Do It Yourself Gin and Tonic Station

glass of gin with garnishes

Yah, you’re throwing a party! But how are you going to make it feel like it’s more than you standard get together with friends? Well, we suspect there’s a little Tom Cruise, à la Cocktail, in all of us so why not open up a fabulous DIY gin and tonic station and let him loose!

It will inspire curiosity amongst your guests and, as a shared experience, can be an amusing way to bring together groups of friends who wouldn’t normally mingle.

Set up is relatively easy.

Start with chilled gin and big ice cubes. Gin is friends with cooler temperatures, encourage that friendship.

You want plenty of room for ice and garnishes so go for a bowl-shaped glass; think of a large wine glass and you are on the right track.

Then lay out tonic water, garnishes and some stirring spoons over a long table.

We suggest a responsible party-goer pours a measure of gin into each guest’s glass because, ah-hem, moderation is important, and then the mixing and blending can begin.


Given that we are living in the middle of what feels like the Golden Age of Gin, there are lots of options to choose from. Pick one, but no more than three. Too much choice can cripple.


Tonic water adds its own botanicals to the mix, so you want to pick something that complements or enhances the flavour of your gin. Good news is we have more choice than ever. Grab at least three varieties, with differing botanical infusions, for your guests to choose from.


A wedge of fruit adds some much-needed colour and enhances the botanical notes of their chosen gin. Some classic choices are:

  • Grapefruit slices
  • Cucumber sticks or stars, you can go nuts here
  • Lime wedges
  • Orange slices

And for the little more adventurous, try including:

  • Mango slices
  • Strawberries, muddled
  • Strips of rhubarb, thinly peeled so they curl into pretty ribbons


Spices add instant zing, delicious savoury notes and even warmth to the flavours of a G&T. But remember, they need only a little! Any of the below will be great additions:

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cardamom pods, gently crushed to release the aroma
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Long sprigs of thyme
  • Coriander
  • Peppercorns, black or pink

You can suggest blends to your guests, but there is (almost) no limit to what they can come up with, and it might even encourage a little healthy competition. Who can come up with the most delicious blend?

The best part is, this simple activity will have your guests comparing tasting notes and enjoying a drink together in no time.

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