Gin Cocktails, Gin Cocktail Recipes | SAVEUR

Our Best Gin Cocktails for More Than Just Martinis

I.e., how to have a bright, botanical summer

With flavor ranging from herbaceous to floral to fruity, we adore crisp, bitter gin. Its beautifully complex flavor can stand alone as well as it can pair with a wide variety of ingredients. When it comes to elegant, refined cocktails, the martini will always have a place among the greats. At its most basic, this classic cocktail is simply a mixture of gin and dry vermouth. Our dry martini recipe uses equal parts gin and vermouth and adds orange bitters and an orange twist for garnish. While most martinis are gin-heavy or contain equal parts gin and vermouth, our upside-down martini mixes gin and vermouth in a 1:2 ratio.

One of the most refreshing cocktails around is the ever-riffable gin and tonic. The requisite ingredients are gin and bitter, quinine-tinged tonic water. Like a martini, there is a lot of room for variation. Los Gintonic is a strong Spanish gin and tonic made with bitter lemon tonic. If you’re feeling ambitious, elevate your gin and tonic by making your own tonic water. For the loveliest of spring cocktails, pair seasonal fruits with gin, whose herbal notes can stand up to tart and sweet flavors. In the Merchant’s Wife, gin works with Aperol and lemon juice to keep watermelon juice from becoming cloying. In the autumn gin brightens up our autumnal, rosemary-scented pear Collins.

From classic cocktails to newfangled creations, we’ve rounded up our favorite gin cocktail recipes to shake and stir today.

Gin Campari Sour

Gin Campari Sour

Gin Campari Sour

Matt Taylor-Gross

Sometimes we like cocktails to have a bit of an aggressive bite; other times, we’re looking to round them out a bit. Gin, Campari, and lemon are three ingredients that pair beautifully, but all have their sharp edges. Adding an egg white helps mellow and integrate these flavors without muting them, while also contributing a silky texture and an opacity that’s quite elegant in a vividly colored drink. Get the recipe for Gin Campari Sour »

Carolina Blues Blueberry Cocktail

Vivian Howard Blueberry Sauce Cocktail

Carolina Blues Blueberry Cocktail

Matt Taylor-Gross

A long, cooling cocktail, the Carolina Blues follows the classic Tom Collins blueprint, swapping simple syrup for shrub, soda for prosecco, and lemon juice for lime. The blueberry shrub in this recipe is actually North Carolina chef Vivian Howard’s blueberry barbecue sauce, which she uses to glaze chicken, but its makeup is similar enough to a shrub that it can pull double duty. If you don’t have time to make Howard’s barbecue sauce, you can buy it here. Alternatively, you can quickly make a proto-shrub by simmering a couple of cups of mashed blueberries with a cup of cider vinegar for ten minutes, then strain and bottle it for future cocktail endeavors.

Bee's Knees

Bee's Knees

Bee's Knees

Matt Taylor-Gross

The phrase the “bee’s knees” was used in Prohibition times as slang to mean “the best.” This cocktail, a gin sour that’s believed to have been created around that time, used lemon and honey to mask the harsh smell of bathtub gin. If your guest wants something refreshing with gin, look no further.

Suffering Fools

Suffering Fools

Suffering Fools

Matt Taylor-Gross

This bourbon and gin drink from wd~50 and Alder mastermind Kevin Denton is inspired by the Suffering Bastard, a classic cocktail developed during in Cairo during WWII. Get the recipe for Suffering Fools »

Martinez

Martinez cocktail

Martinez cocktail

Laura Sant

In the 1880s, Old Tom gin, a style with quite a bit more sweetness than London dry, was just beginning to gain popularity in America. This is the drink that put it over the top. Get the recipe for Martinez »

The Last Word

The Last Word Cocktail

The Last Word Cocktail

Matt Taylor-Gross

Equal parts gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice, this is an old-fashioned cocktail that feels awfully modern. Its equally-portioned ingredients make for easy scaling: mix up a triple or quadruple batch to serve several drinkers at once. Get the recipe for The Last Word »

Bermuda Hundred

Bermuda Hundred Cocktail

Bermuda Hundred Cocktail

Matt Taylor-Gross

Beth Dixon, bartender at Pasture in Richmond, Virginia, describes this fun cocktail as the lovechild of a Mai Tai and a Negroni. Get the recipe for Bermuda Hundred »

Garden Kitchen Sink Gimlet

Garden Kitchen Sink Gimlet

Garden Kitchen Sink Gimlet

Matt Taylor-Gross

This boozy gin cocktail uses up an abundance of mint, cucumber, and blackberries—it's summer in a highball. Get the recipe for Garden Kitchen Sink Gimlet »

Sakura Martini

Sakura Martini

Sakura Martini

Matt Taylor-Gross

Tokyo native Kenta Goto of Bar Goto in New York City has elevated the once-maligned saketini to a state of floral elegance by mixing Plymouth gin with oak-aged Junmai sake, sweet maraschino liqueur, and salted cherry blossoms. Get the recipe for Sakura Martini »

Gallagher Smash

Gallagher Smash Cocktail

Gallagher Smash Cocktail

Matt Taylor-Gross

For this summer refresher, Eric Johnson of Sycamore Den in San Diego makes a syrup with ripe watermelon and sugar, then combines it with sherry, gin, and muddled lemon. Get the recipe for Gallagher Smash »

The Verbena and Mint

The Verbena and Mint Cocktail

The Verbena and Mint Cocktail

Matt Taylor-Gross

Bar manager Jon di Pinto of Street ADL in Adelaide, South Australia, combines lemon verbena and gin for a crisp, refreshing summer cocktail. Get the recipe for The Verbena and Mint »

308 Peaches

Peaches 308 Cocktail

Peaches 308 Cocktail

Matt Taylor-Gross

A teaspoon of yogurt adds a subtle tang to this summery peach drink from Alexis Soler and Ben Clemons of Bar 308 in Nashville, Tennessee. Get the recipe for 308 Peaches »

The Gardener

Gin and Agave Cocktail

The Gardener

Joseph De Leo

Barkeep Joe Petersen of Percy's restaurant in Seattle spikes this verdant cocktail with an "immunity tincture." Get the recipe for The Gardener »

Quick Like a Bunny

Green Juice Gin and Tonic

Quick Like a Bunny

Joseph De Leo

Playing on the classic gin and tonic, bartender Stuart Jensen of Denver's Mercantile restaurant adds caraway-flavored aquavit and marmalade to this green version. Get the recipe for Quick Like a Bunny »

The Poddington Pea

The Poddington Pea

The Poddington Pea

Joseph De Leo

Peas might seem out of place in a drink, but their vegetal sweetness is perfect for this basil-gin cocktail. Get the recipe for The Poddington Pea »

99 Problems But An Herb Ain't One

99 Problems Cocktail

99 Problems But An Herb Ain't One

Matt Taylor-Gross

Gin, lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime combine in this savory cocktail from Alex Straus of LA's E.P. & L.P., who created it to complement the restaurant's spicier dishes. Get the recipe for 99 Problems But An Herb Ain't One »

The Fascinator

The Fascinator Cocktail

The Fascinator Cocktail

Matt Taylor-Gross

This cocktail, which comes from the Savoy Cocktail Book, adds a touch of absinthe to the traditional martini. Get the recipe for The Fascinator »

Water Lily

Water Lily

Water Lily

Laura Sant

Crème de violette adds sweetness and an arresting purple color to a tart mix of gin, lemon juice, and triple sec in a cocktail based on one from Manhattan bar PDT. Get the recipe for Water Lily »

Conquistador

Conquistador Gin and Tonic

Conquistador Gin and Tonic

Ingalls Photography

At San Francisco's Coqueta restaurant, this fruity gin and tonic is mixed with a homemade citrus-and-fennel tonic and a spiced apple-celery juice, then garnished with fragrant fennel and star anise. Get the recipe for Conquistador »

Masala Martini

Masala Martini

Masala Martini

Ingalls Photography

Cumin and salt add pungent flavor to this twist on a gin gimlet from chef Manish Mehrotra of New Delhi restaurant Indian Accent, located in The Manor boutique hotel in New Delhi's tony Friends Colony neighborhood. Get the recipe for Masala Martini »

Mother-of-Pearl

Mother of Pearl Cocktail

Mother-of-Pearl Cocktail

Ingalls Photography

Brisk and aromatic, celery flavors this savory gin and tonic variation in three ways: in a salt rim, in the bitters, and in the garnish. A fennel frond adds an extra layer of perfume to the drink. Get the recipe for Mother-of-Pearl »

Queen Victoria Tonic

Queen Victoria Tonic

Queen Victoria Tonic

Ingalls Photography

This highball uses a homemade tonic infused with raspberry-flavored orris root and peppery, flowery grains of paradise to complement the specific flavor profile of Bombay Sapphire gin. Get the recipe for Queen Victoria Tonic »

Plymouth Gin Tonic

Plymouth Gin Tonic

Plymouth Gin Tonic

Ingalls Photography

Sweet-tart strawberries and spicy peppercorns make for a fruity twist on the classic gin and tonic. Get the recipe for Plymouth Gin Tonic »

Los Gintonic

Los Gintonic

Los Gintonic

Ingalls Photography

Vermouth adds character to this Stateside riff on the elaborate Spanish-style gin tonic, while a tonic water flavored with bitter lemon balances the aromatized wine’s sweetness. Navy-strength gin stands up to them both. Get the recipe for Los Gintonic »

Negroni

Negroni

Negroni

Ingalls Photography

This classic cocktail couldn't be simpler—it's simply even parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Get the recipe for Negroni »

Dill Gin and Tonic

Dill Gin and Tonic

Dill Gin and Tonic

Ingalls Photography

Navy strength gin adds explosion potency to drinks like this riff on the gin and tonic, which is spiked with dill pickle juice and garnished with citrusy verbena leaves. Get the recipe for Dill Gin and Tonic »

Bar Code Tonic

Bar Code Tonic

Bar Code Tonic

Ingalls Photography

Tonic water derives its bitterness from quinine, a purified substance derived from the bark of the cinchona tree. Paired with gin, tonic water makes for one of summer’s most refreshing cocktails. At Bar Code in Bellevue, Washington, the gin and tonic is made in a unique manner: The gin itself is infused with cinchona bark, citrus, and other aromatics. Then, rather than tonic, soda water is added to make the drink. Get the recipe for Bar Code Tonic »

Upside-Down Martini

Upside-Down Martini

Upside-Down Martini

André Baranowski

Vermouth hasn't always played second fiddle to boozier spirits; this delicate aperitif, which is 2:1 vermouth to gin, was a favorite of Julia Child's for pre-dinner drinking. Get the recipe for Upside-Down Martini »

Cool Confusion

Cool Confusion

Cool Confusion

Farideh Sadeghin

A refreshing marriage between a Tom Collins and a Dark n' Stormy, this lime and ginger beer-spiked gin cocktail has an intriguing herbal undertone thanks to Amaro Abano, a zesty Italian digestif with notes of bitter orange, cardamom, and white pepper. Get the recipe for Cool Confusion »

Ultimate Gin and Tonic

Ultimate Gin and Tonic

Ultimate Gin and Tonic

Todd Coleman

Citrus wheels and edible flowers lend beautiful color to a classic gin and tonic. Get the recipe for Ultimate Gin and Tonic »

The Merchant's Wife

The Merchant's Wife

The Merchant's Wife

Maxime Iattoni

A bright mix of watermelon, gin, Aperol, lemon juice, and a splash of club soda, this cocktail from Stella Rosa Pizza Bar in Santa Monica sidesteps the normal pitfalls of watermelon-based cocktails, which tend to veer to the overly sweet. Well-balanced and pleasantly effervescent, the mild astringency of the Aperol tugs back at the melon's sweetness and reignites the gin, elevating this brightly-hued cocktail to the heights of sophistication. Get the recipe for The Merchant's Wife »

The Charleston Fizz

The Charleston Fizz

The Charleston Fizz

Khushbu Shah

The floral flavor of gin is a natural match for bright grapefruit and elderflower liqueur in a refreshing cocktail. Fresh tarragon adds an aromatic, peppery anise note. Get the recipe for The Charleston Fizz »

Sweet Gin Symphony

Sweet Gin Symphony

Sweet Gin Symphony

Maxime Iattoni

This lively gin-based punch captures complex seasonal flavors with layers of citrus, mint, and anise thanks to an absinthe rinse sprayed in each glass. For an added festive touch, garnish with star anise fruit. Get the recipe for Sweet Gin Symphony »

Sencha Sour

Sencha Sour

Sencha Sour

Helen Rosner

Green tea-infused gin gives depth to this otherwise light, breezy drink, made with fresh yuzu juice, pickled ginger syrup, and soda. Inspired by one served at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida, it's the perfect antidote to the winter doldrums. Get the recipe for Sencha Sour »

Salty Dog

Salty Dog Cocktail

Salty Dog Cocktail

Ingalls Photography

Vodka is the traditional spirit for this bright, briny cooler, but gin adds a wonderful, aromatic dimension. Get the recipe for Salty Dog »

The Last Word

The Last Word

The Last Word

Todd Coleman

Equal parts gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice, this is an old-fashioned cocktail that feels awfully modern. Get the recipe for The Last Word »

Gin-Gin Mule

Gin-Gin Mule

Gin-Gin Mule

Ingalls Photography

This Moscow Mule variation is made with gin and mint. Get the recipe for Gin-Gin Mule »

The Pretty Tony

The Pretty Tony Gin and Tonic

The Pretty Tony Gin and Tonic

Ingalls Photography

With a drink as clear and straightforward as a traditional gin and tonic, the addition of bitters can transform the appearance, flavor, and aroma in delightful ways. Here, 10 dashes of Angostura bitters add bright spice to a version from Wingtip in San Francisco. Get the recipe for The Pretty Tony »

The New Airline

The New Airline

The New Airline

Maxime Iattoni

Cool, mild cucumber and sweet elderflower liqueur echo gin's floral notes in this cocktail, served at Atmosphere, the bar on the top floor of the tallest building in Beijing. With notes of apple, lime, and a bit of heat from fresh ginger, it has an effect talmost like a spa in a glass. Get the recipe for The New Airline »

Viking Martini

Viking Martini

Viking Martini

Farideh Sadeghin

Bottled in the same spot in Iceland, brisk, dry Martin Miller’s Gin and tannic, spruce-flavored Björk liqueur make a great duo, particularly matched with bitters and an herbaceous Alpine amaro in this layered drink meant to evoke northern climes. Get the recipe for Viking Martini »

The Big Red

The Big Red

The Big Red

Todd Coleman

Grapefruit juice and cinnamon-infused syrup bring bright, spicy balance to the wallop of navy-strength gin, a variety with an extra-high alcohol content. Get the recipe for The Big Red »

Kumquat Rose

Kumquat Rose Cocktail

Kumquat Rose Cocktail

Helen Rosner

A recipe for kumquat-infused gin from Matt Lee and Ted Lee's cookbook The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen inspired this cocktail: the kumquat's sweet-tart flavor is perfectly balanced by the herbaceous complexity of Lillet Rose. Get the recipe for Kumquat Rose »

The Killer B

The Killer B

The Killer B

Helen Rosner

A play on the classic cocktail The Bee's Knees, The Killer B is a spicy elixir of gin, lemon juice, and a simple syrup infused with Thai bird chiles and white peppercorns. Get the recipe for The Killer B »

Original Dry Martini

Original Dry Martini

Original Dry Martini

Andre Baranowski

A London dry gin can stand up to a lot more vermouth than you might suspect. The original 1910s-era formula for this iconic drink demonstrates that fact elegantly. Get the recipe for Original Dry Martini »

Thandai

Thandai

Thandai

Nidhi Chaudhry

Indian thandai, literally translated as 'something that cools', is a sweet, creamy milk drink flavored with nuts and mixed with spices such as cardamom, fennel, rose petals, and poppy seeds. On Holi, the Indian festival of colors, the refreshment is traditionally served with the addition of bhaang (a derivative of marijuana). Here we've substituted gin instead, which accentuates the nutty, warmly-spiced, floral flavors in thandai perfectly. Get the recipe for Thandai »

Horse & Carriage

Horse & Carriage

Horse & Carriage

Farideh Sadeghin

New York City bar The Daily serves this lightly sweet, effervescent gin-based punch made with chamomile tea and sparkling wine. Created by mixologist Naren Young, it was inspired by classic holiday punches but is easily adapted to any season—try it in fall garnished with apples, pears, and cinnamon sticks; in winter with citrus slices and pomegranate; and in spring with edible flowers. Get the recipe for Horse & Carriage »

Brother James

Brother James Cocktail

Brother James Cocktail

Ingalls Photography

A homemade amber vermouth flavored with juniper and cardamom is the base for this gutsy drink from Manhattan’s Amor y Amargo, which opened in 2011 with vermouth on tap and more than 12 bottled varieties. Cardoon-flavored Cardamaro and dry gin play off the vermouth’s botanical notes, while celery bitters boosts the drink’s herbaceousness. Get the recipe for Brother James »

The Cheshire Regiment

The Cheshire Regiment

The Cheshire Regiment

Maxime Iattoni

This spin on the French 75 uses a base of both gin and a raspberry-infused cognac. Get the recipe for The Cheshire Regiment »

Sicilian 75

Sicilian 75

Ingalls Photography

Campari and blood orange juice give this twist on the French 75 a beautiful color. Get the recipe for Sicilian 75 »

Don't Kill My Vibe

Don't Kill My Vibe

Don't Kill My Vibe

Eilon Paz

Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi of the Broken Shaker in Miami Beach like to use handmade vinegars and herbs from their bar's adjacent garden and to lend sour and savory notes to their cocktails. This gin-based drink gets a refreshing spicy-tart flavor from the addition of pineapple vinegar and bitters. Get the recipe for Don't Kill My Vibe »

The Monkey Gland

The Monkey Gland

The Monkey Gland

Laura Sant

Credited to Harry McElhone, the famed proprietor of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris where the Bloody Mary originated, the Monkey Gland is a classic 1920s cocktail that balances gin and fresh orange juice with a splash of Absinthe and a little pomegranate grenadine. Get the recipe for The Monkey Gland »

Ford's Model Tea Party

Ford's Model Tea Party Cocktail

Ford's Model Tea Party Cocktail

Ingalls Photography

Charles Joly of Aviary in Chicago presents a pot of Earl Grey tea beside this cold cocktail, dropping dry ice into the tea to create an aromatic steam that fragrances the air as you sip. Even without the tableside theatrics, the home version is wonderful. Get the recipe for Ford's Model Tea Party »

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