Mix it Up! Gin Cocktails Ideal for Summer Parties

Gin was once seen as ‘mother’s ruin’ with thousands of gin shops in London alone during the 1700s (not counting the shops that sold bootleg gin). Gradually, gin became old-fashioned, the poor relation to more trendy drinks. But we have fallen back in love with gin, enjoy a tipple or two of the many delicious flavoured varieties now available. A gin cocktail is another take on enjoying this spirit. Why not try these gin-infused cocktails this summer?

 

Gin, like many other spirits, suffered from a poor reputation until recently, especially with the younger generation. It was seen as an old-fashioned drink but over a quarter of the UK population is said to have bought a bottle of gin in the last 12 months.

As well as connecting with the younger age, the versatility of gin as a drink with your favourite mixer or as part of a cocktail has also bolstered sales. Why not up the ante with these gin-infused summer cocktails?

1.    Bramble Cocktail

The plethora of flavoured gins means you have a ready drinks cabinet of gins to hand for when you want to enjoy it with a mixer or for when you want to add that ‘something different’.

This Bramble cocktail uses the notes of autumn for a cool summer cocktail that will slide down smoothly as the sunsets on another long, hot summer’s day…

To 40ml of Bombay’s Bramble Gin, add 20ml of sugar syrup and 20ml of lemon juice along with a dash of blackberry liqueur, known as Crème de Mure. Mix it all together gently and pour over ice for a delightful cocktail that will become a firm favourite.

Where can I buy…?

  •         Sugar syrup – you’ll find a good quality sugar syrup in most larger stores of high street supermarkets. Check out the baking aisle as it is commonly used in icing. You can also buy it online from various retailers.

  •         BlackBerry liqueur – Crème de Mure retails from £15 a bottle or upwards. Well-known brands include Monin, famed for syrups that can be added to coffee. You may find it in the coffee section of your supermarket or you can order from specialist retailers online.

2.    Negroni

Negroni cocktail

Simple. Classic. Delicious. If you have a well-stocked drinks cabinet or half-empty bottles of spirit from a summer party, then a Negroni is a great cocktail to mix. Cherry red in colour, garnish with a wedge of orange peel to bring out its scarlet tones.

You’ll need equal quantities of unflavoured gin, sweet vermouth and Campari – about 25ml each should do the trick – gently swish together in a glass of loveliness ideal for a summer’s evening. Add a few slivers of ice and float the wedge of orange peel on top.

3.    Gimlet

If you think of cocktails as being complicated then you haven’t come across the amazingly simple Gimlet cocktail.

Cordial is something many of us have in the kitchen. A cost-effective product, you dilute the juice with water, add a few ice cubes and you have a refreshing drink.

Back in 1867, cordial manufacturer Rose’s created a concentrated lime juice, a sweet juice that enabled the preservation of lime juice without alcohol. Initially used by the navy, Navy-strength gin was added and the Gimlet cocktail was born.

By the 20th century, the Gimlet cocktail was the drink of choice for most navy officers and slowly, it became the drink of choice across the upper echelons of society. Join the upper ranks by mixing 25ml of neat lime cordial (choose a high-quality product) with double the amount of gin – best stick to a non-flavoured quality gin – and enjoy.

Or mix in a small jug and leave in the fridge for an hour or two to chill. If you like a sugary sharpness to your drinks, this is the ideal cocktail.

4.    The Fog Cutter

Raid the drinks cabinet with this delicious blend of a vintage cocktail that is credited as the invention of Victor Bergeron of Californian company Trader Vic’s. It mixes several liquors, a cocktail that will amaze your assembled guests once we can party safely post-lockdown.

A longer list of ingredients than the Gimlet cocktail, for one cocktail you’ll need 20ml of your favourite gin – normally made with dry gin, you can add your current favourite but take care with heavily flavoured gins in case you have a clash of flavours. Citrus flavoured gins would be the better option.

To your gin, add 20ml of brandy and a further 20ml of rum. Add the same quantity of lemon juice although you may want to leave it to last and add it to taste but add a good glug of orange juice, around 40ml. 15 ml of almond syrup will even out the citrus tones and a small dash of sherry will add piquancy without the tartness.

There are different version of this cocktail, such as the Lost Lake Fog Cutter as well as the Samoan Fog Cutter that includes orgeat syrup, an ingredient you’ll find online from brands such as Monin. But almond syrup works just as well.

5.    Southside

To end our list of delicious simmer cocktails infused with gin, we’ll finish with the simple Southside cocktail, also known as a mojito, gin-style.

Into a cocktail shaker, add 50ml of your favourite gin – Whitley Neil Handcrafted Dry Gin works great in this cocktail – along with 20 ml of neat lime juice. Add 15ml of sugar syrup (or add to taste, depending on how sweet or not your tooth is) and then around six mint leaves.

Pop on the lid and give your upper arms a really good work out by shaking vigorously for a minute or so. Strain it into a martini glass and savour.

Perfect in cocktails and with a decent mixer

The gin in your glass can be swamped or enhanced depending on the other ingredients you add to it. Just like you choose a quality mixer, always choose quality spirits to partner it in the cocktail of your choice.