Entertaining
The 19 Best Gin Cocktail Recipes

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Don’t be fooled into thinking gin is a two-trick pony—it’s good for more than just Martinis and G&Ts. The spirit comes in many styles from juniper-heavy London Dry to floral new American style to honeyed Old Tom, making it perfect for a wide variety of drinks, including classic, fizzy, botanical long drinks; strong, stirred sippers; and even exotic tiki concoctions. Here, the best gin cocktails to make at home or order in a bar.

There is no better way to highlight your favorite gin than in a classic Gin Martini. A bit of vermouth and a few dashes of orange bitters are all that accompany the star spirit. Though technically any gin will work (as long as you pick the right dry vermouth), London Dry is the usual go-to.

The Essentials

gin
dry vermouth
orange bitters
The G&T is dead simple, making it a favorite of lazy drinkers everywhere, but don’t let that fool you. There are plenty of bad Gin & Tonics out there (usually made with soda guns and apathy). Use high quality, small-batch tonic and fresh lime juice to avoid a regrettable gin-based mistake.

The Essentials

Gin
Lime Juice
Tonic Water
While the G&T is the easiest gin drink to make, the Ramos Gin Fizz is infamous for being one of the hardest. The original recipe requires the drink mixer to dry shake egg whites for a laughably long 12 minutes. The drink’s inventor even employed entire lines of bartenders, who would pass off the shaker to avoid extreme fatigue. Don’t worry. You can get decent results with just a minute or two of shaking.

The Essentials

London Dry Gin
Cream
Egg white
Part of the great cocktail revival of the aughts, the Last Word was recovered from historical obscurity in 2004. The combo of gin, green chartreuse, lime and maraschino is a time-tested winner.

The Essentials

Gin
Green Chartreuse
Maraschino liqueur
The Negroni is often cited as the perfect bittersweet cocktail, and is largely responsible for Campari’s rise in popularity over the last several years. The drink deserves its acclaim, winning hearts and tastebuds with its bracing flavor, beautiful red hue and easy construction.

The Essentials

Gin
Campari
Sweet Vermouth
Possibly named for the South Side of Chicago, the Southside cocktail tastes great in any city. A gin-based relative of the Daiquiri, the drink’s sweet-sour-minty taste will leave you feeling exceptionally chill.

The Essentials

mint
gin
lime juice
This cocktail hails from a Philadelphia club of the same name. It was a favorite among wealthy club patrons, who felt fancy tipping back the sweet-tart drink, which gets its red hue from raspberry liqueur.

The Essentials

Gin
Raspberry Liqueur
Egg Whites
Honey met gin during Prohibition, when drinkers would use the sweet nectar to cover up the awful taste of home-distilled spirits. The mixture was so tasty that it stuck around even after gin quality improved. The next time you’re sipping this classic, don’t forget to thank bootleggers (and their bees) for your sweet buzz.

The Essentials

Gin
Honey Syrup
Fresh Lemon Juice
The Ace may be the best cocktail you’ve never heard of. Somewhere between a seasonal cold weather tipple, thickened with egg white and cream, and a light, fruity summer sipper, with gin and grenadine, the Ace is a classic cocktail you never saw coming.

The Essentials

gin
grenadine
cream
While it resembles a Manhattan in name, the Bronx actually derives from the Martini. Dyed orange like a tiger at the Bronx Zoo—for which it’s named—the Bronx cocktail adds orange juice to the classic Perfect Martini’s dual vermouths.

The Essentials

gin
vermouth
orange juice
A gin-based tiki drink only sounds ridiculous until you taste it. The drink premiered in the 1920s under the alias Princess Kaiulani, but in the 1950s, just around the time America was embracing Hawaii as the 50th state, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki claimed this drink as its own and rebranded it. Steer clear of botanical-heavy gins when mixing with the pineapple and nutty orgeat in this one.

The Essentials

gin
orgeat
pineapple juice
This psychedelic red fruit punch was originally created in 1915 as a means for Singapore women to secretly imbibe in public. Made with gin, Cherry Heering, Benedictine and Angostura bitters, it’s now a breezy, vacation-y staple for both ladies and gentlemen.

The Essentials

Gin
Benedictine
Cherry Heering
If you can get past the bartender’s smirk and the snickers of your drinking partners as you order this drink, you’ll be rewarded with a tall, blended glass of ice cream, fresh strawberries, pink lemonade and gin. Everyone can go ahead and laugh until the envy sets in.

The Essentials

Gin
Frozen Pink Lemonade
Frozen Strawberries
Champagne is always delightful, but sometimes you need a drink with a bit more kick. Enter gin, which adds depth (and ABV) to the sparkling wine. Accompanied by a spritz of lemon and a touch of simple syrup, it’s a wonderfully potent aperitif.

The Essentials

Gin
lemon juice
Champagne
A good Aviation depends entirely on crème de violette, made by steeping violets in spirits. For many years, the liqueur was unavailable in the U.S., relegating the drink to obscurity, but it was rightfully returned to popularity in 2007 when the spirit was, thankfully, flown in to America.

The Essentials

Gin
Crème de Violette
Maraschino
The name Tom Collins made more sense in the 19th century when the drink was typically made with Old Tom style gin. Today, however, the fizzy-lemonade-like drink will please no matter what style of gin you choose.

The Essentials

Gin
Simple Syrup
Lemon Juice
The Gin Rickey was originally a Bourbon Rickey, but the clear spirit proved a better match for lime and club soda, and the gin version eventually ousted its whiskey-based peer. Whether or not the substitution would have pleased Joe Rickey, the Civil War colonel for whom the drink is named, is up for debate. However, whether or not it pleases us is not so contested—it absolutely does.

The Essentials

Gin
Lime
Club Soda
Scrounging through prickly bushes for blackberries may satisfy some brave berry lovers, but to get that same fresh fruity taste without all the hassle, just whip up a Bramble with a thick float of the blackberry liqueur known as crème de mûre. If you must forage, use your spoils to garnish the drink.

The Essentials

Gin
Lemon Juice
Crème de mûre
Gin and rum were both staples of the 19th-century British naval diet, included among sailors’ rations. While the rum combined with the most available mixer, lime juice, to make Grog, the version with gin yielded a Limey, or as it’s known today, a Gimlet.

The Essentials

Gin
Simple Syrup
Lime Juice
matthew kelly / supercall
Like a gin-based Margarita (made in the ubiquitous style with triple sec), the Pegu Club emerged from the booze-soaked days of the British Empire. The orange-inflected gin sour eventually shook its way from the private members club where it was invented to modern bars in former colonies. To make one at home, simply mix together a spritz of lime with gin, Cointreau and bitters for an unbeatable taste that’s withstood two centuries of cocktail history.

The Essentials

gin
Cointreau
lime juice
patrick spears / supercall
Botanical gin, sweet vermouth and herbal fernet don’t initially seem like a match, but a few dashes of the infamous medicinal booze are enough to add character to this cocktail without overtaking its more delicate, silky flavors. Think of it as a Martinez that swaps super-sweet Maraschino for bitter Fernet Branca, and you’ll get the idea. It’s difficult to drink just one.

The Essentials

Gin
Sweet Vermouth
Fernet Branca
matthew kelly / supercall
Named for the Twentieth Century Limited, a high-speed train that revolutionized rail travel, this oddball gin cocktail may well overturn everything you thought you knew about gin. With its sweet, slightly herbal flavor, Lillet Blanc gets pulled in two directions toward citrusy lemon and sweet crème de cacao for one of the most balanced cocktails you’ll ever drink.

The Essentials

gin
Lillet Blanc
white creme de cacao

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