Classic Gin Cocktails

Pour yourself a bit of “Dutch Courage.”

If the martini is the king of cocktails, then gin is the crown it wears upon its head. This grain-based liquor is flavored with juniper berries, which explains its almost pinecone-like flavor. The name gin comes from the Dutch word for juniper, jenever. Back in the 1650s, a Dutch doctor first distilled it as an elixir for calming the stomach and for stimulating the appetite. Take two martinis and call me in the morning!

Favorite Martini Recipes

It’s simple, really. A whisper of vermouth, some gin, and an olive. But there are many subtle variations on this theme. How much vermouth is appropriate? There is much debate. Some recipes are playfully averse to it, recommending, say, pouring a generous portion of gin into a shaker while a friend stands in the next room waving a vermouth bottle at you. Here are just a few of the more traditional takes on the king of cocktails.

Dan Fay Martini

Photo by squawk93

Other Ginned-Up Favorites

Of course, there’s more to gin than martinis. Consider the gin and tonic. It’s a classic summer drink–so refreshing. But that wasn’t the only reason that the colonial English drank G and T’s in sunny, hot India: quinine in the tonic water kept malaria at bay. And the gin helped the medicine go down in the most delightful way. Here are a few delicious gin-based drinks:

Bee's Knees II

Photo by Cheryl Osterhout

Booze Foods

Don’t drink alone–add some food to the fun. We’ve picked several top-rated recipes to go with your favorite gin drinks.

Perfect Porterhouse Steak … and a martini. Add a little ring-a-ding-ding to the ol’ dining thing. A porterhouse and a martini made the perfect power lunch–back in, oh, the late 1950s. The staff at Allrecipes thinks the time is right to bring it back into fashion. P.S. Not advised during the work week.

More Gin-Friendly Foods

Baked Pork Spring Rolls

Photo by LynnInHK

Martinis on Your Plate

These dishes call for gin, olives, and vermouth.

Cocktails Quick Links

Gin-Soaked Songs We Love

  • “Misery and Gin” by Merle Haggard
  • “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg
  • “Gin Soaked Boy” by Tom Waits
  • “Love is Like a Bottle of Gin” by the Magnetic Fields

It’s the Ice!

The best tasting cocktails use fresh ice made from pure, filtered water. “Fresh” means the cubes haven’t been sitting around for weeks in the freezer soaking up the stale, flavor essences of long-lingering foods. Bring the water to a quick boil for best results. Make it the morning of the day you plan to mix your cocktails, and you’ll enjoy the freshest, most delicious cocktails.