Another classic spirit that every home bartender should have on their shelf. Gin is incredibly versatile, and serves as the backbone for some of the most popular cocktails in the world.
For this particular list, we’re omitting the classic gin and tonic; yes, it’s an essential gin cocktail, but really you should know how to mix gin and tonic water together with some lime (and if you really don’t, here’s how).
Yes, we all know about the martini thanks to good old James Bond. However, there’s a reason this cocktail has endured for as long as it has; it’s clean drinking, easy to remember and can be adapted to a huge number of different drinks. Let’s start with the basics.
- 2 oz of high quality gin
- 1 oz of dry vermouth
- Optional garnish (lemon, olive, cocktail onion, etc.)
Method: Pour gin and vermouth into a mixing glass, add ice and stir for about 15-20 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass and add garnish of choice. For lemon, run the lemon twist around the rim of the glass before adding to the cocktail, green olives are the preferred olive choice, or for a gibson add the cocktail onion.
The negroni is a bartender favourite, and one that is a perfect balance of sweet, sour and bitter. Fortunately, a basic negroni is easy to remember as well, as it is the sum of all its equal parts.
- 1oz campari
- 1oz sweet vermouth
- 1oz gin
Method: Mix all ingredients together in a rocks glass, add ice and stir. Simple, yet effective. For some variation, play with the balance of spirits to suit your particular taste, or pre-mix and toss into a cocktail barrel for some extra wood/smoke notes to the drink.
The Gimlet can be considered one of the most classic cocktails; it’s simple, elegant and timeless. Modern bartenders will use their own simple syrups and fresh lime juice, but the cordial still works as a perfect classic ingredient.
- 2 oz Gin
- 0.75 oz Rose’s Lime Cordial
- 1 Lime
Method: Pour gin, and cordial into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously until very cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or strain over a rocks glass filled with ice, depending on preference. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy.
The Tom Collins is one of the oldest cocktails on record. While the majority of our modern day cocktails come from the 1920’s onward, the Collins first appears on record in 1876. While certainly not the oldest cocktail, it sure has stood the test of time.
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 3 oz club soda
- Maraschino cherry, orange slice for garnish
Method: Add the gin, lemon juice and syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well until chilled. Strain the cocktail into an ice filled collins glass, top with soda water. Garnish with a orange slice and cherry.
You might notice that the ingredients to a gin fizz look awfully familiar to a Tom Collins, and that’s exactly right! There is one key difference though, the egg white. While it seems like a small change, the egg white softens the drink entirely and makes it creamy and smooth. You’ll want to make sure to dry shake the egg white first to get the frothy top to this cocktail.
- 2 oz gin
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- Soda water
- Lemon twist for garnish
Method: Add the gin, lemon juice, syrup and egg white in a cocktail shaker, without ice! Shake seriously vigorously, for 30 seconds. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously again for another 30 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a glass and slowly top with soda water; the egg white foam forms on top. Garnish with a lemon twist and be sure to serve immediately or you’ll loose the foam top.