10 Refreshing Gin Cocktails for Spring
When it comes to spring, gin is in.
READ: Celebrate Spring With a Boozy Cucumber Lemonade
Earlier this year, NPR reported that the juniper-based spirit is set on becoming a major trend in 2014. And just like the cool, crisp season, gin is bursting with delicate floral notes, making it perfect to savor now more than ever. Served in a chilled glass, it’s a tall, ice cold, fizzy libation ideal to complement sun soaked days or breezy evenings.
“We’re seeing more creativity and experimentation with gin products than ever before,” says Erica Duecy, author of “Storied Sips: Evocative Cocktails for Everyday Escapes, with 40 Recipes.” “Just last month, the first-ever gin with Japanese botanicals debuted in the UK from Cambridge Distillery, and is set to launch in the US later this year. With a base of juniper, the gin also features yuzu peel, shiso leaf, sansho pepper, sesame seeds, and cucumber.”
READ: From Garden to Glass: Go Green with These 9 Cocktails
“Along with more experimental products like that, we’re also seeing a wider range of more traditional flavor profiles,” adds Duecy. “Some, like Nolet, have softer juniper notes with fruitier flavors, like peach and raspberry, coming through. Hendrick's, meanwhile, features cucumber and rose more prominently.”
Another perk to sipping gin-fueled drinks? It’s easy to shake, stir, or pour onto nearly any cocktail. And with so many flavors and varieties to choose from, as well as recipes ranging from the classic "Roaring 20s” to modern mixes, there’s a gin cocktail for practically everyone.
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“With the rare exception of barrel-aged gins, the category is known for products that have clear, crisp flavors,” says Duecy. “Along with juniper, we see citrus rinds, and spices, like cardamom and coriander. The combination of flavors tends to be light and refreshing…the bright botanicals in gin pair well with the blossoms and budding herbs of the season."
For some inspiration to shake things up, check out 10 refreshing gin cocktails from mixologists across the country to welcome the blooming days of spring:
1.5 oz. gin
1.5 oz. cognac
1 sugar cube
fresh mint leaves
Start with a large pinch of mint and sugar cube and drop them into a julep cup. Add all remaining ingredients and do a light muddle to extract mint. Add ice and then a mint sprig.
(Bartender Eric Johnson of Sycamore Den in San Diego.)
1 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
½ oz. Aperol
¼ oz. elderflower liqueur
¼ oz. fresh lime juice
splash of grapefruit juice
PreparationShake well and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Top with champagne.
(The Living Room at W Fort Lauderdale.)
Thyme After Tyme
1 ½ oz. gin
1 oz. thyme-infused honey (boil honey, add sprigs of thyme, and let steep for 15 minutes)
½ oz. lemon juice
4 slices cucumber
2 oz. ginger beer
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Add cucumber, lemon juice, and thyme-infused honey into a shaker and muddle. Add gin and a generous amount of ice. Shake vigorously and then strain into an ice filled glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with cucumber slices and fresh thyme leaves.
(Nicole Lizuka, POPSUGAR.com.)
1 oz. gin
½ oz. Licor 43
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1 lime, cut into wedges
In a shaker, muddle lime wedges and sugar. Add gin, Licor 43, and ice. Shake well and pour contents in glass. Top with soda water.
(The Headless Horseman in New York City.)
Bird of Paradise
1 orange wedge
2 oz. 209 Gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
Muddle orange wedge and then add ingredients. Shake and strain over ice. Top with club soda.
(Beverage Director Klaus Puck of Nest at WP24 in Los Angeles.)
1.5 oz. Hendrick's Gin
1.5 oz. St. Germaine Liqueur
2 drops Tabasco Sauce
1 lemon wedge
In a Boston shaker, add gin, liqueur, and sauce. Squeeze and drop in lemon wedge. Fill shaker with ice and shake lightly. Pour into highball glass.
(Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Austin.)
Harding's Tom Collins
2 oz. gin
2 oz. simple syrup
¾ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 lemon slice
1 amarena cherry
PreparationCombine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake and pour over ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon and cherry.
(Harding’s in New York.)
Watermelon Ginger Fizz
1 cup diced watermelon
1 ½ oz. gin
2 Tbsps. lime juice
1/3 cup ginger ale
1 lime wedge
Puree watermelon in a blender until smooth. In a cocktail shaker, add watermelon puree, gin, ice, and lime juice. Shake vigorously. Pour into ice-filled glass, top with ginger ale, and garnish with lime.
(Mixologist Mariko Amekodommo.)
Flora & The Bees
1 oz. Nolet’s Gin
1 oz. Petal & Thorn Aperitif
. 75 oz. ginger honey (equal parts fresh ginger juice and wild flower honey)
. 75 oz. lemon juice
1 dash lavender-infused bitters
1 lemon wheel
1 lavender sprig
PreparationShake and strain on the rocks. Add lavender sprig and lemon wheel garnish.
(Mixologist Adam Stemmler, Blind Tiger Cocktail Co. and Oakland’s Easy Bay Spice Company.)
1 ½ oz. gin
juice of half a lemon, freshly squeezed
dash of simple syrup to taste
fresh mint leaves
dash of soda
In a Collins glass, add 5 raspberries and 4 mint leaves. Muddle lightly. Fill glass with ice and squeeze in half a lemon. Add a dash of syrup. Pour in gin and mix thoroughly, getting the cocktail ice cold. Top with soda. Garnish with sprig of mint and serve in a tall highball glass.
(Center Bar in New York City.)