ByDebra Kelly/Feb. 23, 2022 3:00 pm EDT
While there are plenty of liquors you can pick up knowing they're super versatile and likely to work with almost anything that's in the fridge — and yes, we're looking at you, vodka — gin generally isn't one of those. There's a gin and tonic, and ... what else?
Admittedly, gin can be tough. It has a distinctive flavor profile that can be described as anything from "botanical" to "Christmas tree," and everything in between those two. Gin, says MasterClass, is defined — in part — by the use of juniper berries in the distillation process, and it's those berries that give this popular liquor that pine-tree, evergreen taste.
For those who might skip the gin because they're not fans of a gin and tonic, we have good news: There are a ton of other drinks you can use as a base for some truly incredible gin cocktails. Some probably have a permanent spot in the fridge already, and if some are the sort of thing you pick up on occasion, let's be honest: These ideas are reason enough to spring for that nice bottle of gin.
Champage / Sparkling Wine
Not sure what to do with the champagne that's left over from a celebratory dinner? Have some sparkling wine from the holidays taking up valuable kitchen space? There's a solution waiting to be made; turn them into an amazing French 75. And here's the good news: A French 75 is a perfect sort of introductory gin drink.
You can make a French 75 with just a shot of gin, half as much lemon juice, and a dash of simple syrup. Shake with ice, strain into a glass, then top with your (leftover) champagne or sparkling wine. It's cold, it's fizzy, and it's got a kick of sourness that allows the gin to seep through without being overpowering. Love the basics? Mix it up! Pour heavy on the gin if you want more of the botanicals, dress up the French 75 up with a berry liqueur, or add a botanical garnish.
Tonic is the go-to for gin, and it turns out that there's actually a scientific reason it's so popular. According to Thrillist, since the molecules in gin's botanicals and the molecules in tonic's quinine are similar, they mix really, really well — and, not only do they form aggregate molecules, but they light up the sense receptors in your body. The reason being is that the molecules are basically in competition, to see which gets to occupy a particular flavor receptor. As the outlet described it, it's a real "battle royale" for your brain's attention. Who would have thought?
That said, it is absolutely worth keeping a bottle of tonic around, particularly since there are so many ways to customize a regular gin and tonic into something completely different. BBC Good Food suggests using elderflower-flavored tonic, lining your glass with slices of (English) cucumber, reaching for the bitters or sweet vermouth, and even adding a teaspoon of whiskey. Think of tonic as a base, rather than a finished product, and you'll never have a boring gin drink again.
Gin and lemonade go so well together that there's a name for mixing them: Liquor.com says it's simply called a London lemonade, and it's pretty perfect on a hot summer day. (Or, anytime you want to be transported to a hot summer day.) The tartness of the lemonade is a perfect vehicle for accentuating the botanical flavors of gin, and there's honestly no reason to stop there.
Love blackberry, strawberry, or raspberry lemonade? If so, use those for an ice cold gin cocktail, too. BBC Good Food suggests dressing up the standard lemon flavor with a berry liqueur, and adding a dash of simple syrup to ramp up the cocktail's sweetness. Even better, if it really is a hot summer day, there's a good chance there are some fresh berries in season. Pick up a quart of your favorite berry, top your lemonade cocktail, and hold onto that memory for the long winter months ahead.
Here's another one that many people keep in their fridge as a standard item, and good news for all orange juice lovers out there: It goes great with gin.
While you could certainly dress this one up with a slice of fresh orange, there's no need to make that a deal-breaker — Absolut Drinks says that sometimes, simple is best. We agree; in this case, less is more — especially when you have a really, really nice bottle of gin that you don't want to overpower with all kinds of other flavors.
The orange presents a brilliant backdrop for a strong gin, while the citrus adds a sharpness that reminds you that you're not just drinking flowery botanicals. Just pour a shot of gin over ice, and fill the rest of the glass with orange juice. A tasty cocktail, and your daily dose of vitamin C? You can't go wrong.
Just like gin is one of those liquors many of us think we should enjoy more often, ginger beer is one of those beverages we think we should have more often, too. According to Bombay Sapphire, they go together brilliantly to make a gin mule.
It's sort of like a Moscow mule, but with gin: Mix gin and ginger beer with a dash of lime juice, and you've got yourself a refreshing drink with the combined kick of ginger and juniper. It's the sort of thing you might imagine olde-timey lords and ladies drinking (ginger beer was, after all, invented in 1700s England), and let's just say those old-school flavors are classics for a reason.
Dress this one up with a few lime wedges, sprigs of mint, and a slice of ginger, and you'll have a cocktail worthy of sharing ... although, you might not want to. (And that's OK!)
First off, the obvious question: What, exactly, is Dubonnet? If you're thinking that it sounds fancy, that's because it is — it's a Parisian aperitif that is fortunately available across the U.S. Knowing what it's made from will quickly make it clear why it goes so well with gin: It's fortified wine that's flavored with quinine — the same thing that's in tonic — and a bouquet of herbs.
Makes sense now, right? This easy cocktail is just 2 parts Dubonnet to 1 part dry gin, and you're golden ... literally, because there's a footnote to this one, too. If you've ever had those days where you just want to treat yourself to something that'll make you feel extra-fancy, this should be your new go-to cocktail. Why? Once we learned that it's the personal favorite of none other than Queen Elizabeth II, well, we just knew there was no way to go wrong.
Wine snobs might cringe at the idea of mixing wine with anything, but who has time for being a wine snob when it means that you're missing out on some truly amazing cocktail opportunities?
Food & Wine gives one example that we love not just because it's delicious, but because it's simple — and, it's a great way to use up the last bit of wine that's always left in the bottle. The magazine combines ½-ounce of wine with 2 ounces of gin, a dash of simple syrup, and some lemon juice, then serves it over ice for a cocktail that's tart, sweet, botanical, and fruity all rolled into one.
If you're looking for an elegant — but easy — cocktail to serve alongside the next pasta dinner or lasagna night, this just might be it. And maybe you'll find yourself scaling up the recipe for the next time you have guests over.
Grapefruit juice can be pretty polarizing, and there's no one who is just kind of middle-of-the-road when it comes to their opinions on it: You're either a fan or not. And so for those who do love it, there's good news: It makes a brilliant base for a gin cocktail, according to The Bar, and it doesn't get much easier than the microsite's gin and grapefruit juice cocktail.
Because seriously, that's all there is to it. Fill a glass with ice, add 3 ⅓ tablespoons of gin, and top with grapefruit juice. Add some slices of fresh grapefruit if you want, but trust us when we say that it really isn't necessary. The gin helps tone down the sharpness of the grapefruit, while the grapefruit makes the botanicals of the gin just a little more subtle. Even if you're not a fan of grapefruit juice, this flavorful cocktail might just change your mind.
7UP / Sprite
There's something about a fizzy drink that just seems extra refreshing, and to anyone who has never tried mixing their gin with a lemon-lime soda, go grab that 2-liter out of the fridge and pour yourself a drink. Go ahead, we'll wait.
It doesn't really matter what kind of gin you have, they all taste amazing when you add some 7UP. 7UP, incidentally, has some thoughts on that, too. They suggest making a 7UP and gin cocktail by adding either a dash of sweetened lime juice or the juice from an entire lemon.
Sure, the thought of that latter one might make you pucker in anticipation, but that's the brilliant thing about gin — all those botanical flavors tone down the tartness and turn it into something extra-delicious. Whether it's hot outside or you're cozy on the couch when it's warm inside, there's no wrong time for this one.
A gin fizz can be kind of iffy, especially if the idea of drinking raw egg white makes your teeth hurt. Fortunately, you can include or omit the egg white when you're using pineapple juice as your base, and you will still have that creamy mouthfeel that makes some cocktails more than just "a drink." While Distillery 209 does include the egg white — along with a dash of lime juice and some tonic — in its gin fizz, trust us when we say it is not necessary.
Martha Stewart uses pineapple juice in a different gin cocktail altogether, and hers adds lemon juice and crème de cassis to create a creamy pineapple-gin kir. If you're looking for something that tastes more indulgent than it is, look no further than pineapple juice. As Liquor.com notes, pineapple is one versatile fruit, with drink ideas going far beyond the piña colada and mojito. (Umbrella and pineapple fronds optional!)
There always seems to be just a little bit of white wine left in the bottle. It's not enough for a whole drink, but it's too much to pour down the drain ... and let's be honest, any amount of wine is too much to pour down the drain. The answer? A gin cocktail.
Difford's Guide has an absolutely brilliant cocktail that uses just over a shot of white wine — they recommend a Chardonnay or Chablis — and the gin, it also calls for just less than a shot of elderflower liqueur. Anyone who likes the levels of dryness and sourness that comes with the white wine you've chosen will love this cocktail, as the gin and liquor add botanical notes without changing the aroma/flavor that made you first pick up that bottle. Can you add a slice of your favorite fresh fruit for a little extra kick? Absolutely.
Absinthe has something of a bad reputation, and it's completely undeserved. No, it's not a hallucinogenic and yes, it is a perfectly normal, alcoholic beverage. Don't let the hype convince you otherwise. It's actually a brilliant drink, especially when prepared correctly ... or, it turns out, when mixed with gin.
That's because the pine flavor of gin goes amazingly with the anise/licorice flavor of absinthe, and the experts at Difford's Guide say there's a whole bunch of ways to mix up a gin and absinthe cocktail. They suggest combinations like gin, absinthe, dry vermouth, and an orange liqueur for something they call a yellow daisy. They also suggest using absinthe in a unique twist on the gimlet: Combine equal parts gin and absinthe with lime cordial, lime juice, and water for a drink that will make you look at the green fairy in an entirely different way. Who knows what it'll inspire!
Club soda isn't a tonic, notes Healthline. They're both fizzy, but unlike tonic, club soda doesn't have the added sugar and quinine, which means that for anyone looking to make some small changes in the direction of getting healthier, replacing tonic with club soda is a great swap to make.
And fortunately for gin fans, club soda still makes a great gin cocktail. Specifically, a vintage cocktail that needs to make a serious comeback, because most people have largely forgotten just how awesome it is. That's the gin rickey, and it's basically gin and lime juice, served on ice and topped off with club soda. That's it! It's simple, it's healthy as far as cocktails go — as The Spruce Eats declares, there is zero sugar in this highball — and best of all, you'll be able to taste all those botanical flavors that had you choosing gin in the first place.
Cranberry juice just might be one of those drinks that many people keep on hand for certain medical reasons, and while we can say — with help from the University of Michigan — that there's no actual, concrete evidence that cranberry juice does anything for UTIs, you still might want to keep some on hand.
Cranberry juice — especially the unsweetened kind — can be ideal for mixing with gin and making a cocktail on those days when you just don't want something super sweet. Lidl has a brilliant idea for balancing the botanicals of gin with the tartness of cranberry, and that's in a cocktail that calls for cranberry juice, a dash of caster sugar, and an egg white (which you can take or leave as you wish, honestly). While this is a great cocktail for fresh raspberries, it would also be a lovely, fun addition to Thanksgiving dinner, and the cranberries you're already serving there.
Gin has something of a reputation as being an olde-timey drink, so what better beverage to pair it with than an olde-timey soda flavor?
Root beer is one of those sodas we seem not to have often enough. It's easy to reach for the cola or the lemon-lime, but the root beer? Reach for that, and you'll never regret it — especially when you use it to make a unique take on the gin fizz. Cocktail Builder says all you'll need for this one is root beer and gin in a 2-to-1 ratio, then add a dash of lemon juice and a teaspoon of sugar.
The only thing we like more than rediscovering old-fashioned flavors is an incredibly easy cocktail, and this one checks all the boxes. Also? Branch out into other old-fashioned soda flavors, and the next time you wonder if you have a reason to pick up a birch beer? Do it!
Mojitos are generally made with rum, but Lidl has come up with a cocktail that proves when it comes to mixing up a gin drink, there's no way you can go wrong with using some rose wine.
It's fairly simple, too, calling for typical mojito ingredients — like lime juice, mint, and simple syrup — to be mixed with gin, rose wine, and soda water, then poured over ice. Just the sound of it is pretty amazing, and for anyone who loves a mojito, this one is sure to please. Even better, Lidl also suggests mixing it up by adding some fresh fruit.
Throw in a handful of mixed berries — or some solo blackberries, we'd suggest — and while you might say it's not technically a mojito anymore, that's absolutely fine. It's still amazing on a warm afternoon sitting in the sun, and honestly? Any excuse we have to just take a moment and enjoy the simple pleasures, well, sign us up.
Ginger ale is another drink that might have some strong connotations. It's the drink that's always prescribed as a home remedy to settle an upset stomach, and there's a good reason for that. According to Heathline, ginger has been used to cure stomach woes since ancient times, and modern-day studies say that it legit works.
If that's all you're using ginger ale for, we're here to suggest another reason to keep it on hand: the gin buck. Liquor.com says that a "buck" is a particular kind of drink, and it's one that's made with ginger ale (or beer), a liquor, and a form of citrus. Not all bucks are called bucks — a Moscow mule is technically one — and a gin buck? Well, that's just tasty. Just pour your shot of gin over ice, top with ginger ale, and add a dash of either lemon or lime juice. Should you try a gin buck the next time you have an upset stomach from overindulging at dinner? We won't say no.
Iced tea is vastly underrated when it comes to keeping something thirst-quenching in your fridge. Not only is it low in calories and low in caffeine, but it's incredibly versatile, too. It can be made with any kind of tea, and a quick stroll down the coffee-and-tea aisle of your favorite grocery store will confirm that there's a million and one options out there. (Approximately.)
According to Good Housekeeping, a number of them are great for making a flavorful tea to mix into a gin cocktail. While you can definitely go straight gin and tea, adding things like a dash of lemon juice, elderflower tonic (or liqueur), bitters, simple syrup, honey, or a berry liqueur is a great way to elevate this idea into your new favorite cocktail. Seriously, the sky's the limit, and half the fun here is experimenting with the wide variety of flavors on offer.
Pumpkin spice might dominate the autumn flavors, but let's not forget that this is also the time when fresh apple cider hits shelves, too — and according to The Washington Post, adding some gin might just be the best way to kick off any autumn dinner ... special, or ordinary. It points to a fairly simple cocktail that calls for just apple cider and gin, poured over ice, with a dash of bitters. While the Post suggests garnishing the drink with a bit of spiral-cut orange peel, that is by no means necessary.
Can you dress this one up? Sure! Get creative and add other fall flavors that are well-suited to go not only with apple, but with botanicals as well. Add a dash of a berry liqueur, some cinnamon, or a dash from a floral liqueur, and we can absolutely guarantee that a gallon of apple cider will be gone before it gets the chance to turn into something completely different while it sits, forgotten, in the fridge.
If beer is something that you tend to only drink alone, you're missing out on an entire section of cocktails — and yes, those are cocktails made with beer. Sure, there's that whole saying about beer before liquor, but it doesn't apply when they're mixed ... right?
So, where does gin come in? According to the team at BBC Good Food, making a successful gin cocktail with beer is all about knowing your flavor profiles.
They have a few guidelines to keep in mind when you're starting, and say that for example, a really strong gin would work well with something like a citrus-heavy beer, particularly an IPA. Logical, right? They also say that a lager is a great place to start, too: Lager isn't going to have the heavy flavors that might not work with a gin, and if you lean toward citrus, chances are pretty good that you're going to have a winner on your hands. The fun is in the experimentation, so go wild.
- Gin and Elderflower. The elderberry bush grows wild in the countryside throughout Europe and the UK. ...
- Gin and Ginger Ale. ...
- Gin and Vermouth. ...
- Gin and Lime. ...
- Gin and Bitter Lemon. ...
- Gin and Soda Water. ...
- Gin and Lemonade. ...
- Gin and Seltzer.
Gin pairs best with citrus and savory flavors. Classic pairings include lemon, lime, cucumber, mint, thyme and even hot chile peppers. We love getting creative and trying new combinations!What juice goes best with gin? ›
Try orange, mango, pineapple and apple juices if you have a sweet tooth, or cranberry and grapefruit if you prefer a bitter twist. Try: 50ml any dry gin with 125ml fruit juice of your choice served over ice. A splash of fruity fizz in your gin drink is sure to be a treat.What soft drink goes with gin? ›
- GIN & GINGER. Ginger beer is a warming, spicy alternative mixer for gin. ...
- GIN & LIME. Gin, mint cordial and lime is a refreshing combination. ...
- GIN & GRAPEFRUIT. ...
- GIN & PINK LEMONADE. ...
- GIN & COKE. ...
- GIN & IRN BRU. ...
- GIN & ORANGE. ...
- GIN & EARL GREY TEA.
- Ginebra San Miguel.
- Bombay Sapphire.
- Old Fashioned. Getty Images. There may be no better test of a bartender's mettle than ordering an Old Fashioned. ...
- Margarita. Getty Images. ...
- Cosmopolitan. Getty Images. ...
- Negroni. Getty Images. ...
- Moscow Mule. Getty Images. ...
- Martini. Getty Images. ...
- Mojito. Getty Images. ...
- Whiskey Sour. Getty Images.
They are the Old Fashioned, Martini, Daiquiri, Sidecar, Whiskey Highball, and Flip. In each drink, every ingredient falls into at least one category.What are the top 10 best drinks? ›
- Old Fashioned. The Old Fashioned was invented by James E. ...
- Moscow Mule. Sophie Berezinski and her father owned a copper factory in Russia. ...
- Negroni. The Negroni was invented at Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy in 1919. ...
- Mojito. ...
- Whiskey Sour. ...
- Daiquiri. ...
- Margarita. ...
- Mai Tai.
The juniper berries in gin contain flavonoids, which can clean clogged arteries. It can also reinforce the connective tissues of the veins. Having moderate amounts of gin every day (one small glass) can decrease the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases.What fruit goes well in gin? ›
Lime, rhubarb, or an olive work well with dry gins, while grapefruit, citrus peel, cucumber, and rose petals work with floral gins. For a savoury gin, try rosemary, thyme, or basil with a cherry tomato. '
I think that Gordon's Pink Gin is a much better product than many of the Spanish strawberry gins; it is less sweet and has a dryer profile, and the additional fruit notes add complexity. Whilst I don't think it works in all classic gin drinks, it worked particularly well when mixed with tonic and cola.What do people drink gin with? ›
To drink gin, have it on the rocks with some ice or try it neat with no ice. If you'd prefer a gin cocktail, try a gin and tonic, which is just gin, tonic water, and fresh lime juice. You can also drink gin with a splash of soda water or ginger ale. If you enjoy martinis, mix gin and vermouth make a gin martini.Does gin go with Dr Pepper? ›
Gin and Dr pepper is an easy to make and flavorful cocktail. If you've ever wondered if Gin and Dr pepper go well together the answer is a resounding yes.Does gin give you a hangover? ›
When you consume any alcoholic drink in excess, it can lead to hangovers. Gins, with its 40+ per cent alcohol content, can get you there a bit faster than the rest. A set of unpleasant symptoms as a consequence of overdrinking is referred to as a hangover.Is gin good for kidneys? ›
The juniper berries in gin contain elements which can help to fight infection and prevent heart disease, as well as improve the blood's circulation around the body; these powerful little seeds are a superfood, and also help to fight liver and kidney disease.What is the world's best selling brand of gin? ›
Diageo reigns supreme with its Gordon's brand taking the number one spot on our best-selling gin list.
To drink gin, have it on the rocks with some ice or try it neat with no ice. If you'd prefer a gin cocktail, try a gin and tonic, which is just gin, tonic water, and fresh lime juice. You can also drink gin with a splash of soda water or ginger ale. If you enjoy martinis, mix gin and vermouth make a gin martini.How do you drink gin straight? ›
Of course, you can always drink your gin straight. Some people will even tell you that it's the best way to enjoy gin. Just pour the gin over a few ice cubes and drop in a lime wedge if you fancy. Naturally, to enjoy a spirit neat it must be of good quality – there's nothing worse than nasty, bitter, cheap gin.Can we drink gin with water? ›
"One large gin and tonic is acceptable as a thirst quencher. For further, serious drinking I recommend gin and water – and ice and lemon. Gin is a real and interesting drink, carefully prepared with those botanicals and all, and it deserves to be sampled with its flavour unimpaired."What is Bombay Sapphire best mix with? ›
Bombay Sapphire is perfectly balanced with lemon juice, MARTINI Bianco, Creme de Cacao Blanc (chocolate liqueur), and Blue Curacao (orange liqueur), creating a chocolate-orange sensation.
The Best Beginner's Guide to Drinking Gin - YouTubeIs gin stronger than vodka? ›
For a gin to be a gin, there must be at least 37.5% of pure alcohol in the total volume of liquid. Look for the ABV percentage on the next bottle you pick up. Sing Gin sits at a nicely-rounded 40%. Vodka's minimum alcohol content is the same – around 35% – but note the word 'minimum'!Why is gin the healthiest alcohol? ›
Gin has less sugar and fewer calories than some other liquors. If you already consume alcohol, gin may be a slightly healthier option. Be careful with mixers, however. They can make the sugar content of your drink skyrocket.How does gin affect your body? ›
The juniper berries in gin contain flavonoids, which can clean clogged arteries. It can also reinforce the connective tissues of the veins. Having moderate amounts of gin every day (one small glass) can decrease the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases.What kind of people drink gin? ›
A study conducted by researchers from Innsbruck University in Austria has found that those of us who love to sip on a gin-and-tonic are far more likely to have psychopathic tendencies than those who enjoy something sweeter. “Bitter taste preferences are linked to malevolent personality traits,” they explained.How many shots of gin do you need to get drunk? ›
Gin has an ABV of 36% – 50%, like whiskey and rum, and it is not as strong as vodka. Basically, there are two ways to drink gin: neat or mixed drink. Five to six shots can make you intoxicated if you plan to consume gin neat. However, three to four alcoholic drinks mixed with gin can make your night out enjoyable.Is gin good for kidneys? ›
The juniper berries in gin contain elements which can help to fight infection and prevent heart disease, as well as improve the blood's circulation around the body; these powerful little seeds are a superfood, and also help to fight liver and kidney disease.Does gin burn fat? ›
How does this work? Drinking gin can speed up dieters metabolisms and help burn calories more efficiently, according to a study at the University of Sigulda in Latvia. Having a fast metabolism means the body burns calories more quickly and those with a high metabolism are also less likely to store fat.Is gin good for stomach? ›
Improve Digestion and Settle Stomachs
As used historically, the Juniper in Gin is shown to be useful for an array of stomach related issues. It's believed that the berries antioxidants improve stomach acid recreation which help aid the digestive process.
Bombay Sapphire Gin and Mediterranean Tonic Water
This soft and well-balanced gin is buzzing with fresh floral flavours and rounds off with a light warmth.
But mixing this botanical liquor with cola is a very good idea. Use the right ratio and the delicate flavor of gin shines through without getting overpowered by the sweet cola. Add a zing of lime and it tastes totally novel.