Here’s one that I bet you’ve never thought about (and if you have, please let me know) – why do we say “Gin and Tonic” but when we’re making the same drink with Vodka we say “Vodka Tonic?” I asked a few bartenders and any friends who were willing to ponder this question and nobody had a good explanation – but all agreed it was odd. Now that I’ve got you thinking I’d like to share this wonderfully refreshing take on a Vodka Tonic.

Instead of the standard lime I’ve used lemon juice along with a slice of lemon. But what really pushes it over the top are the few dashes of lavender bitters – I used Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters which are all natural. The bitters tie together all of the botanical flavors found in the Vodka and tonic water.

Other ingredients:  It’s essential that you use high-quality tonic water such as Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water (my preference) or Q Tonic. And good Vodka. Since going wheat-free I have been trying out some non-wheat Vodkas – I like Boyd & Blair which is a potato-based Vodka made in western Pennsylvania (for those of you living in PA you can find it in the state store) and Ciroc which is made from French grapes.

Put all of these ingredients together and enjoy sipping this lovely drink.

Lavender-Lemon Vodka Tonic



Lavender-Lemon Vodka Tonic
5.0 from 2 reviews
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 1
  • 1-1/2 ounces Vodka
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice (~1/2 lemon)
  • 3 to 4 dashes of Lavender bitters
  • High quality tonic water (such as Fever-Tree Tonic or Q Tonic)
  • Lemon slice (for garnish)
  1. Place vodka and lemon juice in a highball glass.
  2. Add 3-4 dashes of bitters to glass.
  3. Add ice until ¾ full.
  4. Top with tonic water and stir.
  5. Garnish with a lemon slice.
Special ingredients:
* Bitters: Scrappy's Lavender Bitters
* Tonic Water: Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water or Q Tonic



  1. Stephanie S June 16, 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Maybe the variation when ordering vodka or gin tonics has to do with the syllables. 4 is the magic number and saying “vodka and tonic” hurts the flow? That’s my off beat guess. My other guess has to do with Gin and Tonic being a very British drink and the other having its roots in Slavic lands. English being a second language to the people who made a Vodka Tonic popular probably just dropped the “and” for the sake of simplicity and function.

    • Nicole June 17, 2014 at 6:07 am - Reply

      Stephanie – I love your thinking – two thoughts that I had not come up with, nor anyone else I spoke with. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Christine J June 21, 2014 at 10:11 am - Reply

    I didn’t have lavender bitters so I muddled catmint from my garden with the lemon juice, strained it and followed the recipe using plain bitters. I added a sprig of catmint with purple flowers as garnish. It was beautiful, delicious and refreshing and well received by my friends.

    • Nicole June 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      Christine – Love how you improvise! Thank you for sharing and so glad you liked it.

  3. Martine March 20, 2015 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    I love that you love Fever Tree and Q tonic waters – they’re the only decent tonics out there with pure ingredients and not any horrible corn syrup stuff in it. This recipe sounds wonderful – it’s 5 0’clock somewhere now isn’t it?!! Cheers 🙂

    • Nicole March 24, 2015 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Martine – It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere! Totally agree – these tonic waters are the way to go. I don’t even order a drink with tonic water out anymore as I’ve become a tonic water “snob” – unless, of course, they say they’re using “good tonic water.” It makes such a huge difference. If you haven’t checked out Scrappy’s Bitters – lots of different varieties – I highly recommend doing so as they take a drink to the next level.

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