5 Easy Cocktails You Should Be Using Your Gin With

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It's World Cocktail Day and that means you can have a guilt-free mid-week cocktail on us. While you may be tempted to grab a vodka and rum, our little friend, gin, is just as fun to drink. It's usually reserved solely for gin and tonics by many amateur home bartenders but here are five easy cocktails you can make to shake things up.

The Negroni

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Let's start with the classic Italian cocktail, which requires only three ingredients if you're not counting ice and the optional garnish. If you like your cocktails a perfect blend of bitter and sweet, this one will be right up your alley.

You'll need:

  • 30ml gin
  • 30ml Campari, or if you prefer something a bit sweeter and lighter, Aperol
  • 30ml sweet, red vermouth — Cinzano or Martini are my regular go-tos
  • Ice
  • Twist of orange

How to make it: Pour gin, Campari (or Aperol) and vermouth in a mixer filled with ice. After some vigorous shaking, pour in a glass over ice and garnish with a twist of orange. Bliss.

Correction: We initially included just Aperol, instead of Campari angering many Negroni fanatics in the process. We regret this grave error.


The Gimlet

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The Gimlet is another cocktail classic and a bit easier on the taste buds if you find the Negroni overwhelmingly bitter. This one's fairly similar to a Gin Sour so if you love citrus-y cocktails, it's sure to hit the spot.

You'll need:

How to make it: The toughest part of this recipe is juicing those limes but once that's done, pour it in with the gin, sugar and ice in a cocktail mixer and then into a martini glass or champagne saucer. Garnish with a lime slice and some lime zest.

Side note: If you want to add the froth at the top of the drink, add one egg white into the mix before you start shaking your miser. This technically makes it a gin sour but you're at home, nobody's going to call you out.


The Gin Fizz

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Taking it back to basics is the Gin Fizz, which is confusingly similar to the Tom Collins cocktail. It's the perfect cocktail if you want something light or you've run out of tonic water again.

You'll need:

  • 60ml gin
  • 30ml juiced lemons
  • 20g of caster sugar
  • Sparkling water to fill glass
  • Ice
  • Slice of lemon

How to make it: Mix the gin, lemon juice and caster sugar until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a high ball glass filled with ice, top it with sparkling water and add a slice of lemon for garnish.


The Southside

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The Southside is basically gin's answer to the mojito. If you feel like freshening up the lime juice and gin combo, adding a few mint leaves changes the flavour completely.

You'll need:

  • 60ml gin
  • 60ml juiced limes
  • 20g of caster sugar
  • A bunch of mint leaves
  • Ice

How to make it: Pour the lime juice, gin, sugar mint leaves and ice into a cocktail mixer and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a nice mint leaf or two.


The Earl Grey Martini

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This one will require a little extra preparation but if your two joys in life are Earl Grey tea and gin, you're in for a treat.

You'll need:

  • 60ml gin
  • An Earl Grey tea bag
  • 30ml juiced lemons
  • 20g of caster sugar
  • Ice
  • Lemon slice

How to make it: First, you'll need to infuse the gin and Earl Grey. Pop an Earl Grey teabag in a mug of your gin and let it seep for as long as you can. It'll start to change colour and once it looks like a tea, remove the teabag.

Add the infused gin, some lemon juice, sugar and ice to a cocktail mixer and give it a few good shakes. Pour into a glass and garnish with a lemon slice.


Winter bonus: Mulled gin

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This one's going to take a bit more of your time but if you're really feeling like something that screams winter, consider making a mulled gin cocktail.

You'll need:

  • 200ml gin
  • 800ml of cloudy apple juice
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf

How to make it: Pop all the ingredients into a small saucepan and cook until it simmers over low heat. Once the ingredients start to fuse together, pour into mugs or heatproof glasses and serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick.

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