The best way to start is to search through as many of the available recipes you can find until you find the one that you think you will enjoy the best. The recipe selections include many well-known brands of gin that are readily available at your local supermarket, and which again you need to try a few to find a favourite.
The next step is to add in some of the other ingredients from your favourites list but don’t be afraid to try something new, that’s all part of the fun! The cocktails listed below are 6 of the best tried and tested recipes and are ideally suited to start you off on your new experience.
All of these are popular, easy to make and each is ideal as a starter cocktail. Some are also easier on the palette than others and each has a different flavour that has been enjoyed by gin drinkers for decades. So hold back no longer, get shakin’…
1. Gin and Tonic – this is the simple fusion of a fine gin with one of the many tonics available on the market, swished together and poured over ice. Use a tall glass and add a slice or wedge of lemon and/or lime and there you go, enjoy!
2. The Gimlet – again a pretty simple concoction but impressive for newbies none the less. Mix up 2 parts gin with 1 part sweetened lime juice and top up with ice cold soda. Serve over ice with a wedge of lime.
3. The Tom Collins - a cocktail made simply delicious from gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda water. Mix up a basic sugar syrup. Pour 2 parts gin, 1 part syrup and 1 fl oz. of fresh lemon juice over a tall glass of ice. Top up with soda water and add sliced lemon and garnish with a maraschino cherry – classic!
4. Pink Gin – a perfect one for the ladies. Ideally the gin of choice for this one should be Plymouth Gin and it should be chilled. You will need a bottle of Angostura Bitters to impart the colour to your mix. Simply coat the inside of a chilled martini glass or cocktail glass with a small amount of the dark red Bitters. Pour in the well chilled gin and garnish with fresh lemon ribbons. Watch in wonder as the gin turns a delightful shade of pink. Beautiful!
5. French75 - Gin mixed with chilled sparkling wine or Champagne makes a decadent and sophisticated cocktail which is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Add your own choice of garnish into this simple but wonderful duo, perhaps drop in a fresh raspberry or stick in an olive to finish. Serve chilled in a champagne flute and you have nailed it.
6. Hendricks Cucumber Spritz – Use Hendricks gin for this delicious and refreshing cocktail. Chill the gin and a large glass. Slice thin ribbons of cucumber and add a couple to the glass with a handful of ice cubes. Pour over 2 parts gin to 1 part sparkling wine stir gently and enjoy! Perfect for the summer months.
So now your adventure has begun and there will be no stopping you as you strive to make the perfect cocktail. Treat yourself to a funky shaker and some posh glasses because you will definitely be hooked!
Rob Jones is a party organiser and supplier with a huge love of wine in all its glorious forms. He is based in Leeds in the UK and organises and supplies events throughout the country.