19 Classic Gin Cocktails to Quench Your Thirst

When it comes to refreshing and soothing after-work pleasures, it’s hard to beat gin cocktails.

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Gin’s primary flavor comes from the berries of juniper plants. That just sounds delicious and invigorating, doesn’t it?

Maybe you’re feeling nostalgic for a gimlet or Tom Collins. For some people, a gin martini is what they want for a sophisticated cocktail.

Five colorful gin tonic cocktails in wine glasses on bar counter in pup or restaurant.

Or perhaps you’re looking for the best gin cocktails to cook you off on a hot summer’s day.

We think you will find that a delicious cucumber cooler or fruity strawberry smash is exactly what the summer ordered.

Whether you’re looking for classic gin cocktails or new and exciting gin drinks, the list we’ve compiled of the best gin cocktails has something for you.

Are you ready for a relaxing evening at home? Dust off your bartending skills and get ready to make these 18 delightful gin cocktails.

Source: Liquor.com

1. Negroni

An Italian gin cocktail, the Negroni is an apéritif, which is either before or after a meal.

Like most of the other classic gin cocktail recipes on our list, the Negroni has been around for a long time. Most experts believe that it was first served in 1919 in Florence, Italy to the Caffe Casoni for the Count of Negroni, Pascal Olivier.

The count basically wanted a stronger drink than his customary Americano, and the bartender added some gin. History was made.

With unique flavors of sweet vermouth (not dry vermouth), Campari, and gin, the Negroni is a winner.

Source: Acouplecooks.com

2. Floradora

Do you fancy a berry-flavored gin cocktail with a kick of ginger? If so, you will adore the Floradora.

Another cocktail that dates back to the early part of the 20th century, the Floradora is an absolute masterpiece.

The Floradora was inspired by the beloved Broadway show “Floradora” and makes use of a spicy ginger beer, raspberry syrup, and lime.

In the Broadway show, six chorus girls were featured and they carried parasols and wore pink dresses. This pink drink is beautifully reminiscent of these ladies.

Garnish this gorgeous drink with a raspberry skewer and a lime wedge.

Source: Acouplecooks.com

3. Aviation Cocktail

We are completely head-over-heels in love with the gorgeous purple-hued Aviation Cocktail.

Besides being just gorgeous to look at, this gin cocktail is delicious, too.

And the Aviation Cocktail has been around since the early 1900s when it was created by a bartender named Hugo Ensslin at New York’s Hotel Wallick.

Creme de Violette liqueur can be difficult to find, but it’s worth the effort.

Other ingredients include fresh lemon juice and Maraschino liqueur. Squeeze a lemon to get juice or use bottled lemon juice.

Also, if you can find Luxardo cherries, they make the perfect garnish.

Source: Whiskaffair.com

4. Cucumber Cooler

When you’re wanting a cocktail that is light and refreshing on a hot summer day, this cucumber cooler will hit the spot.

This recipe makes use of the perfect English cucumber, fresh mint leaves, lime juice, and a sweetener that can be sugar, honey, or agave.

When you make this at home, you can have it as sweet or sour as you want. Some folks like a sweet cocktail and others prefer one that’s nice and tart.

Garnished with a lime wedge, this cocktail is perfection in a cocktail glass.

Source: Spiritsbeacon.com

5. Red Snapper

Are you a fan of the Bloody Mary cocktail? Well, guess what? You can make it with gin.

When you make this classic tomato cocktail with gin, it’s called the Red Snapper.

We love the catchy name, but most of all, we love the flavors in this delicious classic drink.

You can consider the Red Snapper to be a sassier version of your beloved Bloody Mary.

Here’s a suggestion. Spice up this recipe with some hot chili powder and cumin for an interesting flavor sensation.

Source: Acouplecooks.com

6. Gin Fizz

Dated as far back as the 1870s, the Gin Fizz is one of the most beloved classic gin cocktails.

When you want something that’s both tart like lemon and sweet, the Gin Fizz is what you’re looking for.

With botanical flavors and a satisfying pop of lemon juice for flavor, this legendary gin drink has a refreshing zing.

One thing that makes the Gin Fizz unique is that it has a frothy white foam topping that’s made from an egg white.

To make the Gin Fizz, you need soda water (club soda), gin, an egg white, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup or sugar syrup.

Also, you can use fruity and sweet sloe gin to make this a sloe gin fizz.

Source: Thespruceeats.com

7. Bramble

While some of the classic gin cocktail recipes on our list are 100 years old or more, the Bramble is a newcomer.

This fruity gin cocktail was created by a British bartender named Dick Bradsell in 1984.

The ingredient that makes the Bramble so unique is crème de mûre, which is a blackberry liqueur that is super sweet.

If you can’t find crème de mûre, worry not. You can actually make a similar homemade concoction with blackberries that you buy or pick yourself.

To garnish this gorgeous drink, use a lime wheel and blackberries (or raspberries).

Source: Gimmesomeoven.com

8. French 75

If you’ve never tried a French 75 cocktail, you’re in for a delightful surprise.

All you need to make this classic gin cocktail is dry sparkling wine (Brut champagne is an excellent choice), fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin.

If you add a dab of honey (for honey syrup) to your simple syrup instead of using sugar syrup, it gives this traditional cocktail a whole new level of flavor.

The French 75 needs to be shaken in a cocktail shaker with some ice to reach full awesomeness.

Garnish this fizzy cocktail with a lemon twist.

Source: Sweetteaandthyme.com

9. Strawberry Gin Smash

Fruity and fresh summertime cocktails are what we are all about, and this Strawberry Gin Smash is just what the doctor ordered.

This cocktail is similar to a Tom Collins, but instead of fizzy lemonade, the Strawberry Gin Smash has a generous squeeze of lime juice and strawberries that have been muddled.

The best thing about this cocktail is how versatile it is. For the fizz, you can use any kind of carbonated beverage. Think Sprite, ginger ale, club soda, and even tonic water.

In a pinch, you can also use frozen strawberries that you thaw in time for sipping.

Another trick to use if you don’t have strawberries or strawberry syrup is to use some strawberry jam or preserves. This gives you a delicious fruity jam cocktail.

Pro tip: try this cocktail with a bit of pineapple juice and crushed ice for a beverage that is perfect for summer. Garnish with a lemon wheel to add a touch of tartness.

Source: Inspiredtaste.net

10. Gin and Tonic

The secret to the perfect gin and tonic recipe is balancing the gin against the tonic water’s bitterness.

Also, using the best gin you can afford makes a difference, too. Gin that is mid-shelf or high-shelf will give you the best flavor.

And would you even try to enjoy a gin and tonic without lime? Of course, you wouldn’t!

Here’s another pro-tip for making the perfect gin and tonic. If you’re not going to use a whole big bottle, stick with the smaller bottles that give you a single serving.

Using the small bottles, you will always have fresh tonic water with plenty of fizz. London Dry Gin is excellent in a gin and tonic.

Source: Acouplecooks.com

11. Last Word

In 1916, the Last Word cocktail started appearing on the menus of restaurants and drinking establishments.

However, this classic cocktail became popular when it was published in a cocktail recipe book in the 1950s.

In 2004, the Last Word caught the attention of a Seattle bartender named Murray Stenson. Somehow, the Last Word started to go viral and now it’s popular all over the world.

In the Last Word, the green Chartreuse liqueur and maraschino liqueur are the stars of the show.

Here’s a pro tip about making the Last Word. Tanqueray gin is hugely popular, but it has floral notes that don’t lend themselves well to some cocktails, so it’s best to choose a different one for the Last Word. Consider a dry gin like Beefeater Gin as an option.

Source: Moodymixologist.com

12. Gin Rickey

The Gin Rickey is one of the classic gin cocktails that has been around for a long time.

How long has the Gin Rickey been around, you ask? Would you believe that bartenders have been mixing up Rickeys since the 1880s?

The original Rickey was made with bourbon, but 10 years later, folks started making this delicious cocktail with gin and it became much more popular.

The ingredients are super simple: dry gin, juice from half a lime, and carbonated water.

The Gin Rickey has the distinction of being much lower in carbohydrates and calories than some other cocktails, so bottoms up!

Source: Acouplecooks.com

13. Greyhound Cocktail

The Greyhound Cocktail is like an exciting grown-up version of the classic gin and grapefruit juice that is so beloved by folks in the South.

Grapefruit is the king of the citrus world, and it shines beautifully in the Greyhound Cocktail.

Born in the early part of the 20th century, the Greyhound Cocktail is named after the Greyhound bus company because this fun cocktail used to be served in bus terminals.

Fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice is best, and a teaspoon of simple syrup gives you all the sweetness you need.

To add yet another great cocktail to your list of best gin drinks, salt the rim of the Greyhound Cocktail and you officially have a Salty Dog. Or use vodka instead of gin and you have a Vodka Greyhound.

Source: Simplyrecipes.com

14. Gimlet

The gin cocktail with the cutest name, the Gimlet is incredibly simple but the flavors offer something refreshing and complex.

All you need to make a Gimlet is gin, simple syrup, and lime. This classic cocktail is like a gin sour that is perfectly balanced.

The Gimlet is one of the oldest classic gin cocktails on our list of best gin drinks. Dating back to the 1880s, the Gimlet was created by Sir Thomas Gimlette, a surgeon in the Royal Navy.

Dr. Gimlette knew that the lime juice would help prevent his sailors from getting scurvy.

We don’t have to worry about scurvy anymore, but we think the Gimlet is just what the doctor ordered, anyhow!

Source: Acouplecooks.com

15. Tom Collins

The nostalgic Tom Collins is a nostalgic cocktail with a coll name.

A Tom Collins is made in a tall highball glass.

This cocktail is basically a gin sour, and it’s both sour and sweet.

The beloved garnish for this gin drink is a maraschino cherry and an orange slice and/or a lemon slice.

Lemon juice and soda water is used as the base, so it’s nice and tart, but it gets some nice sweetness from simple syrup.

You can use the juice of a lemon or lemon juice from a bottle.

To give this classic gin cocktail some color, you can drop some bright red maraschino cherries into the drink.

Here’s a tip. If you don’t have gin, you can use vodka to make this drink. When made with vodka, this drink is called a Vodka Collins.

Source: Acouplecooks.com

16. Pegu Club

The Pegu Club was the signature drink of a club with the same name that was located near Rangoon in Burma. This classic gin cocktail gets its name from the Pegu River.

Popular since the 1920s, the Pegu Club has flavors of herbs and citrus.

If you’re looking for a sophisticated cocktail that your guests have probably never tried before, you can surprise them with the Pegu Club.

To make the Pegu Club, you need to use both orange bitters and angostura bitters.

The flavors from the Cointreau and lime juice are what make this cocktail so special.

Source: Grumpydingoradio.com

17. Georgia Gin Cocktail

This fruity cocktail originated in Georgia, whose nickname is “The Peach State.”

So of course the Georgia Gin Cocktail has peach schnapps in it. And it’s just as yummy as you would expect.

Other ingredients include orange juice, so this gin cocktail is high on fruit flavor. The two ounces of gin doesn’t hurt, either.

This is a cocktail that does best when it’s shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Garnish this fun and fruity beverage with an orange slice and serve it in a tall highball glass.

Source: Acouplecooks.com

18. Southside

If you love mojitos, then you have to try the Southside cocktail.

This refreshing cocktail is sort of like a mojito, but made with gin? Count us in!

A botanical drink, you will love the fresh minty flavors in this drink.

The lemon juice and fresh lime juice flavors make it similar to a Tom Collins, but the Southside cocktail isn’t carbonated.

To sweeten your Southside cocktail and balance out the tartness of the lemon juice, you can use maple syrup or make a simple syrup.

Want something different? Add some club soda and you’ve got a totally new drink: the Southside Fizz!

Source: Acouplecooks.com

19. Classic Gin Martini

For many people, gin means a martini.

Perhaps the most sophisticated gin cocktail, a classic martini is simply perfection.

The only ingredients in a martini are gin and vermouth. That’s it. A martini is famously simple. Of course, the twist of lemon peel adds the perfect garnish.

One of the most iconic cocktails in history, the martini is a beloved drink that has lots of history.

You can have your martini shaken, or request a stirred martini. A martini is made with dry vermouth.

But what is vermouth? Essentially, vermouth is a fortified wine, which means that liquor was added to the wine for preservation properties.

Also, a dry martini should be stirred, not shaken.

Watch the video below to see some of these cocktails being made in action.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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