Summer is now in full swing and people are looking to lighter, more refreshing drinks to enjoy in the sun. Many beer drinkers are going from ales, like stouts and brown ales, to lighter, crisper lagers. The same transition is happening with wine drinkers who are moving from cabernets and merlots to more summery bottles, like chardonnay and rosé. Cocktails drinkers have a wealth of choice, especially after the Cocktail Renaissance of the last decade. While some are moving toward rum-based tiki drinks for the summer, some are going with vodka. One spirit that has been embraced as the go-to summer mixer in places like Spain and England, is Gin. Gin is an excellent summer alternative to dark spirits and even vodka, as gin can include light, botanical flavors that suit the summer weather well. And it makes for one refreshing cocktail. Here are our 5 favorite Gin cocktails that are perfect for summer:
- Martini – One of the most classic cocktails of all time, a classic Gin martini is an excellent summer alternative to something like a Manhattan. We even like using the same Manhattan recipe for our Martinis. Though the Vodka Martini has become the norm, we prefer the classic style Gin Martini, as the flavors in the gin meld well with the dry vermouth. To make a refreshing and classic Gin Martini: combine 4-6 dashes of orange bitters, 1 oz. of dry vermouth, and 2 oz. of your favorite gin in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel.
- Gin & Tonic – one of the most simple and iconic drinks, the Gin & Tonic is a summer staple around the world. It is refreshing, light, and perfect for a summer BBQ or picnic. This drink is ubiquitous in Spain during the summer where you’ll see countless glasses of G&T being enjoyed in cafes, restaurants, parks, and on front porches. The effervescence of the tonic and the ice in the glass are excellent tools to keep the summer sun at bay. Stay cool and refreshed by: filling a Collins glass with ice. Add 2 oz. of your favorite gin to the glass, followed by 4-6 oz. of tonic water. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge.
- Gimlet – A gimlet is a classic cocktail that invokes memories of old Hollywood glamor. It is a classy and sophisticated cocktail that is an even more summery alternative to a classic martini or daiquiri. The citrus flavors really bring the summer vibes in this drink and are perfectly balanced with the simple syrup. Use a citrus forward gin like Plymouth or Beefeater for this perfect sophisticated summer drink. To make: pour .75 oz. fresh lime juice, .75 oz simple syrup, and 2 oz. of gin in a shaking tin. Add ice to tin, seal, and shake until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
- Aviation – This is a cocktail that was revived
during the cocktail renaissance and it contains unique flavors that
can only be carried by gin. Crème de Violette is often a polarizing ingredient to use in a drink, but it works beautifully here. Oddly, it conjures childhood memories of the blue raspberry juice that many ice cream trucks carry in the summer. It creates a unique and refreshing cocktail that looks stunning in a glass. Impress your friends at the next summer BBQ with this gorgeous cocktail. To make: combine .75 oz of fresh lemon juice, 3/8th of an oz. of maraschino liqueur, 3/8th of an oz. of Crème de Violette, and 2 oz. of gin in a shaking tin. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.
- Floradora – This cocktail may be the most obscure on the list, but it is growing in popularity and introducing people to the magical combination of gin and raspberry. This complex and refreshing cocktail is fruity and has a bit of spice to it. The carbonation from the club soda helps to bring out the botanicals in the gin and also lightens up the texture of the cocktail. To make this summer sipper: combine .5 oz. fresh lime juice, .5 oz. ginger syrup, .5 oz. raspberry syrup, and 2 oz. of gin in a shaking tin. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a highball glass with fresh ice. Top up with club soda and garnish with a raspberry.