Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Great Gin Cocktails




Recently, I wrote a blog post about a seminar I took during The Manhattan Cocktail Classic – it covered how to set up a home bar and best practices for making cocktails. This post is about what was arguably the most important part of the seminar: the cocktails we made that day. The name of the course was “Making Great gin Cocktails at Home: From Classic To Contemporary” and it was taught by Tony Abou-Ganim. The seminar was sponsored in part by Bombay Sapphire Gin, which is what we used to make all of our cocktails on this day.

Upon arrival at the seminar on this warm and unusually humid mid-May afternoon, we were greeted with a rather refreshing Tom Collins.

  • 1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • Top with cold Perrier sparkling mineral water

In a mixing glass, add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup and shake with ice until well-blended. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with cold Perrier, stir and garnish with an orange & cherry. Note that if you substitute the Perrier with sparkling wine, then you’ve got a drink called The French 75.


The first cocktail that we made together was a classic known as The Aviation. Originally created back in 1916, this drink has the reputation of being the last great pre-Prohibition libation. It is best served straight-up in a chilled coup cocktail glass.

  • 2 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
  • ½ oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • Splash of Rothman & Winter Créme de Violette (for color)
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup

In a mixing glass, add the gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, lemon juice and simple syrup and shake with ice until well-blended. Strain into a chilled cocktail coup. Garnish with 2 cherries on a pick.


Later, Tony taught us about the history behind a gin cocktail called The Negroni – originally, it was based on a cocktail called The Americano, which consists of Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda. An Italian count named Negroni wanted an extra zing to it, so he ordered his Americano with a shot of gin – they named the drink after him and The Negroni was born:

  • 1 oz Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth

In an ice-filled mixing glass, add gin, Campari and sweet vermouth; stir until well-chilled. Strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a slice of orange (don’t skip the garnish here – it really is the key to making this one properly).

When people think of a good daytime gin cocktail, The Ramos Gin Fizz is often the first thing that comes to mind. However, there’s another mixture called The White Lady that’s something of a variation on that classic:

  • 1 ½ oz Bombay Sapphire gin
  • ¾ oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 1 small egg white

In a mixing glass, add gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white; shake vigorously with ice until well-blended and egg white is completely emulsified. Strain into a chilled cocktail coup.

Our final concoction of the afternoon was something that might best be described as a Mojito made with gin instead of rum. Called The Southside, the key to it is fresh mint, which should be stored upside down in cold water to keep it fresh and prevent the leaves from turning limp. In order to try one, do the following:

  • 2 oz Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 15-20 mint leaves
  • Perrier sparkling water

In a thin Highball glass, muddle lime juice, simple syrup and mint leaves. Muddle just enough to release the oils and not shred the mint. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the gin. Stir with a long handled spoon to incorporate all the ingredients until the outside of the glass begins to frost, adding more ice as you continue to stir. Top with a splash of Perrier and stir one last time. Garnish with a bonnet of mint.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Speak Your Piece, Beeyotch!