Bloody Marys are spiked with vodka. A good Old Fashioned should only contain bourbon (or rye, depending on which camp you fall in). And who would dream of adding anything but rum to a Daiquiri?
While tradition dictates that classic drink recipes must feature specific spirits, that can be the wrong way of looking at these long-lasting serves. More than just strictly prescribed formulas, classic cocktail recipes are templates: the proportions are usually worth honouring, but the ingredients themselves? We’d like to think of them as flexible.
It’s in that spirit that we’re encouraging amateur bartenders and eager cocktail drinkers to approach classic drink recipes from a new perspective: Try adding gin. Whether alongside tomato juice or partnered with freshly muddled mint, the addition of gin provides a fresh take on tradition.
There’s nothing quite as restorative as a well-mixed, subtly spiced Bloody Mary. And when you swap out vodka for gin? It can’t be beaten.
More than just strictly prescribed formulas, classic cocktail recipes are template…
Juice of 1/4 lemon
6 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
You’ll be building this drink straight in the glass – all the more simple for when you’re hosting brunch (or are blearily looking for your hair of the dog). Fill a highball with ice and add all of the ingredients. Stir to blend with a bar spoon before garnishing with the pepper, a sprinkling of celery salt, and either a slice of lemon or a stick of celery – your preference.
That most American of classic drink recipes, the Mint Julep is famous for being served at the Kentucky Derby, and, given its provenance, traditionally features bourbon. But when you swap the whiskey out for gin, you’re left with a clean and fresh cocktail that’s appropriate for the whole summer.
40ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
20ml simple syrup (or syrup made from equal parts mint tea and sugar)
3-4 mint sprigs
This one’s best if you use the traditional glassware – i.e. a chilled pewter cup. Remove your cup from the freezer and muddle in mint with simple syrup – do so gently to release the oils from the mint, not to grind it to a pulp. Fill the cup with crushed ice. Add your gin and stir with a bar spoon to blend. Garnish with a mint sprig.
…approach classic drink recipes from a new perspective: Try adding gin…
Gin Old Fashioned
You don’t want to mix anything but the best-quality spirits into an Old Fashioned: there are no slugs of fruit juice or other big additions to hide behind. Our VJOP is the star of this Old Fashioned recipe, which showcases its richness, full body, and juniper-rich flavour profile.
25ml Sipsmith VJOP
5ml simple syrup (1:1 mix of sugar and water)
Mint sprig (to garnish)
In a rocks glass, add simple syrup and bitters over an ice cube. Stir well for three or so minutes, or until the ice cube has mostly melted and the bitters and syrup are well blended. Add one large, very cold ice cube to the glass. Add half of your gin and stir before adding the second half and stirring again to blend. Garnish with the mint.
All right, so the Southside is traditionally made with gin. But this is one classic cocktail that we like to spritz up with some carbon dioxide during the summer months. Try this refreshing Southside Fizz at your next garden party or barbeque.
50ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
25ml lime juice, freshly squeezed
15ml simple syrup (1:1 mix of sugar and water)
Splash of club soda
Handful of mint (save a sprig for garnish)
Add a handful of mint to the bottom of the shaker and muddle lightly – don’t break down the mint too much or you’ll have pulpy pieces floating unpleasantly in your drink. Add gin, lime juice, and syrup to the shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well combined, about 10-15 seconds.
Double strain the mixture using the shaker’s strainer as well as a mesh strainer directly above the glass. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with the remaining mint and serve immediately.