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.
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. Get the recipe for the Bee’s Knee’s cocktail »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 the Sakura Martini »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 Gin and Tonic
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
This classic cocktail couldn’t be simpler—it’s simply even parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth.
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.
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.
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 »
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.
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.
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.
Vodka is the traditional spirit for this bright, briny cooler, but gin adds a wonderful, aromatic dimension.
Equal parts gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice, this is an old-fashioned cocktail that feels awfully modern.
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.
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
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.
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. See the recipe for The Big Red »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
This spin on the French 75 uses a base of both gin and a raspberry-infused cognac.