Looking to gin up some new gin cocktails this fall? Whether you have a taste for Negronis, prefer a drink with a fizz, or just want a twist on an old classic, some of America’s best bartenders, brand ambassadors, and other spirits professionals are shaking up their favorite recipes.
Here are some of the best ginnovations.
The Best Gin Cocktails to Make at Home
“In a world before Covid-19 we were able to go to our favorite bar and enjoy both a drink and a dream for the future. There comes a time when we need a cocktail to remind us that summer is a time of merriment—one that might contain something botanical like Roku Japanese gin. A perfect summer cocktail, the first sip brings you back to happier times and gives you the motivation to push forward. Remember the good times, and weather the bad, and look forward to better days.” —Donny Largotta, beverage director at The Chester at Gansevoort Meatpacking
2 oz. Roku Gin
1.25 oz. fresh watermelon purée
4 mint leaves, muddled
0.50 oz. LiDestri Pink Limoncello
0.25 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
Method: Combine ingredients in a shaker. Shake and double strain over a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with 2 mint sprigs and sliced watermelon.
MUSKMELON TANQUERAY & TONIC
“The Muskmelon Tanqueray & Tonic is an ideal summer sipper. It is refreshing and unexpected and something you can sip on by the side of a pool, by the beach, or just at home with friends.” —Ezra Star, bar consultant and cocktail educator
1.5 oz. Tanqueray No. Ten
0.5 oz. lemon juice
0.5 oz. honey or honeydew honey*
2 oz. tonic water
Method: Build ingredients in an ice-filled wine glass and top with tonic water. Stir to combine and garnish with a slide of melon.
*For the Optional Honeydew Honey: Blend 2–3 slices of honeydew in a blender and strain to retain the juice. Add equal parts light honey and stir until dissolved into the mixture.
“Probably my favorite cocktail (when made correctly). I would tell you that it’s the perfect cocktail if you were planning on having one drink or ten. That the negroni bianco is the ideal cocktail for brunch or lunch, or dinner, or a nightcap—or even during your morning shower. Few things in life that are created with three equal parts are as beautiful as the negroni. The negroni bianco made with Luxardo Bitter Bianco is no exception. Bitter orange notes mixed with the alluring bouquet of Italian herbs and finished with a touch of wormwood makes the cocktail something special—and something to be enjoyed year-round.” —Chris Norton, bartender at Sweet Liberty (Miami, Florida)
1 oz. Luxardo London Dry Gin
1 oz. Luxardo Bitter Bianco
1 oz. dry vermouth
Method: Build over ice into a rocks glass. Stir. Garnish with a lemon twist and Luxardo Maraschino Cherry.
WHAT’S UP DOC?
“Creating new styles of cocktails has been my passion, all while keeping in mind what the consumer wants these days. People are trying to eat and drink healthy, which is why we incorporate freshly pressed juices into our cocktail program. All of these juices can be found at your local juice bar—and combined with a little bit of your own creativity, you will enjoy a super cocktail. Gin is my favorite spirit, and Junipero Gin captures botanicals and aromatics to a perfection.” —Ramón Aguirre Bernal, bar program director, Nuno’s Bistro & Bar (Upland, California)
1.5 oz. Junipero gin
1 oz. fresh-pressed carrot juice
1 oz. fresh-pressed pineapple juice
0.25 oz. fresh-pressed ginger juice
0.25 oz. agave nectar
0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
Method: Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice; strain into highball with fresh ice.
CITADELLE GIN & LEMONADE
“First of all, it’s a very easy cocktail to make at home with ingredients you can find in any supermarket. You don’t even need a shaker, just a glass or a pitcher and some ice. It’s everything we need right now with heatwaves and lockdown all around the world. Fresh yet complex with the touch of honey. I recommend wildflower honey (if you can) for this one. It pairs with the botanicals from Citadelle Gin perfectly. It reminds me when I stayed over at Château de Bonbonnet, where they distill the gin. It was a hot summer too and we were drinking Tom Collins (similar drink but with sugar instead of honey).” —Nico de Soto, owner of Mace (New York City) and Danico (Paris)
2 oz. Citadelle Gin
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz. honey
4 oz. sparkling water
Method: In a jug or single serve glass, combine Citadelle, lemon and honey, stirring until honey is completely dissolved. Add ice and fill to top with sparkling water. Garnish with fresh lemon or aromatic herbs.
BEAVERKILL RIVER COOLER
“This is a great cocktail anytime, but for us it reminds us of the Beaverkill River that runs through our town. We haven’t been able to get out much, so we made it in a glass. We call it the Beaverkill River Cooler since it’s green, refreshing, and has stuff floating in it. It reminds us of tubing down the river.” — Brian Facquet, founder and distiller at Prohibition Distillery
2 oz. Bootlegger 21 New York Craft Gin
0.75 oz. lime juice
0.75 oz. simple syrup
3 mint leaves
1 cucumber wheel, unpeeled
Method: In a shaker, quickly muddle the cucumber and mint. Fill with ice. Add Bootlegger 21 gin, lime, and simple syrup. Shake hard. Serve in a glass cup with a slapped mint leave.
“An homage to the writer Jane Austen, this aperitivo is light in body with a crisp astringent finish—similar to the author’s literary work. The bergamot oil from the tea merges well with the juniper berry flavor of the gin. While we count the days until the end of 2020, The Austen makes it more bearable when paired with a good book and close friends…socially distanced of course.” —Morgan Rhule, director of beverage at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood (Hollywood, Florida)
2 oz. Earl Grey-infused Hendrick’s*
0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz. simple syrup
0.5 oz. store-bought vanilla syrup (preferably Torani)
1 egg white, cracked
*For the Earl Grey-Infused Hendrick’s: Place 8 Earl Grey tea bags in 1 liter of Hendrick’s gin, let infuse for 3 days.
Method: Combine all ingredients in tin except egg whites. Shake vigorously. Set aside tin and place in ice to chill. Crack egg and separate egg whites into a separate tin, dry shake (without ice). Combine all ingredients into the tin with ice, shake briefly and strain into a coupe. Garnish with orange peel curled over sides and lay over egg white foam.
THE SQUEAKY DOOR
“Everything about this drink is very personal to me: It’s made with my new gin, Artingstall’s, which I’ve waited my entire life to create. It’s named in honor of my wife, Laurie, who always enters our Instagram cocktail show through the very squeaky door that leads to our home bar—and it’s made from all of her and my favorite ingredients. It’s boozy enough to be the perfect 2020 escape, yet tasty enough to erase any Puritan guilt you might have about drinking a cocktail. In short, it’s a very squeaky win–win!” —Paul Feig, award-winning director and founder of Artingstall’s Gin
1.5 oz. Artingstall’s Brilliant London Dry Gin
0.5 oz. cherry liqueur
0.5 oz. elderflower liqueur
0.5 oz. orange curaçao
Juice of half a lemon
Cocktail cherry and lemon peel for garnish
Method: Shake gin, cherry liqueur, curaçao, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Strain into a highball or a Collins glass over ice and top with club soda. Drop in cocktail cherry. Cut a long twist of lemon and shape lengthwise to make it straight, then put it into the drink so that the top half of twist sticks up out of the drink. Sip and enjoy!
THE SOUR CHERRY G&T
“I love the sour cherry gin and tonic, not only because it’s delicious but because it’s a simple twist to a classic. The drink is great all year round but definitely an especially excellent treat for warmer weather! I had the chance to experience the smell of the cherries through the huge wooden vats at the Luxardo distillery and this just brings my mind back to my visit to Italy!” —Kapri Robinson, founder of Chocolate City’s Best
3 oz. Luxardo Sour Cherry Gin
4 oz. tonic
Method: Build over ice into a highball glass.
“The Summer Lovin’ is The Barn’s take on a classic Pimm’s Cup. Cool and refreshing but still herbaceous, the drink is low in ABV so it’s easy to enjoy multiple beverages while lazing about through the course of a summer evening.” —Jason Cott, partner at Alchemy Consulting and Bedford Post Dining, Bedford Post Inn (Bedford, New York)
1.5 oz. Pimm’s No.1
0.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire
0.75 oz. lime juice
0.75 oz. simple syrup
Method: Muddle fruit with simple syrup. Add ingredients. Hard shake. Roll into Collins glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprig, cucumber slice, and strawberry.
TOD & VIXEN’S SIX SEEDS
“Tod & Vixen’s Dry Gin 1651 is a unique gin because it’s so versatile it tastes as if it was made specifically for any style, including a flavorful, aromatic, and effervescent sour like the Six Seeds.” —Ali Martin, bartender at The Up & Up (New York, New York)
1 oz. Tod & Vixen’s Dry Gin 1651
0.75 oz. grapefruit Juice
0.5 oz. lemon Juice
0.5 oz. Grenadine
2 Dash Peychaud’s
Method: Shake with two orange peels. Strain into a coupe and top with dry sparkling wine.
“My cocktail of choice this summer has been the Roku Sonic, a Japanese twist on a classic G&T served at many bars and izakayas in Tokyo. The effervescence from the chilled soda water enhances Roku’s aromatic and floral notes from the botanicals, while the tonic provides the right amount of sweetness to round out the cocktail. It’s perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day, reminds me of past travels and has me looking forward to trips to Japan in the (hopefully) near future.” —Jessica Lambert, Central U.S. brand ambassador, House of Suntory
1.5 parts Roku Gin
1.5 parts premium tonic water
1.5 parts premium soda water
Lime or shiso leaf (for garnish)
Method: Get the glass as cold as possible. Add fresh ice, then the gin. Top with tonic and stir. Garnish with lime or shiso leaf.
“The negroni is the quintessential aperitif cocktail. Hailing from Milan, this bittersweet, boozy, and balanced cocktail made the jump from aperitivo hour in Italy to the finest cocktail bars in the world. Now, it’s one of the most popular drinks here in the United States—and it’s appropriate for any occasion. Bitter flavors have been seeing a major renaissance as American’s have pulled their collective palates out of the overly sweet doldrums we faced due to World War rationing and the ‘noble experiment’ of Prohibition. Campari and bitter drinks were once only ordered by those who had the means to travel to Europe and experience the beauty of aperitivo hour—all while sitting in a piazza, drinking bitter cocktails and consuming nibbles of prosciutto. These days, we’re now seeing the everyday drinker enjoying spritzes and negronis. And I love it because the negroni is truly the most balanced and interesting of the classic cocktails. Its ingredients are flavorful in their own right and the proportions of the drink allow for a delicious marriage of flavors—and in a way that hits not just the boozy, bitter, and sweet. (The acidity in the vermouth and Campari is just enough to wash some of the sweet off the palate so that it doesn’t feel cloying and heavy on the tongue, like many overly saccharine and out-of-balance drinks do). I also love the original recipe because it’s a coffee cocktail without the coffee—at least in terms of bitterness. If you love a negroni or any of its many variations (Old Pal, Americano, Sbagliato, etc) then you’ll love cocktails with real Arabica coffee in them. That’s where the coffee negroni fits in—snugly between tasty aperitif cocktails, to offer a pick me up before dinner…to prepare the senses for a night of eating, conversation, and fun with your quaranteam.” —Stephen Kurpinsky, U.S. brand ambassador for Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
1 oz. gin
1 oz. Mr Black Cold Brew Liqueur
0.75 oz. Campari
0.50 oz. sweet vermouth
Method: Add all ingredients to an old fashioned glass. Add ice and stir. Garnish with an orange peel.