While spirits might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is plenty to like when it comes to gin. It can be somewhat of an acquired taste, but when you try one of our 18 easy gin cocktails below, we are pretty sure that you are going to fall in love and make this your new favorite drink. Whether you want fruity, fresh, or something in between, you’ll find some great ideas below. Check them out, and let us know which your favorite is in the comments!
This easy gin cocktail is a real classic and easy to make! The clue is in the name. You’ve got a liberal splash of gin combined with club soda and a little lemon. We add a little sugar as the gin and lemon can be just the wrong side of bitter otherwise. We consider this one a little like ‘grown up’ lemonade. Serve in a tall glass with heaps of ice for something light and refreshing.
If you are looking to make this a little more eye-catching, feel free to use lime instead of lemon. If you are looking for the perfect ratio, we find that for every third of gin, add two parts club soda for the perfect taste.
Gin and Tonic
Without including the humble gin and tonic, no list of gin cocktails would be complete. While considered slightly boring in the past, the availability of different tonics has opened up a world of possibilities (our favorite at the moment is elderflower tonic)
Want a top tip? Ignore anyone who says it should be served with lemon. This is very much a remnant from the ’80s. Instead, lime should be your citrus of choice. If you haven’t tried it before, also consider adding a few whole peppercorns for a gin and tonic with real citrusy depth.
This isn’t too far removed from a gin fizz. The difference is that this is shaken in a cocktail mixer and is much ‘flatter’ than the gin fizz. Consider it similar to the contrast between traditional lemonade and store-bought lemonade, and you’d be about there.
When making a Tom Collins, the trick is to add just enough sugar to take the edge off without making it too sweet. Ideally, you’ll want to add a simple sugar syrup too, which makes the drink slightly thicker. Still, if you don’t have it, then a little honey works just as well (and goes fantastically with lemon juice, too, might we add).
Georgia Gin Cocktail
You might be one of those folks who isn’t the biggest fan of the flavor of gin. Well, our gin-averse friends, all that is about to change as this one uses gin and peach schnapps to make something that is tropical, bright, and refreshing.
Oh, and did we mention that it is pretty strong too! This one tastes a little like a naughty version of Sunny D. We serve it over heaps of ice garnished with a juicy slice of orange for the ultimate presentation.
The best bit? There’s nothing fancy here, and it will take you around 2 minutes to make.
See Also: Espresso Martini
It isn’t often that we go for cocktails with specialized ingredients, but in this case, we will have to make an exception. The aviation cocktail is as glamourous as it sounds with a purple tinge that works wonders with a bright yellow slice of lemon.
How does it get the color? We add a small splash of crème de violette, giving a mellow, fruity flavor that works well with pretty much any gin. The cocktail should be ‘flashed’ with the ignited oils squeezed from the skin if you want to go properly authentic. Mind your fingers!
See Also: Classic Rum Cocktails
This drink was a real favorite in France during World War I. It was brought back to the US by demobilized officers returning from Europe. It sings European charm (and possibly drunkenness). It’s certainly a strong one.
The good news is that it is super simple to make. Add a shot of gin to a glass of champagne, and you are pretty much there.
It doesn’t have to be expensive either. And there’s no need to be a wine snob either. Sparkling wine is a great substitute, so no need to go wasting expensive champagne when you’ll be diluting the flavor with gin!
Gin nearly always works well with citrus flavors, hence their proliferation in our gin cocktails list. This one isn’t a million miles away from either a Tom Collins or a gin fizz. The main difference is that instead of lemon and lemon juice, you will use lime instead.
This is a great cocktail to enjoy in the summer when you want to have something cool and refreshing that will last a little while. You’ll also notice this is a lot tarter than a Tom Collins. Unlike the lemon-based gin cocktail, this punchy little number doesn’t contain any sugar, meaning it’s a real ‘squinty’ one for sure.
Gin and Basil
This one is a real secret that you aren’t going to find anywhere else and is our hands-down favorite gin and tonic variation.
Move over boring old lemon and lime. Gin has got a new best friend!
Gin is often distilled to work with certain botanicals. Gins are designed to bring out flavors in other ingredients. Basil is one of the best. Simply muddle a few fresh (not dried) basil leaves with gin and ice before topping up with tonic. What you will be left with is a far cry from ‘bitter’ or ‘sour’ that is so often aimed at the gin. Instead, you’ll be met with a pleasant floral drink that will have you coming back for more! Give it a try. You will be pleased you did!
While you’ll often see gin served with the common citrus elements of lemon and lime, there are other variations to try if you are brave enough. The Pegu Club cocktail stretches all the way back to the British empire when it was believed that the quinine in gin could help to stave off malaria (convenient).
This super-strong cocktail uses aromatic bitters and orange liqueur to create a well-rounded and almost sweet taste. The entire thing is undercut with a small twist of fresh lime juice. If you want to make it classic, triple-sec is the liqueur of choice, but Cointreau works just as well.
For an added bit of variation, add a couple of fresh mint leaves, too, for something refreshing and indulgent.
Often it can be the case that people shy away from cocktails because they don’t like the sickly sweetness. If this sounds like you, then we’d like to suggest a Negroni becomes your gin cocktail of choice. It isn’t one of those ‘glamorous’ drinks served in a martini glass. Instead, it is an old-school cocktail that has remained unchanged for over 100 years.
You can consider it a strong gin martini, with dark and bitter spirits like vermouth and tangy orange Campari combined with a twist of lemon and little else. There is no mixer, just pure spirit, so we’d advise that you make sure you’ve got the next day off as it’s the stuff of legendary headaches.
Remember how we were saying gin cocktails are much more than lemons and limes? Well, here is another example. Gin works fantastically well with cucumber. In particular, brands like Hendricks have utilized this to their advantage, but we like to take it a step further.
Mint and sugar, our dear friends. This, along with cool and refreshing cucumber, emphasizes the sweetness and will give your drink a really summery taste. It’s really easy to make too. If you want a sneaky presentation tip, use a potato peeler on the full length of your cucumber to create super-thin ribbons. Line the glass with them before making the rest of the drink for something which looks nearly as good as it tastes.
Strawberry Gin Smash
Whenever we think of gin cocktails, our mind takes us to a world of green lawns and garden parties. Strawberries, in particular, are the taste of summer, and this cocktail embodies all of this in one cool glass.
We combine sugar syrup, gin, and a couple of strawberries. Using a long-handled spoon, we ‘muddle’ (a posh word for ‘squish’) the above into a bright red paste. From there, it is simply a case of adding a few sprigs of mint along with a splash of ginger beer before trying to sip it slowly and failing miserably.
If you didn’t already know, ‘bramble’ is the name for the vine-like (and rather spiky) plant on which blackberries grow. And this is where this cocktail takes its name from. One look at it, and you will know why. A nice juicy raspberry is practically mandatory for serving with this drink.
You can create a ‘muddle’ very similar to the strawberry gin cocktail above. Still, to make life easy, we’d suggest going for Chambord, a blackberry flavored syrup, instead. Pour the Chambord in first and when it comes to adding the gin and lemon juice, pour it over the back of a spoon to keep it separate.
Light, fragrant and delicious.
Want to know how truly ‘naughty’ this cocktail is? At one time, it would have gotten you arrested for drinking it. Whenever we make this, we are taken back to a time of prohibition, Charleston dancing, and trilby hats. It’s properly grown-up.
The last word isn’t particularly fancy. It used gin and green chartreuse (a peppery spirit) along with a little lime juice. If that sounds bitter, then don’t worry. It also has a large dash of maraschino liqueur, adding cherry sweetness. If you can’t find this, we find amaretto a worthy substitute.
Related: 11 Drinks with Butterscotch Schnapps
No, we aren’t talking fish.
If you like the idea of a bloody mary, but you hate the idea of vodka, then this could just be the one for you. Essentially, it has exactly the same ingredients aside from replacing vodka with gin. Tomato juice, a little tabasco, and some salty umami in the Worcester sauce. Be sure to serve with a celery stick to make it authentic.
If you want to avoid too much sweetness, the greyhound cocktail is a worthy choice. Combining gin and grapefruit, sweet, it most certainly isn’t. We do like to sweeten the deal slightly. This pink drink can look bland, so try serving it with a glace cherry mounted on a cocktail stick.
This pink drink is classy, tall, and sophisticated (much like ourselves, honestly). It takes its vibrant color from crème de framboise, which is blended with a splash of lime, fiery ginger ale, and of course, our old friend gin.
We love to serve this one in a tall glass along with towering chunks of ice, but it is also divine when served with crushed ice in a sort of slushie. Either, or… It all works the same way!
A gimlet is actually a small pointed tool used for marking wood. But if vodka and orange can be called a ‘screwdriver’, we will go with it. This is a little similar to a caipirinha, but we use gin instead in place of white rum.
A squeeze of fresh lime, some simple sugar syrup, and a slice to garnish will finish your gin cocktail off nicely!
See Also: Pink Squirrel Cocktail Recipe
Most gin cocktails contain a few common elements combined in different proportions to create different tastes. You can either work with the slight bitterness or contrast it completely.
While lemon and lime are nice, try a few that utilize other flavor elements such as soft herbs like mint or basil, or go completely strong with prohibition-era cocktails like the Gimlet or Negroni. The above list of easy gin cocktails is tasty (and most are super strong too).
Pick your favorites and give them a go!