Wondering what to do with a bottle of gin? Here are the best gin cocktails that are refreshing and easy to make: gimlet, gin fizz and more!
The other day, Alex and I got a bottle of gin from a local distillery. What to make with gin? We set about whipping up all the best gin cocktails we could find. I’ll be honest: gin used to remind me of the not-so-good gin and tonics of years ago. But turns out: a good bottle of gin makes incredible drinks (and they don’t give you a headache).
There’s the sweet tart Gin Fizz, with a magical fluffy foam that rises to the top. The French 75, a champagne cocktail with gin that’s sophisticated and festive. And then the Basil Gimlet, herbaceous and perfectly balanced. Truly, these gin cocktails will impress everyone: and they’re quick to mix up too!
Ever had a Gin Fizz? This one is perhaps our favorite of our gin cocktails. This Gin Fizz is perfectly balanced, both sweet and tart, and adding soda water magically creates a frothy egg white foam topping. Oh and it takes only 5 minutes to make! You'll need a short list of ingredients: gin, lime juice, maple syrup, sod water, and an egg white. (We've also got a vegan substitution -- head to the recipe for more!)
What’s a more classic gin cocktail than THE gin and tonic? Its crisp, botanical flavor is straightforward but at the same time intriguing: a feat using only 2 ingredients! It’s no wonder that this is one of the world’s popular easy cocktails. This recipe takes a few tips from the Spanish gin tonic to amp this drink to the next level.
Ahh, the Tom Collins: a nostalgic cocktail that’s about as classic as it gets! This tall highball drink is a gin sour, a sweet and sour drink made with gin and lemon juice. It’s refreshing, bubbly, and makes any evening more fun! Here’s exactly how to make this classic cocktail.
Here’s one of the most sophisticated and refreshing gin cocktail recipes out there: a French 75! It’s got a mysterious name, but it’s made with a few simple ingredients: gin, lemon, and champagne. It’s tangy, bubbly, and a bit botanical, and it makes every occasion more festive!
Here’s a classic cocktail that is super refreshing and takes only 5 minutes to whip up! The gin gimlet became popular in the 1950's, so it's a fun throw-back drink. Not only is it simple to make, it’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart with the botanical flavor of gin. It's similar to the gin fizz above, but doesn't have the signature frothy fizz. All you need is 3 ingredients for this one!
One of the most refreshing cocktails out there: a Southside Fizz! A cousin of the Southside Cocktail, this gin cocktail recipe features bright citrus, herbaceous mint, and fizzy soda water. It’s tart and fizzy, perfect as a patio drink or for brunch.
This cocktail’s got a unique name and a beautiful pale pink color! What's salty about it? The salt rim, which accentuates the sweet and sour flavors. It combines grapefruit juice with gin into one tangy and refreshing cocktail! It's perfect as a brunch drink or for happy hour. It’s got a light summery vibe, but it also works in winter when citrus abounds.
Here’s a sophisticated gin cocktail that will have all your friends talking about it: the Hanky Panky! It’s complex and nuanced, with a smooth flavor perfect for sipping. The star here is Fernet-Branca, an Italian bitter that adds an herbal punch. The cocktail is perfectly balanced: a little sweet and a little bitter, which makes it irresistible.
Here’s a gin cocktail that’s made for celebration: a St Germain champagne cocktail! It’s sophisticated and refreshing: floral, botanical, tangy, and bubbly all at once. If you’ve never purchased a bottle of St Germain, now’s the time! This bottle of fancy liqueur should be part of your alcohol arsenal, and the floral notes pair perfectly with gin.
For summer, we love gin cocktails that use seasonal fruit. Enter this gin and watermelon cocktail! It’s gin forward, a little pine-y from the gin and tangy from lemon: just sweet enough with a hint of honey. It’s seriously refreshing, and that little watermelon wedge garnish? To die for.
Herbs in cocktails? Yes, please. Basil’s peppery flavor could not be more perfect in a drink. Here it pairs nicely with the botanical essence of gin in a basil gimlet, a drink made of lime juice, gin and muddled basil. Sweeten with natural maple syrup or simple syrup if you prefer. It's one of our favorite gin cocktails because of its herby freshness.
Here's a gin cocktail with an Italian vibe: the Negroni! It’s refreshing, bitter, and complex: a drink that you’ll want to sit with and savor a while. Doesn’t it look stunning? The bright red of the Campari makes for a stunning jewel-tone statement of a drink. This three ingredient cocktail is easy to make: and memorize, because it uses 1 ounce of each of its three components.
Last but certainly not least: the gin martini! The martini is one of the most iconic cocktails of all time. With one sip it announces itself: crisp, cool, searing, and spirit-forward. It’s seeped in tradition, and there’s no cocktail that has the amount of variations: shaken or stirred, gin or vodka, straight or on the rocks. But here’s how to make a classic dry martini…the best way!
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.