Is Gin And Tonic A Manly Drink

We can pretty much all agree that a gin and tonic is a great-tasting and very refreshing drink. When you think of a gin and tonic, you might not immediately say that it is a drink for men though.

Therefore, when ordering a cocktail some men wonder ‘Is gin and tonic a manly drink?’

A gin and tonic is probably not considered to be one of the most ‘manly’ drinks out there like you could say about for instance some whiskeys. But gin and tonic is definitely not feminine drink. A gin and tonic is an amazing cocktail for anyone who is looking for a strong but refreshing drink. 

Even though gin and tonic can (and should) be consumed by anyone, it’s still sometimes perceived as a feminine drink. Why is this the case?

What Defines A Masculine Or Feminine Drink

Probably everyone who is reading this article has ordered a cocktail at a bar before and some have most likely sometimes wondered if a drink wasn’t a bit too manly or too feminine for them.

But why is that? How could a drink that consists of a mix of alcoholic beverages and sodas be considered masculine or feminine?

You would most likely agree that whisky and beer are considered more masculine and that wine and a cocktail, like a cosmopolitan, are more feminine.

A cocktail’s four main aspects can make it seem more manly or feminine than other drinks.

Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

The first aspect is the Alcohol by Volume or ABV of a drink. A drink with a lower ABV is often considered more feminine than a drink with a high ABV.

Most people would say that a straight whisky is more manly than something like a sangria, which consists of wine diluted with fruit juice.


The second aspect to define a manly or girly drink is the taste. This is kind of related to the ABV as most drinks with a lower ABV tend to be less strong and have more sweet flavors. 

This probably won’t surprise you, but drinks that don’t taste too strong and are sweeter tend to be classed as more feminine.


Number three on the list is the color of the drink. ‘Manly’ drinks tend to have darker or a more neutral color, whereas ‘girly’ drinks are more colorful like pink or orange for example.


The last thing that can make a drink more feminine is the garnish in the drink. The less garnish there is in your drink, the more it is seen as manly. Putting a slice of strawberry or cherry in your drink instantly makes it seem more feminine.

What it comes down to in the end though is how much you personally enjoy a drink. If you always order a whisky on the rocks because it’s seen as a ‘manly’ drink, but you don’t even like the taste, you’re just wasting a drink and your money. Experiment with different kinds of drinks, so you know what you like.

Is A Gin And Tonic Manly?

Close up view of a bottle of Hendrick's gin.

To understand why a gin and tonic is not always perceived as the manliest drink, we need to dive deeper into what the cocktail is made out of.

Usually a gin and tonic consists of only a few ingredients which, most of the time, are served in a highball glass:

  • The main ingredient of course is gin.
  • Tonic water
  • Some ice cubes
  • A wedge of lime

There’s a wide variety of gins to choose from for a gin and tonic. The most used gins for a gin and tonic are London Dry gins, but you could also opt for more floral gins.

Gin by itself is not at all a feminine beverage. In fact, gin originated in the Netherlands in the 16th century during the time English soldiers were helping in the fight against the Spanish.

These soldiers were drinking a Dutch spirit called genever (jenever) before battle to calm themselves down. This is where the term ‘Dutch courage’ comes from.

As for the tonic water, there are also a lot of different options. Here you can choose from your basic tonic water to tonic water with a more fruity flavor like strawberry or tonic water with rosemary.

The choice you have to make for your tonic water really just depends on what you like more or can be based on what type of gin you use.

Some people like to mix a gin with a hint of rosemary with a rosemary tonic to complement the flavors, while others like to experiment with contrasting different kinds of flavors in their gin and tonic.

If you’re not sure which tonic is ‘manly’ enough, your best bet would probably be to just choose a traditional basic tonic water. Even though it’s really nice to experiment with different kinds of flavors, the more fruity ones can sometimes be seen as less masculine.

The lime in the gin and tonic is often squeezed so the lime juice can mix with your beverage. Doing this will really complement the citrusy flavor of a gin and make your drink come to life.

As we said before, a garnish like lime in a drink is often seen as more feminine. This is probably mostly the reason why a gin and tonic is not always perceived as a masculine drink.

Drinking it without something like a lime or other garnish, though, means that you are most likely missing out on the amazing taste that a gin has to offer, as the botanicals in gin really only come to life when they are mixed with other flavors.

To convince you even more of the fact that a gin and tonic is not a feminine drink at all, here’s the story of how this cocktail originated. The gin and tonic was also created by British soldiers, but this time they were in India.

In India, the soldiers had to drink tonic water regularly because the quinine in it would help prevent malaria. The soldiers didn’t like the bitter taste of tonic water so they started mixing it with gin (to be honest, the reason for this could also have been just because they wanted to get drunk).

If a drink is manly enough for soldiers to drink, it most certainly is for all other men as well.

As we said before in this article, a drink is really all about personal preference. Choose a gin you like and combine this with a tonic that either complements the gin or gives a nice contrast in flavors.

The same goes for the garnish in the gin, don’t worry about if it’s manly enough or not, it’s all about making/drinking a nice cocktail that you like personally.

Other Options For A Masculine Cocktail

If these stories about soldiers drinking gin (and tonic) before battle haven’t convinced you enough about the masculinity of this drink, but you do want to enjoy a nice gin cocktail, here are a few great alternatives:


This drink consists of a one-to-one-to-one ratio of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Pour your drink over large ice cubes and add an orange peel as a garnish to finish it off.

Tom Collins

If you’re looking for a classy-looking drink, the Tom Collins is great. It consists of a London Dry gin, some club soda, a little bit of fresh lemon juice, and some simple syrup.

To top this drink off you garnish the drink with a lemon wheel and a maraschino cherry.


The Martini is of course one of the most well-known cocktails there is. This drink is made with gin (or vodka), dry vermouth, some ice, and olives or a lemon peel twist to garnish the drink. 

Do yourself a favor and stir this drink instead of shaking it as James Bond prefers. 

Clover Club

Although this cocktail may not look, sound, and taste manly at all, it actually really is. A Clover Club consists of gin, lemon juice, sugar, raspberry syrup, and egg white.

The finished drink is pink, which may let you believe that it should be a more feminine cocktail. But the Clover Club actually originated from a men’s club in Philadelphia in 1896.

Final Thoughts

A gin and tonic is not necessarily a ‘manly’ drink, nor is it a feminine drink. But what drink really is feminine or masculine? Anyone should be able to drink anything they like.

Just order what you want, it doesn’t matter if some people see your drink as a feminine one. In the end, it’s all about personal preference and everyone likes their drinks differently.

If you like gin and tonic, you should order it with confidence and you shouldn’t care about what other people have to say about it. You will enjoy your drink a lot more this way.

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