Cilantro Gin and Tonic is a refreshing cocktail that features the cooling flavor of cilantro in a classic cocktail. With the addition of some lime juice, it has refreshing herbal and citrus flavors.
About this Recipe
This cocktail came out of an experiment I did months ago. I made about a dozen different mini-gin and tonics with various herbs and spices to see what flavor combinations would make the best G&T variation. Many were dismal failures, but the Cilantro G&T was a standout success.
Gin is little different than vodka with a blend of herbal flavors. The most prominent characteristic is juniper berry, but coriander seed is also a major aromatic.
Gin and Tonic is a drink that features heavily in Indian history. The British created it as a way to stave off malaria. The quinine that gives the tonic its bitter flavor is known as a curative for malaria. Although for those who enjoyed it, it was more of a placebo since a G&T is not likely to contain enough quinine to make a difference.
I dislike the bitterness of the tonic in most drinks, but I have tested this drink with club soda instead of tonic, and the tonic version is vastly superior. The coriander and lime seem to neutralize the bitterness enough to add to the complexity without being off-putting.
- Gin – Gin was introduced to India by the British East India Company and continues to be a significant manufacturer and consumer of gin to this day.
- Tonic – the classic G&T was created as a cure for malaria. It was thought that the quinine in the tonic would help prevent contracting the disease. However, tonic does not contain enough quinine to have that effect.
- Cilantro leaves and Coriander Seeds – both from the same plant (coriander is a name for cilantro, though many people use the two names to distinguish the leaves from the seeds)
- Lime – for a bit of acid, brings out the fresh flavors of the cilantro
- Club soda – if you dislike tonic, you can use club soda
- Lemon – lemons are interchangeable with lime. Use whichever you have.
- Ginger – muddle a slice of fresh ginger to add a little spice
Cilantro Gin & Tonic | Cilantro Cocktail
- Bar Spoon
- 2 oz gin
- 4 oz tonic
- 2-4 lime slices
- ½ tsp coriander seeds coarsely crushed
- 2 Tbsp cilantro leaves
- Add coriander seeds and cilantro leaves to a Collins glass. Muddle.
- Add lime slices, squeezing them as you add them.
- Fill the glass with ice.
- Add gin. Top with tonic. Give it a gentle stir with a bar spoon.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves, and enjoy.