Fancy a spirit-led serve? We’ve nominated five of our favourite gin cocktails without mixers, best for those days when a bracing drink is what suits.
Perhaps you’re looking to toast a special occasion, warm your cockles during the winter, or simply indulge in a wonderfully bracing serve: whatever the occasion, we’ve picked five of the best gin cocktails without mixers. Beyond classics like the Martini and Negroni, these spirit-led cocktails offer a true celebration of sipping culture.
Like the happy marriage of a Negroni and a Martini, The Dunhill dates back to the 1920s. This Prohibition-era serve doesn’t have any mixers to lighten things up, which makes it perfect for cold-weather sipping.
1 barspoon absinthe
30ml oloroso sherry
30ml dry vermouth (preferably Dolin)
8ml orange curaçao
Fill a rocks glass with ice, add the absinthe, and set aside. In a mixing glass add the gin, sherry, vermouth and curaçao, fill with ice, and stir. Empty the rocks glass, coating the sides with the absinthe. Add a large ice cube to the rocks glass and strain the stirred ingredients into the glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
The Hanky Panky
The Hanky Panky is a classic serve that should be in any gin lover’s arsenal.
First created by Ada Coleman at the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel, The Hanky Panky is one of the best (and most timeless) gin cocktails without mixers.
40ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
40ml sweet vermouth
2 dashes Fernet Branca
1 Luxardo cherry
Combine the first three ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the cherry.
The Caprice is as elegant as it is potent. Think of this drink as a more herbaceous Martini, courtesy of the Benedictine.
45ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
15ml dry vermouth
1 dash The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
Fill a mixing glass or shaker with very cold ice. Stir all ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
It’s no accident that Bijou means “jewel”—this is a gem of a drink.
Bijou means “jewel” in French, and this classic cocktail is one gem of a drink. It’s also simple to make, with its 1-1-1 ratio (no mixers, naturally).
30ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
30ml sweet vermouth
Lemon twist, to garnish
Stir the first three ingredients with ice until very cold; strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry. Squeeze lemon over the drink or add a lemon twist to the glass.
Another cousin of the Martini, the Turf Club has been enjoyed since the late 19th century. If you haven’t sampled this classic before, now’s the perfect time to indulge.
60ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
22ml dry vermouth
1 dash absinthe
1 dash orange bitters
1 lemon twist, to garnish
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well for around 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist the lemon over the drink to finish.