Playing Gin

Refreshing and sometimes floral, the evocative flavors of gin account for some of the most versatile cocktails, many of which are particularly suitable for summer sipping. The clear spirit now appears in a variety of iterations, some marrying botanicals with subtle hints of juniper and others more juniper-forward, so gin selection can significantly change the flavor profile of even the most traditional drink — depending on the style and brand poured, a simple Gin & Tonic can run the gamut of tastes, from floral and citrusy to refreshing and clean. Indeed, gin is a generously prolific spirit, enabling bartenders to serve up innovative drinks with a few simple ingredients — syrups, fruits and fresh juices. Pair the right gin with the right ingredients, and within a few sips, your guests will be transported from your bar stool to a unique flavor experience while your register reaps the benefits.

Black Rose
Created by Darren Crawford, Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco.

2 ounces No. 3 London Dry Gin
¾ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce honey syrup (2:1)
1 dash black pepper tincture*

Gently muddle rosemary with honey syrup in a mixing glass. Add other ingredients and shake. Serve on the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

*Steep black peppercorns in grain alcohol. Once desired spice is achieved, filter and bottle.

Elderflower Collins
Created by Bar Manager Jo-Jo Valenzuela for RIS in Washington, D.C.Elderflower Collins

1½ ounces Hendrick’s Gin
½ ounce St-Germain
1 ounce cucumber juice*
½ ounce lemon juice
¼ ounce simple syrup
4 dashes lavender spice bitters

Shake, then top off with more ice. Add soda. Serve in a Collins glass, and garnish with a cucumber wheel.

*To make cucumber juice (3 cucumbers = approximately 1 quart): Wash cucumbers and slice thinly, place in a juicer. Transfer the resulting juice to a container and cover, label and date.

Clover ClubClover Club
On the menu at Johnny Smalls restaurant in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

1½ ounces Beefeater Gin
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce raspberry syrup
1 egg white

Add ingredients, shake vigorously over cracked ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Havana Holiday
Created by Jason Heiob of the Havana Martini Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, for Tanqueray.

1¼ ounces Tanqueray London Dry Gin
4 ounces tonic water
¼ ounce simple syrup
1 orange wedge
1 lemon wedge
6 mint leaves

Muddle mint and orange wedge lightly with Tanqueray London Dry Gin. Add ice, lemon wedge, tonic and simple syrup, and garnish with a mint sprig.

The Royal Sapphire
Courtesy of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

1 ounce Bombay Sapphire Gin
½ ounce elderflower cordial or liqueur
½ ounce lemon juice
4 mint leaves
Cunard Prosecco

Shake first 4 ingredients, double strain and serve in a Champagne flute. Top with Cunard Prosecco. Garnish with an edible flower.

La Parola Ultima
Created by John S. Pomeroy Jr. of

1 ounce dry gin
1 ounce Galliano L’Autentico
1 ounce Maraschino liqueur
1 ounce fresh lime juice
Fresh basil

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed lime disc.

Spring FlingSpring Fling
On the menu at LuxBar in Chicago.

1½ ounces Hendrick’s Gin
1 ounce St-Germain
½ ounce simple syrup
Juice of half a lemon

Shake with ice. Strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.


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