Getting all Euromantic looking forward to a certain song contest? If you’re hosting a Euro party, enjoy our top 5 favourite continental gin cocktails.
We’ve picked a gin cocktail for each of five European countries, along with some musical choices to get your Euro party going.
But Belgium is also responsible for some of our favourite party music, too, producing 90s dance legends 2 Unlimited (of "No limits" fame), as well as noughties’ 2ManyDJs and Soulwax.
Toast the country’s historic contribution to a great party with a national cocktail named in honour of Flanders, in North Belgium. The Flemish Martinez uses traditional malty, rich genever and makes it pop with the addition of triple sec and vermouth.
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice, and stir with a bar spoon until very cold. Strain into a chilled Martini or Coupe glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
So what better cocktail to represent France than one which uses the country’s most classic drink, one that has also stood the test of time - champagne.
A French 75, known in France as a Soixante Quinze, plays up the juniper flavours in gin with tangy lemon juice and the bitter-sweet taste of champagne. The addition of some sweet sugar syrup takes the edge off the sour notes.
Add the gin, lemon juice and syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into an empty Champagne flute or Coupe glass. Top up with champagne. Garnish with lemon peel.
Italy doesn’t do things by halves, whether it’s passion or music. As well as the operatic legend Pavarotti, and classical icon Andrea Bocelli, Italy is also the home of full-on eurodance outfit Eiffel 65 (they were blue, da bu dee, da bu die). It’s a place of strong, simple and immediate pleasures, with no room for subtlety or patience.
That’s why we’ve chosen the full-bodied negroni as the cocktail to represent Italy, the place it was invented in 1919.
There’s nothing delicate here; the negroni is a strong sipping cocktail with three basic ingredients, and not a single non-alcoholic item among them.
Mixing gin with vermouth and that Italian party export, Campari, a negroni is almost reassuringly strong, bitter yet refreshing, and well worth getting seduced by.
Stir the ingredients in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker, and strain over ice in a rocks or tumbler glass with an orange slice or twist.
Throwaway pop tunes from Snap, Haddaway and Scooter are just a little glimpse into Germany’s musical talents. This is a country that has also given us Mozart, Beethoven and Kraftwerk - the Germans certainly have taste.
Germany isn’t traditionally big on cocktails, but for gin fans the country has some special significance. The famous gin sling cocktail is actually named after the German verb ‘schlingen’, which means ‘gulp’ or ‘swallow quickly’, which is a fact worth celebrating with a gin sling of your own.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add the gin, lemon juice and sugar, then shake together. Strain into an ice-filled sling glass and top up with soda water. Garnish with a lemon slice.
The same goes for our Spanish drink, the gin and tonic. We’ve nominated the G&T to represent Spain because, although it didn’t originate there, it’s fast become the nation’s favourite drink.
In Spain, a gin and tonic (more commonly known as simply a ‘gintonic’) isn’t one single recipe, but a work of art which served with lots of ice and overloaded with different exotic garnishes.
A perfect example of a Gin Tonic gin is Tinker, British made but in a Spanish style. Brilliantly light yet bursting with well-rounded berry flavours. Fill a large copa glass with ice, add 50mls of Tinker and top up with Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic water and 2 large slices of pear.
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