The best gin cocktail recipes

Inspired by our new partnership with Salcombe Gin and their multi-award winning Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’, we’re taking a look at some of the best gin cocktail recipes, from the classics to some modern twists. If you’re feeling like something fizzy, then we’d also be delighted to introduce you to some gin fizz cocktail recipes featuring our friends at Nyetimber, creators of one of Britain’s finest sparkling wines, grown on the gentle slopes of the South Downs.

So if you’re ready to take a step up from a simple gin and tonic, read on to discover some easy cocktails to make to get you into the swing of things before we move on to some remixed modern classic gin cocktails – and get prepared to do your best impression of Tom Cruise in Cocktail.

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Classic gin cocktails

Whether you’re a gin connoisseur or a novice in the world of cocktails, it’s always best to start with the classics – and there are plenty of ‘traditional’ gin cocktails worth having in your cocktail-making arsenal. Here are a few easy cocktails to make that any aspiring mixologist should be able to knock together in two shakes of a cocktail glass.

Aviation

Dating back to 1916, the classic Aviation gin cocktail was invented by the head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York. It was named the Aviation because the crème de violette turns the cocktail a pale purple sky-blue colour – but if you can’t get your hands on any, this classic gin cocktail is just as nice without. 

  •       45ml gin
  •       15ml lemon juice
  •       15ml maraschino liqueur
  •       1 barspoon crème de violette
  •       Maraschino cherry 

Add everything into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well, then strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Image source: Slightly Pretentious

Gimlet

It doesn’t get much more simple or much more refreshing than the classic Gimlet, a gin cocktail that keeps it uncomplicated and easy. The legend goes that Gimlet gin cocktail recipes date back to British sailors in the late 18th century. Sailors needed the Vitamin C in citrus fruits to avoid scurvy – and the best way to get them to drink it? Mix it with alcohol, obviously. The Gimlet is a lot more elegant now, even rating a mention in Raymond Chandler’s classic hard-boiled detective novel The Long Goodbye, claiming ‘a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice cordial and nothing else’.

  •       50ml lime cordial or homemade lime syrup
  •       50ml gin
  •       Lime slice

Mix the gin and lime in a glass, then serve in a chilled martini glass and garnish with a slice of lime on the rim.

Negroni

One of the classic Italian gin cocktails, the Negroni is a perfect pre-dinner aperitif – but this refreshing orange-hued Negroni is just as good at any time of the day. Don’t worry, we won’t report you to the cocktail police.

  •       25ml gin
  •       25ml sweet vermouth
  •       25ml Campari
  •       Orange slice or peel

Stir into a short glass over ice, garnish with a sliver of orange peel or an orange slice and serve.

Image source: Pexels

Modern gin cocktails

Once you’ve mastered the classics, it’s time to remix with some of these modern gin cocktail recipes. Adding bold new flavours and expanding your repertoire of gin cocktails is a sure-fire way to impress your friends and make you feel like a mixologist master.

Bramble

A timeless favourite, the Bramble gin cocktail recipe is easy to follow and guaranteed to look striking in a short glass with plenty of ice, shot through with crème de mure. A bramble isn’t complete without a blackberry garnish, so this gin cocktail is best enjoyed while fresh British blackberries are in season,

  •       50ml gin
  •       25ml lemon juice
  •       ¾tbsp sugar syrup
  •       ¾tbsp crème de mure
  •       Lemon slice and a blackberry

Shake the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup together over ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice, and drizzle the crème de mure over the top. Garnish with lemon and blackberry.

Pink Lady

This pretty pink gin cocktail is so striking to look at, with a unique pink hue. It’s on the sweeter side, but that sugary grenadine hit perfectly balances the gin. Gin cocktails like this are perfect for a romantic occasion – think Valentine’s Day, a special anniversary, or maybe mix one together for your mum this Mother’s Day!

  •       100ml gin
  •       4tsp grenadine
  •       Egg white
  •       Maraschino cherry

Shake together the gin and grenadine over ice and strain into a jug, discarding the ice. Tip the egg white into the shaker, and pour the gin mixture back in, then shake thoroughly until the egg white is frothy. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Image source: BBC Good Food

Earl Grey martini

You can’t get much more British than a martini made with classic Earl Grey tea and a brilliant English gin, like Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’, distilled with the finest botanicals on the Devon coast. The bergamot oils in the Earl Grey add a pleasingly citrus zing to this refined gin cocktail recipe.

  •       50ml gin
  •       35ml strong cold Earl Grey tea
  •       20ml lemon juice
  •       12ml sugar syrup
  •       Egg white
  •       Lemon twist

Make a strong cup of Earl Grey tea, using two teabags. Steep for 5 minutes, then let cool. Shake the tea together with gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg whites into a cocktail shaker. Shake for about ten seconds, then add ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a chilled Martini glass rimmed with sugar, garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

 

Gin fizz cocktails

The combination of a fine gin like Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’ and a delicious sparkling wine like Nyetimber’s classic English sparkling cuvee is a match truly made in heaven. And oh, would you look at that – you can get both of them right here from thortful! So craft one of these gin recipes and enjoy the very best of both worlds with a classic gin fizz cocktail.  

Image source: Pexels

French 75

There’s nothing better than a cocktail name with a great origin, and the French 75 certainly has that. Dating back to World War 1, this gin cocktail was named because it was said to have the same kick as a French 75mm field gun. So mix this gin fizz cocktail with caution – but then throw caution to the wind and enjoy the sharp, sweet and fizzy taste anyway.

  •       50ml gin
  •       1tbsp lemon juice
  •       1tsp sugar syrup
  •       Sparkling wine
  •       Lemon twist

Shake the gin, syrup and lemon juice together with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled champagne glass and top up with sparkling wine, then garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

Elderflower gin fizz

The all-time classic combination of gin and fizz is the imaginatively named… Gin Fizz. Oh well; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And there’s certainly nothing broken about a classic gin cocktail – but might we suggest adding a twist with sweet and richly flavoured elderflower liqueur? Perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, it’s perfect for warm summer days.

  •       50ml gin
  •       30ml elderflower liqueur or cordial
  •       25ml lemon juice
  •       2tsp sugar syrup
  •       Sparkling wine
  •       Lemon slice and/or mint leaf

Shake the gin, elderflower, lemon juice and sugar syrup together over ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled champagne flute, top up with sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon slice and mint.

Image credit: Cooks with Cocktails

Sparkling Bee’s Knees

The Bee’s Knees is a Prohibition-era gin cocktail, and this sparkling variant is as sweet as the name suggests! With the sweetness of honey counteracting the bitter gin and sharp lemon juice and sparkling wine adding plenty of fizz, this is a great cocktail to kick the evening off with.

  •       35ml gin
  •       20ml honey
  •       20ml lemon juice
  •       70ml sparkling wine

Shake the gin, honey and lemon juice together in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain into a chilled coupe glass and top up with sparkling wine. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

 

If you’re looking for some more gin-themed inspiration, check out our guide to gin-themed gifts, or find out what your favourite cocktails says about you. And don’t forget, you can add a bottle of Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’ or Nyetimber’s English sparkling wine to any thortful card, complete with next day delivery. Find more lifestyle guides at the thortful blog.

 

Header image source: Pexels

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