Gin makes for a very satisfying cocktail and we love them for all the right reasons. Here we list some of the best gin cocktails for the festive season.
Gin cocktails are many and varied so it is impossible to list all the variants but we have had a good try. We want you to move away from the good old fashioned gin and tonic and try something different.
We also think you should try not just those great gins from the UK but some that are now coming in from other countries like the United States and those from Italy. If you are interested in the gins that really rock our boat then read our article on those worth trying.
To begin there is one really famous Italian version called Negroni which is extremely herbal but refreshing at the same time because it makes use of vermouth and Campari in a trio of flavours. A great draw for many before a winter feast but there are so many other tempting gin cocktails out there.
Our Tips On Getting Your Gin Cocktails Started
A good gin cocktail is all about the balance between sour and bitter notes overlaid with sweetness. Never let one of these basic flavour senses dominate the other because it just leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
if you are experimenting then keep on tasting throughout. Just don’t fall over in the process having tasted that new draft about 30 times.
If you are using ice, just fill the glass to the top but leave enough room for any drink
Volumes need to be roughly 50ml unless something else is called for.
Sugar syrup is a common ingredient. This is sugar dissolved in warm water and then cooled. It’s easy to produce – just keep adding granulated sugar to hot water until no more can dissolve in. We reckon 1 part sugar and 1 part water is about right. You can buy sugar syrups from suppliers with defined brix levels or DE values. We tend to use a 65De sugar syrup that comes from our product development kitchen.
The Classic Martini
You need two rather fat fingers of gin sloshed together with about half that amount of a dry vermouth. This is one gin cocktail that needs testing to get the proportions right because it is all a matter of taste. Don’t let Ian Fleming’s James Bond decide whether you want it shaken not stirred as both ways of mixing bring their own release.
Try for a total volume that starts with 2.5 fl. oz. of gin in a shaker and add ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass whilst playing that last hand of poker or flinging the roulette wheel with everything on zero. Best served with a twist of lemon peel or maybe an olive. Tuxedoes are obligatory.
A Tom Collins
One from the 1800s and full of nostalgia for the good old days . Take two shots of London gin, throw in some fresh lemon juice and half a shot of sugar syrup.
It needs straining into a long glass full of ice and then topped up with soda. You need a garnish of lemon slices and a maraschino cherry.
Another classic cocktail.
Take gin and add some cherry brandy, Benedictine, Angostura bitters, pineapple and lime juice. Garnish with pineapple and a cherry
The Celery Gimlet
The gimlet is one of the classic gin cocktails which has lime juice sparking it up like metallic electricity. Some of the gimlets we know use a variety of strange vegetables but if you want to get on with a great one try celery. This one was devised by Americas’ Test Kitchen which was honing in on a suitable gin cocktail for the US market. We think Gordons works extremely well here.
1 small celery stick, chopped roughly
0.75 oz simple syrup (a mix of dissolved granulated sugar in water – actually just some sugar in all honesty to your gin so you can vary the sweetness!)
2 oz. London dry gin
0.75 oz lime juice
Add celery and simple syrup to base of cocktail shaker and muddle, about 30 seconds. Add gin and lime juice, then fill shaker with ice. Shake about 30 seconds. Double-strain cocktail into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with celery leaf.
Yes I know we wrote about it elsewhere but here is another twist. You need to drink three before it has any benefit but only on consecutive nights according to vermouth swilling Italians! It doesn’t take long to make either which is a bonus in between pouring gravy and burning the turkey.
Equal volumes (measures) of gin (25ml), Campari and sweet vermouth stirred but not shaken with ice.
Pour in a rocks glass and stir over ice. Mix a bit. Garnish with a slice of orange zest.
15ml sugar syrup,
6-8 mint leaves.
Drop the gin, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup and the mint leaves into your shaker then get your arms moving. Fine-strain it into a posh martini glass that’s been chilled. Hold the ice. Garnish with one beaten mint leaf (may be difficult at Christmas but a necessity in the summer).