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5 Classic Gin Cocktails to Try Out at Home

by Yajush Sharma

Ah, gin!

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!

1. The Gimlet

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.


  • Simple syrup - ½ Oz
  • Gin - 2 & ½ Oz
  • Fresh lime juice - ½ Oz
  • A lime wheel for the garnish


  • Add everything except the garnish in a shaker, add ice and let your biceps do the rest.
  • Keep a chilled cocktail glass ready with a layer of ice. Strain the mixture into it.
  • Use the lime wheel for garnishing.

Pro tips: You can substitute the syrup with Rose's lime juice. A hint of basil goes rather well when serving.

2. The Negroni

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.


  • Campari - 1 Oz
  • Gin - 1 Oz
  • Sweet Vermouth - 1 Oz


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.

3. The Vesper Martini

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!


  • 3 Oz of Gin
  • 1 Oz of vodka
  • 1/2 Oz of Lillet Blanc (or Kina Lillet, if you are a purist)


  • Take everything and shake it with an overdose of ice. Ice is not added separately to the drink per se. Serve in a chilled Martini glass.
  • You can also add a hint of lemon twist because this drink punches way above its weight category.

4. French 75

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.


  • Sparkling wine, chilled, 2 Oz
  • 1 Oz of gin
  • Lemon juice, slightly lesser than 0.4 Oz
  • Simple syrup - just 2 tsp or one bar spoon


  • Shake everything with as much ice you can manage to cram in and strain into a champagne flute. Use the sparkling wine to finish the piece only after you have had 1-2 sips. Any citrus fruit is always a good addition.
  • Pro tip: This drink is synonymous with the all-time movie classic 'Casablanca'. Perhaps you can have a sip while re-watching it.

5. The Last Word

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.


  • 1 Oz each of gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Green Chartreuse, and, of course, fresh lime juice.


  •  Shake everything in a tin of ice cubes and drain into a flute or a standard martini glass. 
  • Pro tip: Add 1-2 Maraschino cherries- ripe (if available) to complete the look.

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'!


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