Gin plays an important role in a countless number of cocktails and often functions as the base. A cocktail’s objective is usually to create a rich tableau of flavour and while gin is often in the background, it’s an essential foundation to many concoctions.
In this guide, you will discover the top 10 best gin cocktails to make at home:
- Gin & Tonic
- Soutside Gin Cocktail
- Aviation Gin Cocktail
- Martinez Cocktail
- Gin Martini Cocktail
- Bramble Cocktail
- Gin Old Fashioned
Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read them all!
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1. Gin & Tonic Cocktail
Although some people may argue that the gin and tonic isn’t a real cocktail, nothing could be further from the truth! Historically, it was one of the first gin cocktails and it was even developed for medicinal reasons.
Indeed, the gin and tonic has come a long way to evolve into the quintessential English concoction of choice. We find that the best gin and tonic is composed of the following proportions:
- 2 parts dry gin
- 5 parts tonicwater
Simply fill a highball (or tumbler glass halfway) with ice, pour the gin, and the top with tonic water. We then prefer using a sprig of rosemary and a lemon twist for garnish.
2. Negroni Gin Cocktail
The negroni is a cocktail that is experiencing something of a renaissance. Indeed, the negroni is everywhere and for good reason.
The Negroni is composed vermouth, Campari, and gin in equal measures. This is sirred and served in a tumbler glass filled halfway with ice.
Afterwards, it’s garnished with an orange slice. Overall, the gin acts like a base to help marry the Campari’s bitterness and the vermouth’s sweetness.
3. Gimlet Cocktail
A summer martini alternative where the gin is mixed with vermouth, lime, Monin syrup, and lime cordial. Just enough syrup should be used to counteract the lime’s sourness.
4. Southside Gin Cocktail
Often referred to as the gin-style Mojito, the Southside features all the classic ingredients but with gin instead of white rum:
- 2 Parts Gin
- 1 Part Lime Juice*
- ¾ Parts Sugar Syrup
Shake the ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. You can then garnish with mint. However, you are welcome to add the mint into the shaker for a fuller flavour.
By simply adding soda and ice, you’ll also be able to create a Southside Fizz.
5. Aviation Cocktail
A throwback to the Roaring Twenties, an Aviation consists of gin, Maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and freshly-squeezed lemon juice. As a result, it has a distinctive purple hue:
- 2 Parts Gin
- ½ Part Marascino Liqueur
- ¼ Part Crème de Violette
- ¾ Part Lemon Juice
The ingredients are shaken with ice, strained into a coupe glass, and then served with a brandied cherry as garnish.
6. Martinez Gin Cocktail
The Martinez is a herbal cocktail best suited to contemporary gin despite having been invented in the late 19th century. However, Old Tom Gin can be also used for intriguing results.
It borrows the orange zest and Maraschino liqueur from the Aviation. However, the addition of vermouth with Angostura and orange bitters makes it an entirely original concoction:
- 2 Parts Gin
- ¾ White Vermouth
- ¼ Maraschino Liqueur
Add a dash of Angostura bitters, stir well, and garnish with a lemon twist
7. Gin Martini Cocktail
It almost seems criminal not to include the martini in this guide. A classic pairing of two timeless beverages, the martini combines vermouth with gin to produce rich flavour and a tart aftertaste.
- 4 Parts Gin
- 1 Part Dry Vermouth
Stir the ingredients well and strain over ice into a martini glass. and then feel free to add an olive or two for garnish.
8. Bramble Gin Cocktail
A fruity and fragrant creation by the famous London bartender, Richard Arthur Bradsell, the bramble is definitely worth sampling:
- 2 Parts Gin
- 1 Part Sugar Syrup
- 1 Part Lemon Juice
- ½ Part Crème de Mure
Shake the gin with the lemon and sugar syrup and pour into a tumbler or large cocktail glass filled with crushed ice. Afterwards, drizzle in the crème de mute before garnishing with fresh berries of your choice as well as lemon zest. We recommend either blackberries or blueberries for the best results.
9. Gin Old-Fashioned Recipe
Although it sounds like an old twist on a classic, the gin old-fashion has been among us for centuries. It’s also very easy to produce with the right ingredients:
- 2 Parts Gin
- 2 Dashes Bitters
- Teaspoon Sugar
- Teaspoon Water
First, add the sugar followed by the bitters and the water. Mix the ingredients well until the sugar has dissolved before adding the gin. Stir well and then add some ice cubes. Leave it to sit and the contents to cool before taking your first sip.
Finally, we suggest Peychaud’s bitters over Angostura, which is usually found in a typical Old Fashion. Given that it’s sweeter and not as bitter, Peychaud offers an altogether different experience.
10. Corpse Reviver N°2
An excellent cocktail that uses absinthe to great effect, the Corpse Reviver N°2 is making a comeback thanks to the relaxed legislation.
- Dash Absinthe Verte
- 2 Parts Blanc Quinquina
- 2 Parts Curaçao or Triple Sec
- Lemon Juice
First, add a dash of absinthe to a cocktail glass and swirl it around until it leaves a coating. Afterwards, shake equal parts triple sec or curaçao such as Cointreau with a blanc quinquina, and lemon juice. Then, simply strain it over ice and serve.
Traditionally, the Corpse Reviver N°2 as served with Kina Lillet. However, since this has essentially ceased to exist, we recommend other real quinquina in this guide.
How To Properly Serve & Drink Gin
Firstly, we often highlight in most of our spirit and whisky tasting guides that there’s no wrong or right way to enjoy your favourite libations. In fact, we would encourage you to experiment and try new ways of experiencing any type of beverage.
As far as gin is concerned, it was rarely sampled neat until recently. However, this is starting to change thanks to some of the complex contemporary gins that are currently being released. For instance, barrel-aged gin can be enjoy much like a whisky or rum.
Indeed, neat gin can be tasted at different temperatures in order to explore both its characteristics. At lower temperatures, the texture becomes quite unctuous. Meanwhile, warmer gin will reveal its more subtle aromas.
Otherwise, gin has traditionally been a celebrated base for many cocktails. In order for the gin to express its personality, it can be mixed with a neutral spirit like vermouth.
However, gin is incredibly versatile and can be mixed with a great variety of accompanying sodas and spirits as well as herbs and spices. In fact, we’ve already noted how some cocktails are actually designed for specific varieties or brands of gin.
Given the countless variety of gins with their own unique identities, they offer a plethora of cocktail opportunities. When ordering or mixing your own, you can enjoy finding ways to complement or contrast their flavours.
You can achieve this either with accompanying spirits, sodas, and cordials as well as an assortment of herbs, spices, and fruit.
Now that you have read about the best gin cocktails, why don’t you check out some of our related spirit guides?