What does an average person need to know about gin to enjoy it? Surely you’ve had a gin and tonic before, but before you order another one, take the time to learn a little more about it. Summer is a great time to try out some refreshing cocktails, and with proper garnishing, gin can really shine. Hendrick’s gin brand ambassador, Mattias Horseman, shed some details on how the gin is made.
“I think the gin revolution is happening. We’re going through a golden age. When people think of gin, they’ve usually had a bad experience in college, and they don’t necessarily know how to buy a good product.”
Is gin and tonic too simple to enjoy the crafted alcohol properly? Horseman doesn’t think so.
“I think it’s one of the best cocktails, I drink them all the time. I think a lot of people aren’t necessarily fans of cheap tonic. As long as it’s garnished properly – you always want to complement that base spirit that’s in there.”
Horseman encourages experimentation with garnishing. Hendrick’s gin, which is distilled with cucumber and rose petal extracts, goes well with a cucumber slice. Beyond that, here are six recipes for snazzy gin cocktails from top bars around Chicago.
- Topo Americano from Bad Hunter
2 dashes Orange Bitters
2 jap dash Saline
.25 part Key Lime Cordial
.75 part Lime Juice
1.25 part Byrrh
1 part Cocchi Rossa
.5 parts Hendricks
.5 parts Ancho Reyes Verde
6 parts Topo Chico Mineral Water
Stir all ingredients, funnel into Topo Chico bottle and ‘cork’ with a key lime wedge.
- Matcha Colada from Boleo
High res photo, courtesy of Kirsten Opsahl:
1.5 oz Beefeater Gin
.25 oz Lime
.5 oz Grapefruit Juice
1.5 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Passionfruit Cinnamon Syrup
.5 oz Simple Syrup
1.5 oz Coconut Milk
bar spoon Matcha Powder
Method: Dry Shake, pour over crushed ice
Glass: Gem Highball
Garnish: Pina tops, Dehydrated Citrus
For individual Blended: add 1 cup of crushed ice, and blend on high speed for 15 seconds.
- Gin and Tonic #2 from Salero
1 1/2 oz cucumber infused Plymouth gin
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
3oz tonic water
1L Plymouth gin
1 peeled English cucumber
2 lemon peels
1 decent sized piece of ginger, grated
Combine all in a jar, and allow steeping for 4 days, shaking regularly. Strain out the solids once, then 3 more times through coffee filters.
- Howl at the Jun from Cindy’s
1.5 oz Beefeater Gin
.75 oz grapefruit juice
.25 oz simple syrup or honey syrup
2 oz ‘jun’
2 oz dry sparkling rosé
Build all ingredients in wine glass, then add crushed ice. Add a skewer of crystallized ginger atop your chalice.
- Kyoto Collins from Noyane
phot credit: Victoria Kent
1.5 oz Green Tea Aviation Gin
.75oz Lime Juice
.75oz Simple Syrup
3oz Soda Water
Build the cocktail in a collins glass filled with ice. Add gin, chareau, simply syrup and stir. Add the lime juice and top with soda. Stir to mix. Garnish with a ninja action figure and straw.
- Maharaja from Chiya Chai
2 oz gin
1 oz pure pomegranate juice
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
5 drops Angostura bitters
1 oz cardamom syrup*
¼ tsp rose water
¼ tsp pandanus (kewra) extract
Elderflower or another fragrant flower for garnish
Put all the ingredients in a shaker with a cup of ice and shake vigorously.
Strain and pour into a martini glass
Garnish with Elderflower or another fragrant flower (rose petals are a good substitute)
Bring 1 part water, ½ part cardamom and 2 part sugar to boil. Make sure the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 15-20 mins. Pour into a container, let cool and refrigerate for 2-3 days to infuse. Cardamom syrup can be enjoyed with many alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Feature image via: Yuppie Chef and athoughtforfood.com.