The festive season is well and truly upon us! It’s time to deck the halls, stock up on mince pies and check out these fabulous classic gin cocktails.
Delightfully floral with a fantastic pale, lilac colour, an Aviation has many similarities with a Gin Sour. The sharpness of the lemon is balanced by sweet cherry and violet flavours. This classic cocktail has been difficult to create for a couple of decades thanks to the difficulty in obtaining creme de violette. Thankfully, that beautiful, pale violet liqueur is once again accessible!
First, chill a Martini glass, shake together over ice: 1 ¾ shot Aviation Gin, ½ shot Maraschino ½ shot Creme de Violette and ½ shot lemon juice. Fine strain into the cold martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.
One of the most famous gin cocktails out there, the Singapore Sling was created in the legendary Raffles Bar, Singapore (no surprises there) by Ngiam Tong Boon. By adding cherry liqueur to a standard gin/citrus/soda sling, Boon created a sweet and fruity drink, perfect for those who love gin but want something a little softer and less citrusy. Contemporary versions often add a little pineapple juice.
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add the following to a cocktail shaker with ice: 1 shot Transparens Organic Gin, ½ shot cherry liqueur, ¼ shot Benedictine, ½ shot triple sec, 2 ½ shots pineapple juice, ¼ shot lime juice and a dash of Angostura Bitters.
Shake thoroughly. Strain over the ice then top with soda water. Stir lightly and garnish with a cherry and a slice of lemon on a stick.
Negronis are the ultimate representation of a traditional gin cocktail - short, bitter and boozy. There’s an elegance to them too, the orange oils add a wonderful level of complexity and the flavours of gin, campari and vermouth play together fantastically.
Take an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice and add to it a 1 ½ shots each of Chilgrove Dry Gin, Campari Bitter and sweet vermouth. Squeeze the oil from an orange zest twist into the drink then garnish with the twist.
For something simple and thirst quenching, you can’t beat a Gin Buck! While the name itself is a little out of fashion (these drinks are often referred to as ‘Mules’ today) gin and ginger are a classic flavour combination! The fieriness of the ginger complements the gins’ sharp, citrus nature.
Shake 2 shots of Shetland Reel together with ½ shot lemon juice, ¼ shot sugar syrup and ice. Pour into a chilled champagne flute, top with champagne then garnish with a lemon twist.
The iconic gin cocktail, a Dry Martini has a firm place in history. Dry, citrusy and with a hint of aromatic complexity, it’s the go to drink for Hollywood stars, politicians, literary greats and gin snobs. A little piece of heaven, in an unmistakeable glass.
Thoroughly chill a Martini glass. Add 2 ½ shots Edinburgh Gin Cannonball and ½ shot dry vermouth into a shaker with ice then stir 12 times. Strain into the glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
So that's your sophisticated New Year's Eve cocktails party sorted. Now all you need to do is stock up on gin.
Homemade syrups are a great way to add your favourite flavours to drinks, both boozy and not. Get started with this simple guide to making your own syrup.
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In this interview with Tom Williams from Barcelona Spirits we discussed their innovative range of 4 New Western-style gins, 5th Gin.