Bartending – learn to build a longdrink

Proper Gin & Tonic
Proper Gin & Tonic

For this first instuction I will teach you how to build a proper longdrink.

A longdrink is for example a gin & tonic, vodka & coke, vodka cranberry or why not a sex on the beach.

Some people call long drinks for highball, although I do not necessarily agree with this. Due to the simple fact that the glass is called highball glass not the drink per say. Another big factor is that highball is actually a name of a certain longdrink.

Building a proper longdrink might not sound difficult and it really isn’t but most people seem to do it wrong anyway and I guess aslong as no one complains then there is no reason to make a fuzz about it. On the other hand you as a bartender might aswell know the basics before you go and do your own stuff.

First of a proper highball glass has room for 28cl of liquid (9,46 US oz). You always fill it to exaclty 24cl (8,11 US oz).
Start of with 10cl of ice ( 3,38 US oz) this one never changes unless for some reason the guest want’s something different, the idiot could say something like “not that much ice then it will just get watery” or “not that much ice, then you can’t fit the spirit.” I guess the customers allways want’s to be right but on the other hand a world class cook would never dream of serving his entrecóte well done.

After the ice you pour the amount of spirits, liquers or whatever alcoholic ingridient the recipe calls for. If it’s just one spirit, let’s say gin, then you should have no problem with that. Say it’s 6cl (2.02 US oz) wich is a standard double where I come from then you now have 16cl in your glass. You follow? 10cl ice + 6cl of gin.

Ok, now at the begining I said a proper longdrink has 24cl in it. So now you have room for 24cl – 16cl =8cl of mixer. In this case tonic.


Most glasses has a marking at the 24cl spot so it should not really be a problem for you to figure out when to stop pouring the mixer. If they don’t, well check your glasses with a measuring tube, don’t be lazy.

After searching for that picture I found out something interesting, I do not really know if this is a U.S thing or not but by god a proper gin & tonic is not served with a lime, it should be a lemon and is should not be put into the fluids by the bartender but placed on the rim of the glass. On another note if you wan’t to be a great bartender you do not server it with a cocktail stick, you as a bartender should stir it with your barspoon otherwise you are simply not serving a finished drink. And by no means serve it with a straw!

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