The origin of the gin cocktail

Gin is a spirit highly appreciated by bartenders for its aromatic complexity and the diversity of its offer around the world.

Gin is a spirit made from malt or fruit, in particular juniper berries. Its aroma is complemented by a multitude of other aromatic substances such as lemon balm, pepper, citrus peel, various spices, roots and aromatic plants. Each recipe is unique to its creator and brand.

Since the 2010s, gin has seen its popularity and supply explode. In France alone, it is said that a brand of gin is created every day.

The Spirits Valley in the Cognac region alone has more than 30 brands of gin .

Distillers compose their gin from fruit alcohol such as apple and cider, grapes and wine… For the richness of its aromas, it is therefore particularly interesting to create a gin cocktail .

The gin cocktail is culturally anchored; we find it in films like James Bond and the historic Vesper Martini or even with the Queen of England who declares that she enjoys her daily Martini (therefore in a way a gin cocktail ).

Gin is made up of several appellations that define an aromatic profile.

The names of gin

London Dry Gin

London Dry Gin unlike Cognac or Tequila can be made anywhere in the world. Its elaboration involves a second distillation of neutral alcohol in the presence of juniper berries and other aromatic plants.

The particularity of this appellation is that it is widely used for dry and frank cocktails . It can be found in a gin Martini, for example, for lovers of simplicity and dry cocktails .

Distilled Gin

This type of gin is made on a London Dry base and includes the addition of other aromatic distillates. This creates the complexity of its aromas and textures as well as the type of distillation of its aromatics.

Old Tom Gin

Less present today, it is the basis of classic gin cocktails like the Tom Collins. It is slightly smoother and softer in the mouth than the London Dry.

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin is an IGP Protected Geographical Designation.

Its main characteristic is a greater proportion of roots in its recipe. It gives it a more present bitterness than in other types of gin .

Sloe Gin

This appellation, based on gin and sloes, is considered a liqueur. Measuring between 15 and 30% alcohol, Sloe Gin is historically harvested after the first frosts of October in order to obtain fruits bursting with sugar, such as ice wines or Rieslings in Alsace.

Sloe Gin is a deep ruby color, its aromatic profile is fruity and slightly oxidized. It is the basis of a Collin’s “Low ABV” supplemented with a soda and a citrus fruit.

Navy Strength

This gin is characterized by its alcoholic degree raised to 57% minimum, historically we spoke of a level called proof (proof in French). In the 19th century, gin was stored like rum, in the holds of ships with gunpowder. In the event of a leak, if the alcohol did not contain at least 114 proof, the gunpowder would not explode at the right time, the Navy therefore required this alcoholic title to ensure its fights. This high alcohol content brings a greater overall aromatic.

Used in gin and tonic to prevent malaria, its blend between tonic and its high degree was reputed to reduce pain while bringing a strong bitterness.

Aged Gin

This type of Gin is present on the market in small batches. Its aging gives it more supple and woody aromas. Most often, these gins are aged in barrels that have already been used for other alcohols such as red wine, port, sweet white wines…

The Dutch Jenever

This type of spirits is the basis of its English cousin Gin.

Made from malt from Dutch breweries, Dutch Jenever has the particularity of being slightly sweeter than Old Tom Gin. It also contains much more Juniper hence the name (Genever in English).

There are also liqueurs made with Dutch Jenever and spices such as Sweet & Spice Jenever.

Gin cocktail, classics and creations

It is possible to create a multitude of gin cocktail recipes to match any moment or occasion. Both rich in aromas and easy to mix, it is the basis of many classics.

At AIRMAIL COCKTAIL we currently offer a signature gin recipe, Côte Sauvage . This gin cocktail is an ephemeral recipe specially created for summer since it requires highly seasonal ingredients.

Gin and tonic

Gin and tonic is both simple and rich in possibilities, here is a simple method to choose your gin and its accompaniment on the following four questions:

  • Gin: dry / herbaceous / marine / floral / bitter / fruity / sweet
  • The tonic: Indian tonic / light / dry / fragrant / floral / aged
  • Garnish: decoration / aromatic herb / citrus / root / spice / berry
  • The glass: wine glass / tall glass / bowl glass / rocks glass

The gin brings the alcohol base to the mix, but also a large part of the aromatic, its bitterness and its freshness.

The tonic brings the gas and dilutes the cocktail. It is distinguished by its level of sugar, bitterness and its bubbles.

Finally, the garnish is here to season the cocktail, overcome the herbaceous and fresh touches of the gin.

It is advisable to taste a new pure gin in order to establish its aromatic profile and then answer the 4 questions to build your gin cocktail around its tasting sensations.

The Collins

Collin’s cocktails are long drink mixes made up of gin, citrus juice, sugar and sparkling water.

Tom Collins

Ingredients

  • 4 cl of Gin
  • 1.5 cl of liquid sugar
  • 1.5 cl lemon juice
  • 10 cl sparkling water
  • 1/2 slice of lemon
  • 1 highball glass
  • 100 g ice cream in cubes
  • 1 jigger
  • 1 bar spoon

Recipe

Place your glass in the freezer beforehand or fill it with ice to refresh it.

Pour in the lemon juice, sugar and gin and mix with the mixing spoon then add the sparkling water before mixing again very lightly.

Add the half-slice of lemon and enjoy.

No Waste Collin’s

Ingredients

  • 4 cl of gin
  • 1.5 cl of verjuice ( learn more about verjuice )
  • 1.5 cl of no waste cordial
  • 10 cl of sparkling water
  • 1/2 slice of grapefruit
  • 1 highball glass
  • 1 jigger
  • 100 g ice cubes
  • 1 bar spoon

Recipe

The no waste cordial is a syrup made from citrus fruits, fruits and aromatic herbs. It makes it possible not to throw away the citrus fruits after having recovered the juice and thus extract the essential oils, the bitterness and the acidity still present.

In a saucepan, place 5 half limes with the juice, 1 orange without the juice, 1 grapefruit without the juice, a few mint or basil leaves, depending on your choice.

Add 500 g of crystal sugar and 300 ml of water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves then leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat then let the citrus fruits infuse without the herbs for 12 hours in a cool place.

Filter the syrup before use.

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes then pour in the verjuice, syrup and gin. Mix with the mixing spoon then add the sparkling water before mixing again very lightly.

Add the half-slice of grapefruit and enjoy.

Low road Collin’s

Ingredients

  • 4 cl of Sloe Gin
  • 1.5 cl of red Pineau des Charentes
  • 1.5 cl of verjuice
  • 10 cl of sparkling water
  • 2 white grapes
  • 1 wooden pick
  • 1 highball glass
  • 1 jigger
  • 100 g ice cubes
  • 1 bar spoon

Recipe

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes then pour in the verjuice, Pineau and Sloe Gin. Mix with the mixing spoon then add the sparkling water before mixing again very lightly.

Cut the grapes in half and adjust them on the peak, then place it in the glass.

apple gimlet

The Gimlet is a classic short drink gin cocktail much appreciated by lovers of citrus fruits and a measured bitterness. Here it is in a different form and long drink.

Ingredients

  • 4.5 cl of gin
  • 2.5 cl lime cordial
  • 1.5 cl of verjuice
  • 8 cl raw cider
  • 100 g ice cubes
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 jigger
  • 1 bar spoon

Recipe

To make this gin cocktail , first fill a highball glass with ice cubes and then pour in the verjuice, lime cordial and gin. Mix lightly then add the cider before mixing again using the mixing spoon.

Add the sprig of thyme and enjoy.

The Martini

The Martini is a historic and elegant type of cocktail. It is also the name of the service glass of the latter. Historically of a straight and frank shape, it is now more slender and voluptuous.

The Martini offers a personalized experience.

As with gin and tonic , you have to ask yourself the right questions:

  • alcohol: gin, vodka or both
  • style: wet / dirty / gibson / vesper / dry
  • vermouth: dry / extra dry / white / amber
  • garnish: olive / lemon zest / gibson onion

We won’t associate the ” shake or spoon ” question and here’s why:

The martini is made up of 3 ingredients, all three with complex and volatile aromas. The shaker has the effect of frankly diluting the mix and cooling it quickly. The addition of water to the cocktail is then considerable, around 15 to 25% depending on the type of shake and the quality of the ice.

The mixing glass corresponding to “Stired Drinks”, its purpose is to mix and refresh a small volume of ingredients of more or less the same density, and in an inorganic way (without pulp or puree of fresh fruit).

The purity of the ingredients is such that the use of the shaker would destabilize the texture and the volatile aromas of the products exposed to too high an energy.

This is why the mixing glass will allow us to control the dilution of the Martini both in terms of the energy of dilution and the appreciation of the recipe.

It is also preferable to store the gin in the freezer and the vermouth in the refrigerator the day before or a few hours beforehand in order to perfect the tasting experience and the texture of the gin cocktail .

Vesper Martini

This gin cocktail was born from the imagination of author Ian Fleming in James Bond Casino Royal in 1953.

The Vesper Martini is a mix of gin, vodka and a special vermouth that has become very difficult to obtain today: Kina Lillet. This vermouth from the Bordeaux region and born in 1885 is enriched with quinine and fruit. Later, around 1970, the brand stopped producing it and created Lillet blanc for the English market.

This gin cocktail is very popular with bartenders and lovers of simple, well-balanced cocktails rich in history.

Ingredients

  • 4 cl of gin
  • 2 cl of vodka
  • 2 cl Kina Lillet or white Lillet
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1 mixing glass
  • 1 colander
  • 1 martini glass
  • 200 g ice cubes
  • 1 bar spoon

Recipe

To make this gin cocktail , you must first store the gin, vodka and martini glass in the freezer for a few hours beforehand. The vermouth, in the fridge.

In the mixing glass, pour the vermouth, vodka and gin. Fill the mixing glass with ice then mix by making circles around the inside walls of the glass using the mixing spoon. After 5 turns, place a drop on the top of the hand to test the dilution.

Pour the cocktail into the chilled martini glass using the strainer.

Make an orange zest above your glass then express it by making a slight twist still above the glass to perfume it with essential oils.

Dry Martini

Ingredients

  • 5 cl of gin or vodka
  • 1 cl dry vermouth
  • 1 lemon zest or a macerated olive
  • 2 drops of orange bitters
  • 1 mixing glass
  • 1 bar spoon
  • 1 jigger
  • 1 colander
  • 200 g ice cubes

Recipe

Store the gin and the martini glass in the freezer for a few hours beforehand. As for the vermouth, put it in the fridge.

In the mixing glass, pour the vermouth, the gin, fill the mixing glass with ice then mix by exercising circles around the interior walls of the glass using the mixing spoon, after 5 turns place a drop on the top of hand to test for dilution.

Pour the cocktail into the chilled martini glass using the strainer.

Make a lemon zest above your glass then express it by making a slight twist still above the glass to perfume it with essential oils.

Variants of the Dry Martini

Wet Martini: The idea is to make an extra extra dry martini. To do this, wet the glass with vermouth (1cl) and set it aside.

Dirty Martini: Before adding the ice to the mixing glass, a macerated olive is pressed to extract the juice and the iodized aromas to season the martini.

Gibson Martini: We replace the white or dry vermouth with an amber vermouth, the garnish of this short drink is a macerated caramelized onion.

The bitters can also be changed. Some Japanese bitters reproduce the umami sensation which will go perfectly with a marine gin.

The ice is also of great importance in ensuring the texture and purity of the gin cocktail . Make sure the ice is as transparent as possible for dilution. This is called clear-ice.

The Negroni

A classic par excellence, the Negroni is a gin cocktail concentrated in power, bitterness and wisdom.

Each ingredient must be perfectly dosed so as not to take over from another.

The choice of gin used is free, some will like a Plymouth Gin, others a floral or even iodized Gin.

The red vermouth is also important, it brings the aromatic base and the sweetness of the cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cl of gin
  • 2.5 cl of red vermouth
  • 2 cl bitters
  • 1/2 slice of orange
  • 1 jigger
  • 1 bar spoon
  • 1 colander
  • 1 mixing glass
  • 200 g ice cubes
  • 1 rock glass

Recipe

Place your rocks glass in the freezer a few hours before or fill it with ice to refresh it.

In the mixing glass, pour the vermouth, bitters and gin.

Fill the mixing glass with ice and mix the gin cocktail using the mixing spoon and make 4 turns of the spoon.

Drain the ice from the serving glass and pour the cocktail through the strainer.

Place half a slice of orange and enjoy.

The Gin Fizz

Gin Fizz is a subtle balance between sugar, lemon and gin. The mixer that makes the “fizzy” is sparkling water here to preserve the balance of the cocktail.

The Gin fizz is a very popular gin cocktail for the first tasting or as a welcome cocktail, fresh and slightly acidic. It whets the appetite.

Ingredients

  • 4 cl of gin
  • 2 cl lemon juice
  • 1.5 cl of sugar syrup
  • 8 cl of sparkling water
  • 1 shaker
  • 1 colander
  • 1 jigger
  • 1 champagne flute
  • 150 g ice cubes

Recipe

To make this gin cocktail , you must first place your champagne flute in the freezer beforehand or fill it with ice to cool it.

Fill most of the shaker 3/4 full with ice.

Pour the gin, sugar and lemon juice into the small part and close the shaker.

Take your glass out of the freezer or empty it of ice depending on the step chosen before shaking.

Shake the cocktail briskly for 5 to 7 seconds then pour it into your champagne flute.

Add sparkling water to complete the Gin Fizz and enjoy.

This gin cocktail is based on Collin’s as is. However, there is also the simplified version, the Ramos Gin Fizz which contains egg white and cream offering a much smoother texture.

The Southside Fizz

This cocktail is the pinnacle of fizz style. Although created in the 1890s, its recipe is fresh and modern.

It will correspond very well to Mojito lovers who wish to venture into the gin long drink without losing their habits.

Ingredients

  • 4.5 cl of gin
  • 2.5 cl lime juice
  • 1.5 cl of liquid sugar
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 8 cl of sparkling water
  • 1 highball glass
  • 200 g of cubed ice
  • 1 jigger
  • 1 bar spoon
  • 1 colander
  • 1 fine strainer
  • 1 shaker

Recipe

Place your glass in the freezer or refresh it with ice beforehand.

Fill the large part of the shaker with ice to 3/4.

Pour the gin, the liquid sugar and the lime juice as well as the mint into the small part then close the shaker.

Take your glass out of the freezer and fill it completely with ice cubes.

Shake the cocktail briskly for 8 to 10 seconds then pour it into your serving glass using the two strainers to filter the mint leaves.

Top up with sparkling water and mix lightly before serving.

Eden Tree

This signature cocktail features fruity and herbaceous notes. This refreshing long drink goes well with an expressive and aromatic gin.

Ingredients

  • 4.5 cl of gin
  • 2 cl elderflower syrup
  • 5 cl of green tea
  • 1/4 of a kiwi
  • 1/5 cucumber
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1.5 cl lime juice
  • 5 cl of ginger ale
  • 120 g of crushed ice
  • 120 g of cubed ice
  • 1 pinch of hibiscus flowers
  • 1 jigger
  • 1 shaker
  • 1 colander
  • 1 fine strainer
  • 1 Highball glass
  • 1 straw

Recipe

To make this gin cocktail , you must first place your glass in the freezer or refresh it with ice beforehand.

In a blender or small mixer, pour the tea, the mint leaves, the kiwi and the cucumber then mix until you obtain a liquid and homogeneous purée.

Strain through a fine sieve then set aside.

Fill the large part of the shaker with ice to 3/4.

Pour the gin, the syrup, the lime juice and 8 cl of the house puree into the small part then close the shaker.

Take your glass out of the freezer and fill it with crushed ice to 3/4.

Shake the cocktail briskly for 8 to 10 seconds then pour it into your serving glass using the strainer.

Top with ginger ale, mix lightly and make a dome of crushed ice.

Place a straw then a few hibiscus petals before tasting.

London Mule

Mules are long drink cocktails composed of a base of spirits, a citrus fruit and topped with a ginger beer.

They are usually served in copper mugs like his classic Moscow Mule .

Ingredients

  • 4 cl of London Dry gin
  • 1.5 lime juice
  • 1 cl of liquid sugar
  • 10 cl of ginger beer
  • 1 slice of cucumber
  • 1 sprig of mint
  • 120 g of cubed ice
  • 1 copper cup or rocks glass
  • 1 bar spoon
  • 1 jigger

Recipe

Place your glass in the freezer or refresh it with ice beforehand.

Pour the lime juice, sugar syrup and gin directly into the serving glass. Mix with the mixing spoon then add ice if necessary to fill the glass.

Pour in the ginger beer and mix again lightly.

Place the slice of cucumber and the head of mint then enjoy.

Singapore Sling

This Tiki-style recipe is one of the classic gin-based cocktails .

Ingredients

  • 4 cl of gin
  • 1.5 cl of cherry liqueur
  • 1 bar spoon of triple sec
  • 1 bar spoon of Dom Bénédictine
  • 1.5 cl lime juice
  • 10 cl of pineapple juice
  • 1 cl of grenadine syrup
  • 1 dash of aromatic bitters
  • 1/2 slice of lemon
  • 1 candied cherry
  • 1 wooden pick
  • 1 shaker
  • 1 bar spoon
  • 1 colander
  • 1 jigger
  • 1 highball glass
  • 200 g ice cubes

Recipe

To make this gin cocktail , you must first place your glass in the freezer or refresh it with ice beforehand.

Fill most of the shaker 3/4 full.

In the small part, pour the dash of bitters, the lemon juice, the syrup, the pineapple juice, the triple sec, the Bénédictine, the cherry liqueur and the gin.

Drain the glass then the ice from the shaker before closing it.

Shake vigorously for 8 to 10 seconds then pour into the serving glass using the strainer.

Decorate with half a slice of lemon and a pickled cherry.

It’s up to you to express your talent as a mixologist

The gin cocktail is now at your fingertips. You can now work on your creativity or reproduce the recipes offered. To make your life easier, don’t hesitate to discover our ready-to-drink cocktail recipes.

Also discover our other articles dedicated to the cocktail .

Good tasting !

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