One of the most interesting aspects of gin is the diversity of flavors within the category. There are several different styles of gin, including Genever, London Dry, Old Tom, Plymouth, Navy Strength, and New Western Dry-they all belong in a liquor bottle display. On top of these, there are numerous types of gin from distillers worldwide. All of them are popular on National Cocktail Day.
The range of botanicals used for each gin's flavoring means that every bottle is a unique experience. It’s one of the reasons why mixology books are filled with a variety of gin cocktail recipes and why bartending can be an enjoyable experience.
From gentle floral characteristics to heavy herbal influences, the opportunity to pair gin with different cocktail ingredients is an exciting possibility. So, we've compiled our list of top 10 gin cocktail recipes. Before following our gin cocktail recipes, read up on how much is a part for measuring purposes.
Top 10 Gin Cocktail Recipes
1. Dry Martini
Who created the first Dry Martini? It's not clear when and where the first Dry Martini came into existence, but we'll gladly drink one anyway.
Classic cocktail books from the 19th century included Italian vermouth, meaning the earliest Martini recipe tasted sweet. The Dry Martini took its form in 1905 when dry gin, dry vermouth, and an orange bitters recipe came into play.
The Dry Martini is a simple cocktail, so ensure you use the best ingredients when making one. Go with a London-style gin, add some dry vermouth, and top it off with a dash of orange bitters.
In spite of James Bond's preference, a Martini should be stirred instead of shaken. Stir it for 20-30 seconds to achieve the proper balance of ingredients. Then strain it into a Martini glass, twist a lemon peel over the top, and it's ready.
- 0.5 oz. (1 part) dry vermouth
- 6 oz. (3 parts) gin
- Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.
- Stir well, then strain in a chilled Martini cocktail glass.
- Squeeze juice from a lemon peel onto the drink or garnish with an olive.
2. Tom Collins
If you're new to cocktails but enjoy lemonade, try this classic as a starter. A Tom Collins is a refreshing mix of gin, lemon juice, club soda, and simple syrup.
You don't need bartender tools or a mixology set to make this cocktail. The ingredients make it a refreshing option for your summer cocktails list.
- 1.5 oz. (3 parts) Old Tom Gin
- 2 oz. (4 parts) carbonated water
- 0.5 (1 part) sugar syrup
- 1 oz. (2 parts) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Mix the gin, lemon juice, and sugar syrup into a Collins glass with ice.
- Top up with soda water, add a garnish, and serve.
3. Gin and Tonic
The classic gin and tonic traces its roots to quinine powder in the 1840s. This was used as an antimalarial for British soldiers and citizens in India at the time.
At first, the bitter powder was mixed with soda and sugar to make it more palatable. After people began bottling the mixture for commercial sale, tonic became part of the drink.
Nowadays, there's less tonic water quinine in the drink, and it tastes sweeter. But the combination of gin and tonic is an icon in the world of cocktails and mixology.
- 1 part to 3 parts gin (to taste)
- 3 parts tonic water
- Add gin and tonic to a highball or rocks glass filled with ice cubes.
- Garnish with a lime wedge or slice.
4. French 75
This mixed drink is perfect for brunch or a relaxing evening at home. It appeared at the speakeasy during the Prohibition era and Harry Craddock's publication of The Savoy Cocktail Book immortalized it.
The French 75 got its name from the 75-millimeter field gun used by the French during World War I. It offers a refreshing combination of gin, champagne, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
- 1 oz. gin, 2 oz. champagne
- 0.5 oz. lemon juice
- 2 dashes of simple syrup
- Combine gin, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into an iced champagne glass.
- Top up with champagne and stir gently.
5. Gin Fizz
Jerry Thomas, recognized as the "father of mixology," published the first Gin Fizz recipe. It appeared in the 1876 edition of his book The Bartender’s Guide, considered by many to be the best classic cocktail recipe book. Fizzes were popular during the early 20th century in the United States.
There are several other variations of the Gin Fizz, including the Ramos Gin Fizz and the Sloe Gin Fizz. The fizz is a school of cocktails that includes a spirit with citrus, sugar, and sparkling water.
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. club soda
- 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 0.75 oz. simple syrup
- 1 egg white (about 0.5 oz.)
- Add the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker.
- Dry shake (without ice) vigorously for about 15 seconds, then add 3 or 4 ice cubes and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
- Double-strain into a chilled Collins glass and top with club soda.
6. Bee's Knees
This Prohibition-era cocktail was invented by Frank Meier at the Ritz Bar in Paris. Its name comes from a 1920s-era phrase meaning “the best.”
A Bee’s Knees provides a twist on the Gin Sour recipe. It replaces simple syrup with honey syrup and includes gin and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add a lemon twist to cap off this easy and delicious mixed drink.
- 2 oz. gin
- 0.75 freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 0.5 oz. honey syrup
- Add the gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake until well-chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.
According to legend, Italian count Camillo Negroni invented this cocktail when he ordered an Americano with gin instead of soda water in the early 20th century. He wanted something stronger from the bartender, who also added an orange garnish instead of a lemon peel.
Since then, many variations from the original have appeared. But the classic recipe of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth is still a favorite.
- 1 oz. (1 part) Campari
- 1 oz. (1 part) gin
- 1 oz. (1 part) sweet red vermouth
- Pour all ingredients into a glass with ice.
- Stir, garnish with an orange peel and serve.
8. Aviation Cocktail
In 1916, New York City bartender Huge Enslinn invented this cocktail and published it in his classic cocktail book Recipes for Mixed Drinks. However, when crème de violette liqueur became sparse in the 1960s, the Aviation cocktail disappeared from bar and restaurant menus in America.
In 2007, Haus Alpenz began importing the liqueur into the United States from Austria. Since then, the Aviation cocktail has experienced a resurgence in demand from bar patrons.
- 1.5 oz. gin
- 0.5 Maraschino liqueur
- 0.5 oz. lemon juice
- Crème de violette or Crème Yvette
- Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a cherry.
9. Gin Rickey
The Gin Rickey received its name from Joe Rickey, a Democratic lobbyist living in Washington, D.C. in the late 19th century. It's one of the few classic cocktails that doesn't have a disputed history or inventor attached to its origin.
Rickey liked to combine bourbon and carbonated water, steering away from drinks with sugar. One day, he instructed a bartender at Shoomaker's Bar to add some lime to his preferred highball, and the Bourbon Rickey was born.
It quickly became one of the most popular cocktails. People began experimenting with the recipe and the Gin Rickey became the most popular version.
- 2 oz. gin
- sparkling water
- a lime half
- Combine gin, lime, and shell in a highball or wine glass.
- Add ice, stir, then add sparkling water.
10. Singapore Sling
Bartender Ngiam Tong Boon created this cocktail at the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel in Singapore in the early 20th century. Since then, people have been stopping by the hotel in Singapore to try an authentic version with much satisfaction. It was initially called a Gin Sling and is one of the few tropical gin cocktail drinks.
Bartenders and mixologists serve it in a hurricane glass with the best maraschino cherries and pineapple garnishes. The recipe for a Singapore Sling has evolved over the years. Unless you specify your personal preference or recipe, you might receive something different every time you order one.
- 1 oz. gin
- 0.5 oz. cherry brandy
- 0.33 oz. (2 parts) grenadine
- 0.25 oz. Cointreau
- 0.25 oz. DOM Bénédictine
- 4 oz. (16 parts) pineapple juice
- 0.5 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes
- Shake well, then strain into a highball glass
- Garnish with pineapple and Maraschino cherry.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gin Cocktails
How Do You Make a Good Gin Cocktail?
Ensure you use quality ingredients, including a premium brand of gin and fresh garnishes. If you're making a classic gin and tonic, combine one part gin with two parts of a quality tonic brand. Finish it with a lime slice.
Does Gin Mix Well With Coke?
Yes, gin mixes well with Coke. Gin and Coke is an easy cocktail to make. Add a slice of lime to bring out botanical flavors and a citrus note. It's a variation on rum and Coke. If you're looking to mix up a rum and Coke, look into how to make a cocktail with rum.
What Kind of Juice Goes With Gin?
Orange juice and grapefruit juice are good choices for your gin and juice cocktail. It's a classic recipe that has stood the test of time as other pairings have been combined with gin. We recommend using a quality dry gin for your gin and juice, as that should provide better taste.
A Gin Cocktail for Every Season
Whether you’re opening a bar or stocking a bar, include a few bottles of gin with your inventory. That way, you’ll have plenty of options for making gin cocktails no matter which month it is.
Enjoy spring cocktails in your garden while the flowers bloom, or drink fall cocktails on your front porch while the leaves change color. Reward yourself with a delicious gin cocktail on any day of the year.