One of the 5 essential spirits, gin is a cocktail bar staple for good reason. With its roots in seventeenth-century European alchemy, today’s distillations incorporate a wide variety of herbal ingredients in addition to the core aromatic – juniper.
With over 800 UK distilleries to choose from, you’re sure to find a style that suits your own taste, whether you favour botanical/herbal, spicy, floral or fruit-forward notes. A classic G&T can’t be beaten but if you’d like to explore more gin-based cocktails*, here’s our top 5.
The original – and possibly the best gin-based cocktail – the classic Dry Martini pairs five parts dry gin with one part dry vermouth and a dash of Angostura bitters. Shake with ice till ice cold and serve in a Martini glass or champagne coupe with an olive (or a silverskin onion to convert it to a Gibson). Sub the vermouth for Lillet Blanc and the olive for a thick twist of lemon if you fancy switching up to a Bond-mandated Vesper.
If you like your drinks at the bitter end of the spectrum, the Negroni fits the bill to a tee. The holy trifecta of dry gin, Campari and sweet red vermouth, in equal parts, stirred into an ice-filled glass and served with a generous twist of orange. It’s not for everyone but we get plenty of requests for cocktail boxes with our own peerless Negroni in the mix – it’s the perfect Aperitivo!
Variations on this quaffable cocktail – two parts gin to one part each of lemon juice and sugar syrup, served over ice in a highball glass and topped with soda water – have been doing the rounds since at least the middle of the nineteenth century. We add a little elderflower liqueur and fresh cucumber to turn this classic into a fragrant, summery Elderflower Collins.
It’s a moreish prospect: gin enlivened with a shot of blackberry liqueur (crème de mûre) and shaken with lemon juice, sugar syrup and ice, served over crushed ice and garnished with fresh blackberries. At Edmunds, our Chambord Bramble swaps out the blackberry liqueur for darkly delicious Chambord black raspberry liqueur, to offer a unique take on this classic cocktail.
You’ll need a well-stocked bar for this one. Invented around the turn of the twentieth century by a bartender working at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, this famously over-the-top cocktail is a treat. Combine equal quantities of dry gin, cherry brandy and Benedictine with ice and a few drops of Angostura bitters before transferring to an ice-filled highball glass and adding a slug of pineapple juice and lime juice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with cherry and pineapple. One’s probably enough!
*Alternatively, you can order a mixed box of ready-made gin-based cocktails from Edmunds and let us do all the hard work.