The Story Behind The Navy Strength Botanical Gin & Tonic

While antique shopping recently I came across a beautiful Collins glass with a naval ship etched onto it, so of course I had to have it. And it’s this glass that inspired today’s cocktail, a Navy-Strength Gin and Tonic that harkens back to a time when gin was an essential ration for every sailor at sea.

I went with a navy-strength gin to mirror the alcohol volume as close as possible to what you would have experienced back when the cocktail was first created. I then added some delicious tonic water and accentuated the light citrus and pepper flavors found within by adding fresh lemon slices and cracked pepper. A final dose of thyme as a garnish at the end takes this refreshing classic cocktail to the next level.


  • 2 ounces navy-strength gin
  • 4 ounces tonic water
  • ¼ ounce lemon juice
  • 3 slices lemon
  • 1 pinch cracked black pepper
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup ice


  1. Fill Collins glass with cracked ice.
  2. Combine the liquid ingredients into Collins glass and stir in some cracked pepper and lemon slices.
  3. Garnish with a lemon slices, thyme sprig and cracked black pepper.

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Updated: 2022-03-09

The Navy-Strength Botanical Gin & Tonic Recipe