! A standard Vodka Tonic is inherently vegan. Ensure that the vodka brand you choose does not use animal products or by-products in its filtration process, and you're good to go. 

What is a Vodka Tonic Cocktail?

A Vodka Tonic is a cocktail combining Vodka and tonic water, often accentuated with a slice of lemon or lime. It’s a drink celebrated for its simplicity and refreshing taste, making it a favorite for many. The name ‘Vodka Tonic’ is straightforward, reflecting the clear and uncomplicated nature of the cocktail.

A side shot of a Vodka Tonic cocktail in highball glass on a black stone coaster with lime pieces around, placed on a white marmol table in front of a yellow wall.

What is Vodka Tonic made of – The ingredients

The mix for a Vodka Tonic includes these essentials:

  • Vodka: Provides the base spirit for the cocktail, delivering a clean and neutral flavor profile.
  • Tonic Water: Adds effervescence and a quinine-infused flavor, balancing the smoothness of Vodka with a refreshing bitterness.
  • Lemon or Lime Wedge (optional): Offers a citrusy accent, enhancing the refreshing quality of the drink.

Vodka, limes and tonic water laid out on a white bar table

 

How do you make a Vodka Tonic?

Follow our no-fuss instructions to create a delicious Vodka Tonic:

1
<p>Start by Filling a Highball Glass with Ice Cubes: This ensures that your Vodka Tonic remains cool and refreshing as you make and enjoy it.</p>

Start by Filling a Highball Glass with Ice Cubes: This ensures that your Vodka Tonic remains cool and refreshing as you make and enjoy it.

2
<p>Pour 2 oz of Vodka over the Ice: Measuring accurately, add the Vodka to your glass; this forms the alcoholic base of your cocktail.</p>

Pour 2 oz of Vodka over the Ice: Measuring accurately, add the Vodka to your glass; this forms the alcoholic base of your cocktail.

3
<p>Measure and Pour 4 oz of Tonic Water into the Glass: Adding the tonic water creates a Vodka Tonic’s characteristic effervescent and bitter flavor.</p>

Measure and Pour 4 oz of Tonic Water into the Glass: Adding the tonic water creates a Vodka Tonic’s characteristic effervescent and bitter flavor.

4
<p>Gently Stir the Ingredients Together with a Bar Spoon: A gentle stir combines the Vodka and tonic water without causing the tonic to lose its carbonation.</p>

Gently Stir the Ingredients Together with a Bar Spoon: A gentle stir combines the Vodka and tonic water without causing the tonic to lose its carbonation.

5
<p>Garnish the drink with a Lemon or Lime Wedge if Desired: Adding a citrus garnish enhances the refreshing and crisp nature of the cocktail.</p>

Garnish the drink with a Lemon or Lime Wedge if Desired: Adding a citrus garnish enhances the refreshing and crisp nature of the cocktail.

6
<p>Enjoy your Vodka Tonic!</p>

Enjoy your Vodka Tonic!

What is the difference between a Gin & Tonic, a Vodka Soda, and a Vodka Tonic?

A Gin and tonic, a Vodka Soda, and a Vodka Tonic each offer distinct flavors and experiences due to their differing ingredients.

The Gin & Tonic combines Gin, known for its botanical flavors, with the slightly bitter and effervescent tonic water, often garnished with a slice of lime or lemon, making it a refreshing and flavorful choice for those who enjoy a hint of herbs and spices in their drink.

In contrast, a Vodka Tonic also uses tonic water. Still, it pairs it with Vodka, a spirit celebrated for its neutral and clean flavor profile. It creates a crisp and refreshing drink with a subtle bitterness, usually enhanced with a citrus garnish.

Lastly, a Vodka Soda melds the smoothness of Vodka with the fizziness of club soda, resulting in a light and refreshing beverage with no inherent sweetness or bitterness, making it a versatile and easy-drinking option for those who prefer a straightforward and unadorned drink.

Each of these beverages caters to different palates, with the Gin and tonic offering a more complex flavor profile, the Vodka Tonic providing a balanced and slightly bitter taste, and the Vodka Soda delivering a clean and uncomplicated drinking experience.

A Vodka Tonic cocktail in highball glass on a black stone coaster with lime pieces around, placed on a white marmol table.

Vodka Tonic with Lemon or Lime?

When deciding between lemon or lime for a Vodka Tonic, it’s all about personal preference. Lemon adds a zesty, bright, and slightly sweet citrus note to the drink, complementing the bitterness of the tonic water. It’s an excellent choice for those who enjoy a more rounded citrus flavor. On the other hand, lime imparts a tart and tangy kick, adding a bit more sharpness to the mix. It’s ideal for those who prefer a more pronounced and bold citrus accent in their Vodka Tonic. 

Best Vodka for Vodka Tonic

Choosing the right Vodka is crucial for crafting the perfect Vodka Tonic, and while preferences may vary, a few brands stand out. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is a solid choice, known for its smooth and clean profile. It blends seamlessly with the tonic, allowing the subtle bitterness to shine. Grey Goose is another premium option, offering a hint of sweetness and a velvety texture that beautifully complements the tonic’s effervescence. Ketel One provides a crisp and lively flavor that pairs well with the tonic’s bitterness for those who prefer Vodka with a bit more character. However, if you’re looking for a recommendation, start with Tito’s; its versatility and smoothness make it a favorite for a well-balanced Vodka Tonic.

A side shot of a Vodka Tonic cocktail in highball glass on a black stone coaster with lime pieces and a bar spoon around, placed on a white marmol table in front of a yellow wall.

Variation

Craving some innovative twists? Here are a handful of our most enjoyed ones:

  • Tequila Tonic: This refreshing combination replaces vodka with tequila, introducing a distinctly Mexican flair. The tequila brings a robust, earthy character that pairs wonderfully with the tonic’s bitterness. Personally, I find the robustness of tequila intriguing; it adds a bold twist that invigorates the senses.
  • Whiskey Tonic: This introduces whiskey in place of vodka, offering a smokier, more complex profile. The whiskey’s rich, deep flavors meld beautifully with the tonic, creating a drink that’s both sophisticated and satisfying. I’m particularly drawn to the depth that whiskey adds; it brings a warmth and complexity that I find comforting and engaging.
  • Cranberry Vodka Tonic: This adds a splash of cranberry juice for a fruity, tart dimension. The cranberry juice’s sharpness contrasts nicely with the tonic’s bitterness, while its vibrant color makes the drink visually appealing. I enjoy the tartness of the cranberry; it gives a refreshing zing that’s both delightful and invigorating.

History and Origins

The Vodka Tonic doesn’t have a singular point of origin or a detailed history like some other classic cocktails. However, its creation likely stems from the introduction and popularizing of Vodka in the United States and other parts of the world outside Russia and Eastern Europe in the 20th century.

The tonic water component had its roots in the 19th century when British officials stationed in India started mixing quinine, a treatment for malaria, with soda water and sugar to make it more palatable, thus creating tonic water. The British soon began mixing this tonic water with Gin, giving birth to the Gin and Tonic.

As Vodka gained popularity in the mid-20th century for its versatile and neutral flavor profile, it naturally found its way into various mixed drinks, replacing other spirits. The Vodka Tonic emerged as a popular choice for those who preferred the clean taste of Vodka over the botanical flavors of Gin in their tonic-based beverages.

A side shot of a Vodka Tonic cocktail in highball glass on a black stone coaster with lime pieces around, placed on a white marmol table in front of a yellow wall.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Vodka Tonic?
It has approximately 150 calories, depending on the specific ingredients.
How strong is a Vodka Tonic?
It typically has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of around 10-15%, and its proof would be double the ABV, so about 20-30 proof, depending on the ratio.
What alcohol is used in a Vodka Tonic?
Vodka is the alcohol used, giving the cocktail its clean and neutral flavor.
In which glass is a Vodka Tonic typically served?
The cocktail is generally served in a highball glass.
What does a Vodka Tonic taste like?
It tastes crisp and refreshing, with the bitterness of the tonic water balancing the smoothness of the Vodka, often with a citrusy accent if garnished with lemon or lime.
What is the ratio of Vodka to tonic water in a Vodka Tonic?
The standard ratio is 1 part vodka to 2 parts tonic water, but some prefer a 1:3 ratio for a lighter drink.
How is a Vodka Tonic served regarding ice and presentation?
The drink is usually served over ice, ensuring it remains chilled and refreshing as you enjoy it.

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