Gin cocktails often become classics for a very good reason. If you take a close look at the IBA Official Cocktail List of Unforgettable Cocktails you might notice that the majority of them are gin cocktails.
Creative bartenders often have a real love affair with gin. As a base spirit it has a lot to offer. Gin’s blend of juniper, coriander, citrus peel and botanical notes is a playground of flavor to work with.
A good bartender can use this base of flavor to go in a lot of directions. Looking for something with some woody spice? Play up the juniper and other woody botanical flavors. Citrus? Absolutely. Floral? No problem.
Our Favorite Classic Gin Cocktail Recipes
We have gathered a number of our favorite classic gin cocktails recipes here on this page. Many are well known standards like the Martini. There are also dozens of tried and true classic gin cocktail recipes
Classic Gin Martinis and Stirred Drinks
The Gin Martini is the mother of all gin cocktail recipes. Which is not to say that it is the first, but for the average person it is the first one that comes to mind.
1. Dry Martini
The dry martini is the one most people think of when they think of a martini. It’s where all the discussion about the shaking and stirring comes into play. Up or on the rock? What’s the perfect ratio of gin to vermouth and do you want an olive or twist?
For the answers to all these questions and more check out the Martini FAQ. This resource on the martini will answer questions you didn’t know you had about this most legendary of gin drinks.
2. The Martinez Cocktail
The Martinez is one of my personal favorite classic gin drinks. It is a precursor to the modern martini. Made with red vermouth and sweetened with Maraschino it is a dark and complex drink.
3. Pre-Prohibition Martini
This is the martini before the martini became the martini. It has a little more vermouth than a modern dry martini and has orange bitters added. This classic is the perfect showcase for gin.
4. Angel Face
Cue Sinatra. This gin classic first made an appearance in Harry Craddock’s 1930 edition of the Savoy Cocktail book. It’s an equal parts cocktail made gin, apricot brandy and Calvados.
The Tuxedo Club in Tuxedo Park in New York gave birth to a couple of classics. The formal menswear may be better known, but the cocktail is a heady variation on a martini. You make it with gin, vermouth, maraschino, absinthe and orange bitters. That’s right, all the good gin pairings go in this one.
6. Tuxedo No.2
The Tuxedo No.2 is a variation on the Tuxedo made with Fino Sherry. The dry nutty sherry brings interesting new dimension to the classic Tuxedo cocktail.
7. Casino Cocktail
The Casino is another gin cocktail from Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail book. It is based on the classic combination of gin and maraschino. It is finished with lemon juice and orange bitters.
There are a few different cocktails that carry the Derby name. This is the one made with gin. Gin, peach bitters and mint leaves. This is one of the simplest drinks on the list.
9. Rolls Royce
The Rolls Royce is another Savoy Cocktail Book variation on the Martini. Gin, of course, with both sweet and dry vermouth and a dash of Benedictine. Delicious.
10. Blackthorn Cocktail
The Blackthorn Cocktail has been around since the 19th century. Made with gin Dubonnet Rouge and kirsch it’s a delicious variation on a classic martini.
11. The Ford Cocktail
Yet another gin cocktail named for a car.This one calls for Old Tom Gin which is a sweeter softer gin than a typical London Dry style gin.
12. The Vancouver Cocktail
The Vancouver Cocktail is similar to the Ford Cocktail except that it calls for sweet vermouth instead of dry vermouth. There is a good story that goes around about how Errol Flynn was drinking these the night of his death in Vancouver’s West End. It’s not true, but it is a good story.
The Vesper Martini is the James Bond cocktail. English gin, Russian vodka and French fortified wine. Perfectly suited to the tastes of a double agent.
Classic Gin Sours
Sour gin cocktails are gin’s playground. Lemon and lime play so well with gin, it’s not surprising that several sour cocktails are pretty synonymous with gin. Gin Fizz, Tom Collins, Gin Daisy – they all have that classic sour cocktail base. Here are a few more variations on the gin sour to mess around with.
14. Gin Daisy
The Daisy is cocktail category unto itself. It’s a variation on a classic sour lengthened with soda water. The Gin Daisy is probably the most well known of the classic cocktail with the name daisy attached.
15. Corpse Reviver No.2
The Corpse Reviver No.2 is one of a series of classic gin cocktails. These drinks were designed to be a hangover pick me up. The No. 2 seems to be the only one that people still care about. Gin, Lillet Blanc and Cointreau meet citrus.
16. White Lady
The White Lady also goes by the names Delilah and Chelsea Sidecar. Bracingly sour this combination of gin, lemon juice and triple sec is perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day.
17. London Maid
The London Maid is a classic gin cocktail made with lime and simple syrup. You can think of this drink as a gin take on the Daiquiri.
18. The Twentieth Century Cocktail
The Twentieth Century has come and gone, but this gin cocktail still makes an appearance on the menu every once in a while. The Twentieth Century Cocktail is unique for its surprising pairing of gin and creme de cacao.
19. Clover Club Cocktail
The Clover Club is another delicious cocktail that should show up on way more cocktail menus than it does. This is a creamy raspberry gin sour with a frothy egg white head. Delicious.
The Aviation is another gin sour that goes back to the reliable combination of gin and maraschino. It has seen a bit of a comeback recently thanks to Aviation gin.
21. Last Word
The Last word is a gin sour modified sweetened with Chartreuse and Maraschino liqueur. This cocktail dates make to prohibition era Detroit, but it feels like it could have been created last week.
22. Bee’s Knees
The Bee’s Knees is a gin sour sweetened with honey. It had its heyday in the 1920’s when the Bee’s Knees was an expression people actually used.
23. Pegu Club Cocktail
The Pegu Club is another sour cocktail that originated in a club frequented by British officers in a tropical corner of the Empire. The thirst quenching combination of gin and citrus is given a little complexity with the addition of aromatic bitters.
It’s not like there aren’t enough reasons to look forward to August, but if you need one more this is it. When blackberries start to ripen muddle a few in the bottom of a glass and mix up a Bramble. Another one of our favorite classic gin cocktails.
25. French 75
The French 75 was named for the World War 1 French artillery guns. The combination of gin and champagne with lemon and sugar packs a punch.
Classic Gin Fizzes
You say fizz. We say gin. Gin. Fizz. See how well that works. Now imagine it’s so hot outside everything sticks and your head feels like it’s going to explode. Gin fizz, cold refreshing. Delicious. Now go make one.
26. Gin Fizz
Efervescent and refreshing. The classic gin fizz is fizzy, obviously, but also has a rich creamy texture and is bracingly cold.
27. Ramos Gin Fizz
A Ramos Gin Fizz is a light and frothy drink that tastes like the most sophisticated Orange Julius you’ve ever tasted. You’ll have to earn it. This recipe for this drink calls for it to be shaken for a full 8 minutes.