The best gin cocktail recipes, from a French 75 to a classic martini – Robb Report

Gin Martini

There was a time, not too long ago, when bartenders had to convince people to try gin. Fortunately for everyone, those days are over.

Not that it was ever that hard. A gin enthusiast could have a passionate pro-gin polemic if they really wanted to – a long list of must-have gin cocktails perhaps, or an exploration of the mind’s vast versatility – but as far as persuasion is concerned, a single sip. from an Eastside Rickey is enough to win a gin convert for life.

A great cocktail spirit should be two things: first, it should take the other ingredients to the next level and provide the structure so that they can express their best selves, and second, it should not be so tasty or expensive on its own that using of it in a cocktail is seen as a waste. By those criteria, gin is the best cocktail we have. It’s dynamic and expressive, quirky but not a diva, interesting enough on its own but becomes spectacular when mixed. Gin is perfectly comfortable being the center of attention in something like the Tuxedo, but it’s also very happy, as with the Corpse Reviver No. 2, to be the stage where others sing their songs.

Whether it’s the invigorating and seductive Arsenic and Old Lace or the bright and charming French 75, here are seven gin drinks to fall in love with the mind all over again.

blackberry bush

blackberry cocktail

Photo: Courtesy of Adobe Stock

The Bramble is an atmosphere. “As the days get longer and the sun gets stronger,” we wrote around this time last year, “cocktails like the Bramble float back in our minds, as if forced by the season.” English bartending legend Dick Bradsell invented this charmer in the 1980s, inspired, he would later explain, “by the fresh blackberries I used to get on the Isle of Wight.” Tart, clear and fresh, this is essentially a gin sour with a soft kiss of blackberry liqueur, made extra refreshing by crushed ice. Try the recipe below, or find out what Bradsell had to say about the vodka version of his Bramble here.

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 0.75 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. simple syrup
  • 0.375-0.5 oz. crème de mre, to taste

Add gin, lemon juice and simple syrup to a shaker with a handful of crushed ice. Shake briefly to aerate and incorporate the ingredients, then pour the contents into a rock glass. Sprinkle with more crushed ice and drizzle the crème de mûre over it. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a blackberry.

French 75

Refreshing French 75 CocktailRefreshing French 75 Cocktail

Photo: Courtesy of Brent Hofacker/Adobe Stock

The French 75 pulls a neat little two-step. The cocktail — gin and lemon juice, electrified with champagne — is just as at home in enthusiastic New Year’s Eve toasts as it is in enthusiastic hands over a regular Sunday brunch. Wherever you see it, you’ll find it in celebrations of the sweeter things in life. Not bad for a drink named after a World War I field gun. Learn more about the three main variations here, or make our favorite below:

  • 1 ounce. Beefeater Gin
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
  • 3 oz. Champagne (real, French champagne)

Shake the first three ingredients over ice. Strain into a chilled flute and top with about 3 oz. of chilled champagne.

Arsenic and old lace

Arsenic and Old Lace, Purple and Gold Classic CocktailArsenic and Old Lace, Purple and Gold Classic Cocktail

Nicole Kandi/Adobe Stock

Named after a stage production that came out in 1941, this variation on the Martini highlights the incredible versatility of gin. The arsenic and the old side is what would happen if you took the resonant clarity of a martini, and gave it, as we write, “a floral punch of crème de violet and a tangy taste of absinthe.” These two accent marks — one quarter and one eighth of an ounce, respectively — completely change the character of the drink. Make it for yourself below, or find out why it took 25 years and two name changes for the cocktail to finally catch on, here

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 0.75 oz. dry vermouth
  • 0.25 oz. crème de violette
  • 0.125 oz. (bar spoon) absinthe

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir well for 10 seconds (when using small ice) to 25 seconds (when using very large ice), strain into a cocktail glass or coupe and garnish with a lemon zest.

bee knees

Bee's Knees Cocktail honey lemon ginBee's Knees Cocktail honey lemon gin

Photo: Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Now that we’re out of the pandemic (we hope) into the first real summer since 2019, it’s time for the 1920s to get their much-anticipated roar, and the Bee’s Knees – gin, lemon and honey – is the perfect fit. . “It’s a cocktail of the roaring ’20s,” we write, “a cocktail with a crazy name, a simple drink to enjoy the sweetness of spring and get a little drunk while you’re at it.” Make the classic version below, or discover the many great ways you can customize it to make it your own here.

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 0.75 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz. honey syrup (to taste)

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice, shake vigorously for 10 to 12 seconds and strain the ice into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a lemon zest, a lemon slice, or nothing at all.




James Bond tried to convince us that the Martini is a vodka drink, but the word “Martini” for the first half of his life referred exclusively to a mixture of gin and vermouth. And while vodka martinis can be quite charming, we write that “the aromatic complexity of gin and vermouth interlock like a vacuum seal and immediately reveal the cocktail’s 130-year dominance.” If you didn’t have the pleasure, see why it’s one of the most popular cocktails in the world by making our favorite version below, or see how different gins require different preparations.

  • 2.25 oz. Tanqueray 10 or Aviation Gin
  • 0.75 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth

Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir well for 10 seconds (if using small ice) to 25 seconds (if using very large ice), strain into a cocktail or martini glass and garnish with a lemon zest.

Clover Club

Clover Club Cocktail, a sour drink with gin, raspberries and protein foam in a dark luxury bar with copy spaceClover Club Cocktail, a sour drink with gin, raspberries and protein foam in a dark luxury bar with copy space

Adobe Stock

“You couldn’t drink anything but several tasty gin and sour variations for weeks,” we write, “but personally I don’t know if you could do better than the Clover Club.” Throughout its 120-year history, the Clover Club—a sour gin, acidified with fresh raspberries and smoothed out with an egg white—has been celebrated, then rejected, then forgotten, and now, at last, it’s back on top. Find out what it has to do with Oscar Wilde here, or just do what William Butler Yeats did when he found out and make three for yourself with the recipe below:

  • 2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
  • 0.75 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz. simple syrup
  • 3-5 fresh raspberries
  • 1 egg white

Add all ingredients to a shaker. “Dry” the ingredients without ice for five seconds to beat the egg. Add ice, close cans and shake vigorously for 10 to 12 seconds. Strain into coupe or martini glass, squeeze lemon zest over top of froth for flavor, then discard and garnish with one to three raspberries, on a stick.


negroni cocktailnegroni cocktail

Jason O’Bryan

The Negroni is arguably the most widely celebrated drink in the cocktail industry, with a bitterness that makes it an acquired taste, but certainly one worth acquiring. There are thousands of recipes online for the Negroni and they are all more or less the same – equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth – but in the quest for the best Negroni possible, we spent a few months trying every combination we could. hand in hand, side by side, until we find some winners. Make our favorite below, or view the full winner’s circle here.

  • 1 ounce. Tanqueray Gin
  • 1 ounce. Cocchi Vermouth from Torino
  • 1 ounce. Camparia

Add all ingredients to a rocks glass with a large chunk of ice. Stir for 5 to 10 seconds and garnish with an orange zest.

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