Everyone knows the Negroni, the Martini and the darling of the Gin world, the G&T. But there are other classic gin cocktails that deserve more attention and that are surprisingly easy to make at home. Here are some under-appreciated gin cocktails which are the perfect choice for celebrations, dinner parties and well, that moment on a school night when the kids have just got to sleep having been "particularly" challenging and you need some escapism...
If you are looking for ingredients for any of these (or for other cocktails), you can browse the cocktail selection, but don’t forget, you can also filter search through our gin collection to look for gins whose flavours are particularly well suited to certain cocktails too.
So where to start? In my option, the best cocktail for celebrations, toasts and special occasions is the French 75.
It just doesn’t get any better than that and nothing delivers everything that it does with the same level of panache. Made with gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and topped with fizz, the French 75 has it all.
Taste wise, it’s perfectly poised between sweet and sour. The gin delivers botanical depth and layers to the flavour journey while the fizz lifts out of the glass and drives that gorgeous aroma right up in your grill. It looks the business too. Still need more? How about the fact that the combinations are endless, classic Gin with a Blanc de Blancs – delicious. Floral gin with a Sparkling Rosé – sublime. You can keep the recipe the same but change the ingredients while keeping the cocktail’s unique ability to transform any moment into an occasion.
Up next on the pile of under cherished beauties is the Corpse Reviver. Despite its ghoulish name is not just for October nights, it is in-fact, one of the category's great cocktails and once perfected can really deliver incomparable flavour pairings.
Part of the reason it’s not well known is the sheer amount of recipes out there – it gets confusing! It’s easiest to think of the Corpse Reviver as a style of cocktail (like the Martini) as opposed to a singular drink. There are lots of recipes that fall under its umbrella.
I like the original recipe as it’s less sweet than using Chartreuse and I tend to have more use for triple sec to make other cocktails too (like the Margarita).
Making a Corpse Reviver is quite simple as it’s equal parts everything. Add Gin, triple sec, vermouth, lemon juice into a shaker, add a small dash of absinthe, shake and strain into a cold glass and garnish with a lemon zest.
I find that the best combo comes from pairing Lillet Blanc (honey, pine resin and exotic fruits) and Hernö Dry Gin (sharp citrus, floral meadowsweet, green juniper), and Cointreau. While it's completely OTT, if you have them, drop in a sliced or de-stoned cherry in the mix (or a Brandied Cherry for those with jars in the fridge) as they leach off a lovely colour into the drink and taste fabulous once sodden with booze.
The third brilliant yet overlooked gin cocktail is the Aviation. Invented as far back as the 1910’s, the cocktail was given its name due to the cocktail’s pale, sky-blue hue. While the early age of air travel was an indulgence that only the rich could afford, this is a drink that brings a touch of luxury into any occasion.
I make mine with 45ml Gin, 15 lemon juice, 15ml Maraschino, 10ml Crème de Violette. Add the ingredients with ice, shake and strain, zest a lemon peel to garnish. Some will use half the Violette, but I find that the colour and floral nature of the drink are what makes it so intoxicatingly appealing, so like to ensure they come through.
Of course, it’s tempting to use Aviation Gin here given the name, but with the lovely sweet cherry notes of Maraschino, the floral violet and zingy sour lemon, earthy, quite juniper forward gins (such as Portobello Road Gin or Elephant Gin) tend to deliver the best counter point to balance out the drink. The result? An uplifting drink sure to brighten the mood.
And there you have it - three lesser known gin cocktails that take no time at all to make and are easily achieved at home. Try your hand at making one and you'll see that what can seem daunting at first becomes second nature quickly, and soon you'll be mixing you gin in far more adventurous ways that you could have ever imagined.