You probably already have a bottle of gin at home, most of which you probably used to make gin and tonics. It’s time to change that. Here are some great gin-based cocktail recipes you can easily make at home.
Ah, the martini. Find a better cocktail with fewer ingredients. You probably can’t. That said, this is probably the most controversial cocktail, due to the polarizing argument of gin versus vodka.
How It Tastes: Strong, Floral, Pretty Much Like Gin
Drink If You Like: Negroni, Vesper
You might not know it yet, but gimlets are easy. And once you know how to make a gimlet, you can make a lot of great cocktails (like a daiquiri, which is pretty much a rum gimlet) using the same basic formula. Traditionally, gimlets are made with gin, but if you prefer yours with vodka, go for it. It’ll be delicious either way. Just keep in mind that fresh lime juice is key. Don’t use something from a bottle.
How It Tastes: Crisp, Tart, Floral
Allegedly, the Bootleg originated at country clubs around Minneapolis during prohibition, and if you ask Minnesotans about this drink, you’ll get all sorts of responses ranging from “Wow, that brings back memories” to “I’m honestly not sure what that is.” It isn’t every day that you get to teach people about a regional American drink that only exists in select zip codes. A Bootleg is ideal for making at home, it’s perfect for summer, and it’s one of the very few cocktails that calls for blended mint.
How It Tastes: Crisp, Refreshing, Like Mowing A Lawn On The First Day Of Summer
The clover club
A Clover Club looks like cotton candy and tastes like raspberry ice cream spiked with gin - but it isn’t especially sweet. In other words, it’s just about perfect. Plus, this cocktail has also been around since the late 19th Century, so drinking one is technically a cultural experience on par with visiting a museum. Sure, you have to make your own raspberry syrup, but that’s surprisingly quick, the payoff is worth it, and it’s not like your Google Calendar is exploding with events right now anyway.
How It Tastes: Fresh, Tart, Like Raspberry Ice Cream
Drink If You Like: Gimlets, Raspberry Ice Cream
the snap pea gimlet
If you’re wondering why you’d ever put a vegetable in a cocktail, there’s something you should know. A snap pea pod is actually a fruit. It’s a crisp, flavorful fruit that doesn’t have much sugar, and, for some reason, it works especially well in a Gimlet. Maybe it’s because most gins already have a confusing number of flavors going on, or maybe it’s because limes are green and so are peas.
How It Tastes: Crisp, Limey, Confusingly Good
Drink If You Like: Gimlets, Salads
the corpse reviver
Several different Corpse Revivers have been around for over a century, but the best one by far is the Corpse Reviver No. 2. It’s well-balanced, strong without tasting too boozy, and deceptively complex for something that looks like a glass of lemonade trying to convince everyone it’s an elegant cocktail.
How It Tastes: Fresh, Tart, Like A Warm Spring Day With A Cold Breeze
A cocktail historian would probably tell you that the Bronx cocktail is a direct descendant of the Martini. Fortunately, you don’t know any cocktail historians, so you don’t have to listen to a long-winded saga full of apocryphal stories and nitpicky distinctions. Just know that this is pretty much a perfect Martini with orange juice.
How It Tastes: Crisp, Juicy, Strong
The french 75
Whether you know it or not, you’ve had a French 75 or at least a variation of a French 75. The only ingredients are gin, a bit of lemon juice and simple syrup, and whatever dry sparkling wine you want to use - and you can either pour it in a coupe, a flute, or a highball over ice.
How It Tastes: Fizzy, Summery, Slightly Sweet
Drink If You Like: Gin & Tonic, Tom Collins
the last word
Walk into any cocktail bar and ask for a Last Word, and you’ll immediately seem like a person of taste and distinction. At the very least, you’ll gain your bartender’s respect. The Last Word is a delicious and refreshing cocktail, with a complex, unmistakable flavor - and it’s also pretty easy to make.
How It Tastes: Strong, Fruity, Floral
Drink If You Like: Gimlet, Aviation
Contrary to what many vodka Martini drinkers will tell you, vermouth is not an inherently evil thing. In fact, it’s great - even on its own. And this cocktail goes out to everyone who recognizes that fact.
You know how James Bond is always drinking Martinis? Originally, he drank a Vesper. You see, Ian Fleming invented this drink when he wrote the 1953 James Bond novel Casino Royale. In that novel, James asks a bartender for a custom drink involving gin, vodka, and Kina Lillet. The formula comes to him like some kind of vision -and while he’s most likely just trying to acquire a buzz, the drink works out well.
If you swap out the rye for scotch in a Manhattan, and you get a Rob Roy. And if you swap the Campari for Fernet Branca in a Negroni, you get a Hanky Panky. But what happens when you substitute the olive in a Martini for a cocktail onion? Somehow, you wind up with an entirely new cocktail called a Gibson. This is the only drink variation we can think of that’s defined by its garnish. It is, truly, just a Martini with a tiny pearl onion. That onion brings a subtle, tangy element, however, and sometimes that’s exactly what you want.
the gin rickey
The Gin Rickey has been around for over 100 years, and it’s an anomaly in the cocktail world. Why? Because there’s no sugar whatsoever. Actually, that’s a lie. Lime juice has some sugar, but not a lot. Consequently, this cocktail is crisp and refreshing, and it’s exactly the kind of thing you can drink all day. It’s also one of the tartest drinks out there, and we’re pretty sure you could make one in your sleep.
the salty dog
The Salty Dog isn’t a particularly imaginative drink - it’s usually just a cup of grapefruit juice and vodka with a salt rim. We’re giving you an updated version that’s lighter and more balanced than your typical Salty Dog, and you can make yours with either vodka or gin. As an added benefit, this very simple highball should only take about two minutes to make, so you won’t have to spend too much time standing in your kitchen which may or may not be air-conditioned.