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. And the Basil Gimlet, herbaceous and perfectly balanced. Truly, these gin cocktails will impress everyone: and they’re quick to mix up too.
Find the best quality gin
Because the the best gin cocktails are so simple, it’s all about quality. Here’s a life motto for you: The better the gin, the better the drink. The easiest way to tell if a gin is high quality? Don’t buy the cheapest gin on the shelf. Try to invest in a mid-price range gin: the drink will only taste as good as the gin you invest in!
Or, try to find some local gin! If you live in a city that has local distilleries, see if you can find gin that’s distilled locally. For all of these gin drinks we used gin from 8th Day Distillery here in Indianapolis. They are friends of ours who are doing great things for local spirits (if you’re local to Indianapolis, check out their tasting room too).
Ready for our best gin cocktails?
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!)
Herbs in cocktails? Yes, please. Fresh basil is essential in recipes from pesto to pizza. So why not cocktails too? Basil’s peppery flavor could not be more perfect in cocktail recipes. Here it pairs nicely with the botanical essence of gin in a basil gimlet, a drink made of lime juice, gin and muddled basil. You'll find we've sweetened it with maple syrup: we love the natural sweetness that it brings, but you can also use simple syrup if you prefer. It's one of our favorite gin cocktails because of its herby freshness.
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.
Last but not least in our best gin cocktails: 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!
Looking for more cocktails and drinks?
Outside of these gin cocktails, here are a few more of our favorite drink recipes:
- Best Frose Recipe (Frozen Rosé)
- Strawberry Daiquiris
- Watermelon Smoothie
- Blackberry Margarita
- Frozen Hot Chocolate
- Virgin Piña Colada
- Best Moscow Mule Recipe
- Homemade Cold Brew Recipe
- Best Frozen Margarita Recipe
- Fruit Infused Water Recipe
- Frozen Sangria
- Favorite Whiskey Sour
- Kombucha Recipe
- Simple Margarita Recipe
- Lemonade Slushie
- Simple Lemon Margarita
- Strawberry Margarita with Lime Ice
- Cucumber Lemon Water
- Lime Water with Mint
- Watermelon Juice
About the Authors
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.