Wars have been fought over it. Kings of yore have banned it. It has been lauded for centuries for its alchemic but non-existent medicinal properties, with several medieval quacks prescribing it as a quasi-panacea that could 'cure' everything from lumbago to gout and gallstones.
Several countries are still figuring out where exactly this flavored drink originated. And, of course, it has retained its charm over hundreds of years.
From Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald to Tennessee Williams and J.K. Rowling, the list of gin-aficionados could go on till Kingdom Come.
One great advantage that gin has over its cousins is its unique, inimitable, and infinite taste. While most gins get their punch from juniper berries, other variants may have flavoring agents including orange peel, frankincense, cinnamon, saffron, almond, and even nutmeg.
It should not be too difficult to imagine why gin cocktails rule the tipplers' and the connoisseurs' hearts and minds.
Here are 5 classic, timeless, and easy to make gin cocktails (and, of course, their recipes) that you must give a go!
If elementary mathematics has taught us anything, it is that 2 Gimlets are better than one. It's a 3-ingredient cocktail and is the last word in simplicity and sophistication. Originally designed for sailors to cure scurvy, the Gimlet has retained its popularity over the years.
Pro tips: You can substitute the syrup with Rose's lime juice. A hint of basil goes rather well when serving.
The Negroni turned 100 in 2019. It's a slightly more serious drink, sans the beachy frolic that the Gimlet takes pride in. It is one of the greatest aperitifs known to mankind and seldom disappoints with its refreshing, albeit bitter taste.
Put everything in a large shaker with plenty of ice and continue shaking till it's cold. You can strain the mixture into a midget glass. Add a few large cubes of ice and some orange peels as a garnish to take off the gin's hit.
Add a bit more Campari if it's too bitter.
We must thank James Bond, who, on Her Majesty's Secret Service, laid down the precise directions on how this extraordinary riff on the staid old Martini should be prepared. On a more serious note, we should actually be thanking Sir Ian Fleming, since Agent 007 really does not seem to mind (nowadays) whether his Vesper is shaken or stirred!
If you master this all-time classic, you can possibly add 'aspiring bartender or mixologist' to your resume. It's light, refreshing, simple to prepare, and adds its own tunes to any soiree. Many variations abound, but this is the most accepted format. Its sugary but tangy flavor lends it a rare sweet note as opposed to, say, the Negroni above.
We saved the best for the last since many gin drinkers usually love to have the last word. For instance, the Wartime PM of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill, once quipped that gin and tonic (yes, the classic combination) had probably saved more English lives than their physicians.
The Last Word is like a blast from the past and awfully simple to mix, shake, set, game and match. It's popular all over the world.
That completes our list of the top 5 classic gin cocktails you can try out. Just like wearing black, there is very little chance of going wrong with gin. Remember to purchase high-grade gin, and always keep an extra bottle handy should a few friends drop by.
Until next time, Salute'!