What Makes the Perfect Gin Cocktail (& 5 Classic Recipes)

Gin – the spirit of the Prohibition and modern day go-to for cocktails and mixed beverages. It has actually been around since the Middle Ages, and today it is one of the most popular spirits. Gin gets its flavor from juniper berries, and here in the U.S., it is defined as being a beverage with the characteristic flavor of the berries and a minimum of 40% ABV (80 proof).

According to KindredCocktails.com, “Juniper berries have a high percentage of pinene as an aroma chemical, which gives both the berry and the gin flavored with juniper its distinctive pine aroma. This aroma and flavor is what separates gin from other flavored spirits.”

Here are some delicious and classic gin cocktail recipes:

  • The Classic Gin Martini: A smooth, classic cocktail that one must enjoy at least once… Make your classic Gin Martini with 2 ounces of dry gin and 1 ounce of dry vermouth. Shake the two spirits together in a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass with either an olive (or two) or a twist of lemon.
  • The Negroni: This is a fantastic aperitif. Stir 1.5 ounces each of sweet vermouth, Campari, and gin together in an old fashioned glass with ice cubes. Garnish with an orange peel or slice.
  • The Gin Fizz: If you enjoy light, citrusy beverages, you’ll love this gin classic. The Gin Fizz is made with 2 ounces of gin, a dash of lemon or lime juice, ½ teaspoon of sugar and soda water (1 egg white is optional). Pour the gin, juice, sugar and egg white (if applicable) into a shaker with ice. Shake (especially hard if using egg white) and strain into a chilled glass. Top it off with the soda water and garnish with a citrus peel or maraschino cherry.
  • The Tom Collins: Combine 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of fine sugar in a shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a Collins glass with ice cubes. Add 3 ounces of club soda, stir, and garnish with an orange slice.
  • The Pimm’s Cup: This gin cocktail is formulated from an English gin known as Pimm’s No. 1. Muddle a ½-inch thick English cucumber wheel with 1/2 –inch thick lemon slice in a chilled glass. Pour in 2 ounces of Pimm’s No. 1 gin (or your favorite gin) and 4 ounces of lemon-lime soda or ginger ale. Stir and add ice to fill the glass. Garnish with a lemon twist!


What’s your favorite gin cocktail recipe? Share it with us in the comments section.