This easy to make Blueberry Gin and Tonic features blueberry-infused gin with premium tonic water and a squeeze of lime. Infusing gin with blueberries adds a summery flavor and a gorgeous bright pink hue.
I created this post on January 16, 2018 and it was one of the very first recipes on this site! The recipe is the same, but today I’m sharing updated photos and detailed instructions on that beautiful blueberry infusion.
DIY pink gin
The first time I infused gin with blueberries, I was kind of shocked by the color I ended up with. It’s a super bright, almost neon pink. And the longer you leave the berries to infuse, the deeper the color will be. (You can see from the pictures below that a shorter infusion time makes for a much lighter colored gin and tonic.)
Pink gins are very popular right now, and some of them are really fun to mix with. But in my opinion, most are overly sweetened and have an artificial-tasting berry flavor. I made the mistake of buying one quite inexpensive strawberry gin a while back that tasted more like cough syrup than anything else. Not ideal.
The good news is that you can easily make your own all natural ‘pink gin’ by just infusing your favorite juniper-forward spirit with blueberries!
You can infuse with other berries too, but just keep in mind that the color won’t be as pink. Strawberries tend to create a more red-orangey shade, raspberries make a bright red, and blackberries make for a deep purple-red colored gin. If you infuse with multiple kinds of berries, you’ll end up with a delicious mixed berry flavor and a deep red color.
Other ways to make all natural, vibrant pink colored cocktails is to infuse spirits with either prickly pear cactus fruits or pink dragon fruit. Learn how to make a natural and vibrant pink syrup in my Dragon Fruit Cucumber Limeade!
Choose a gin for your infusion
The right gin to choose is whatever gin you love to drink in a Gin and Tonic! If you’re new to gin and not sure where to begin, start with a straightforward London dry, like Tanqueray, Plymouth, Beefeater, or Bombay Sapphire.
These are all great gins with traditional flavor profiles. You’ll be able to taste the juniper along with other botanicals like coriander seed, angelica, and citrus. Blueberry works beautifully with any traditional gin, adding a light fruity flavor and mild sweetness.
There are the traditional juniper-y gins, and then there are modern, often less juniper-y bottles. These are called new American or new wave gins. New American gins tend to explore more unusual blends of botanicals and have a less prominent juniper flavor.
The level of juniper and other flavors varies wildly from brand to brand, so you have to do a bit of experimenting to see what you like. Some gin drinkers like new wave gins, some don’t. And that’s ok. These days, there are so many different brands of gin, there’s truly a gin out there for everyone!
A classic example of a modern gin is Hendrick’s, which has a gentle juniper aroma that’s accented by flavors like cucumber, rose, and citrus. It’s beloved by many in a crisp G&T, and it’s a great choice for this recipe.
How long to infuse for
The longer you let the blueberries steep in the gin, the more pronounced the blueberry flavor will be, and the darker the color. In this photo, I had infused the gin for about an hour. It doesn’t take long!
You can let it go for several hours, overnight, or over a couple of days. The blueberries won’t ‘go bad’ because of the alcohol, so you could let it steep a long time if you wanted. I’m pretty impatient, so I like to infuse for an hour or less, which brings me to my next point:
The secret to a quick infusion
You’ll get a gorgeous pink color and a berry flavor whether you use fresh or frozen berries, but frozen berries release their pigments and juices so much more quickly! I highly recommend using frozen blueberries if you want to speed up your infusion time.
When berries are frozen, all of the juice inside the fruit turns to ice. These little ice shards expand when the fruit thaws, which breaks down the cell walls and turns most fruits kind of mushy.
Not great for eating, but perfect for infusing! These mushy fruits infuse into the liquor readily because they’ve already been partially broken down. Using fresh blueberries requires a longer infusion time (at least a few hours).
If you just want a pretty pink gin and tonic and the berry flavor isn’t as important, you can have a batch ready in as little as 15-20 minutes with frozen berries!
How to make the blueberry infusion
To make your blueberry-infused gin, gather your berries, gin, and a mason jar with a lid.
Add ½ cup of blueberries to the jar and cover them with ½-¾ cup of gin. You want to make sure that the berries are completely covered with liquid.
If they aren’t, add more gin. The fun part about infusions is that most don’t really have to be exact measurements. Add some fruit or an herb to a jar, cover with spirit, let steep, strain, and enjoy. It’s that simple.
Next, screw the lid onto your jar and give it a gentle shake. Let the jar sit for anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 days, depending on the flavor and color you want to achieve.
Once the infusion is done, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the berries and either discard them or keep them to use as a garnish for your cocktails.
Gin-soaked berries are the perfect garnish for your Gin and Tonic! Store the infusion berries in the fridge if you do decide to keep them for garnishes, and toss them after a couple of days.
Store any leftover blueberry-infused gin in your mason jar. I like to keep my infusions in the refrigerator, but you don’t have to because of the alcohol.
Infusions like this do keep for a while, but they taste best when they’re fresh. This is why I typically just make small batches like this, rather than infusing an entire bottle of gin. It’s a lot more economical, too.
If your infusion ever starts to look or smell off, dump it and make a fresh batch. This recipe is so quick, you can have more in about an hour!
How to make a blueberry Gin & Tonic
Now the fun part! Fill a highball or a balloon glass with ice. Really fill the glass, it makes such a difference.
Next, pour 2 ounces of your blueberry-infused gin over the ice. Add a squeeze of lime (or lemon, if you prefer).
Stir with a bar spoon to chill the ingredients, then top with chilled premium tonic water like Fever-Tree or Q Mixers. Give the drink a gentle stir, garnish, and enjoy!
Wondering where this cool G&T glass is from? It’s from Hospitality Brands.
Other cocktails for your blueberry-infused gin
Blueberry-infused gin is a great ingredient in many gin cocktails, from a classic Gimlet or a Southside to a berry-forward Clover Club, or even a low calorie and ultra light Gin Rickey. You could use it in just about any cocktail calling for gin, except maybe savory ones like a Gibson or Red Snapper!
Blueberry Gin & Tonic
For the Blueberry-Infused Gin
- ½ cup blueberries (I recommend using frozen)
- ½-¾ cup gin of choice
For the Cocktail
- 2 oz blueberry-infused gin
- squeeze of lime juice (or lemon, if you prefer)
- 4-6 oz premium tonic water (like Fever-Tree or Q Mixers)
For the Blueberry-Infused Gin
- Add the frozen berries to a mason jar. Pour the gin over the berries.
- Screw the lid on the mason jar and shake gently. Allow the mixture to infuse for 1 hour, then strain out the blueberries, reserving the gin.
- Store any leftovers in the closed mason jar, preferably in the refrigerator. Discard if the infusion begins to look or smell off.
For the Cocktail
- Fill a highball or balloon glass with ice. Pour the blueberry-infused gin over the ice.
- Squeeze a lime or lemon wedge into the glass and stir to chill.
- Top with chilled tonic water and stir gently to combine. Garnish with gin-soaked blueberries, if desired.