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25 Drinks You Should Order If You Just Fucking Love Gin

Because screw vodka.

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The problem is, gin's strong botanical flavour makes a lot of people think vodka is a better mixer choice. But GIN IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN VODKA.

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My favourite vodka is juniper-flavoured vodka.

So gin.

Gin is my favourite vodka.

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So we asked a bunch of bartenders and industry experts to tell us the essential drinks every gin lover should try. Because gin cocktails > any other cocktail.

warnerbros.com

We talked to brand ambassadors, gin distillers, bar owners, and a lot of bartenders. Whether you want a tried-and-tested classic, or something a bit more out there, they know the best gin-filled drinks to order at the bar. Say goodbye to vodka and sugar-laced cocktails, and hello to Martinis, Negronis, and Aviations.

Here's what they suggested.

1. A Martini

Instagram: @jpeastman

"The original Martini cocktail, as written up in 1888, was far more complex than its modern namesake. This sweet Martini was about as wet as they come, made with equal parts gin and sweet vermouth, a drop of absinthe, dashes of orange bitters, a touch of gomme syrup, and a cherry garnish.

"Its dry cousin, the Martini we know today, wasn't mentioned until 1895, but has since become the most iconic gin drink you can order. Gin and vermouth, served ice-cold with a twist: It's a beautiful cocktail and well worth a visit, as long as the vermouth is fresh."

– Jared Brown, master distiller at Sipsmith, the Cotswolds

2. A Negroni

Facebook: Bar

"The Negroni is just such a stylish drink. It's got a level of complexity you don't find in anything else. It's genius really, how everything comes together and works so well – the three separate ingredients (gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth) are complex, but still work in harmony together.

"We serve ours straight up at Bar Termini, without the ice, so the flavour's consistent all the way through. There are so many different ways to make a Negroni, but we do a version that's cooked so the flavours are more integrated. Served in Sipsmith-style smaller glasses, they're the perfect little nip before dinner. We love playing on the idea of the aperitivo, and how it works within the larger scope of Italian culture. It's such a cultural drink, and so universal in Italy; it's quite romantic in that respect."

– Tony Conigliaro, mixologist and creator of the Classico Negroni, London

3. A Bramble

Instagram: @k_gora

"Created by the late Dick Bradsell – I enjoy this gin-based drink more than his infamous espresso martini. Made with gin, lemon, sugar syrup, and Chambord, it's perfect in the summer and is one of my go-to classics for people who like something a bit more fruity. The gin balances well with the sweetness of the Chambord and tartness of the lemon."

– David Smith, bar manager at The Anchor Inn at Seatown, Dorset

4. A Martinez

Instagram: @gustory_

"Was it originally created by Prof. Jerry Thomas, the world's first superstar bartender back in the 1880s? Was it named after a town near San Fran? Was it a forerunner to the Martini? All these are lore and mystery. All I know is it tastes incredible.

"If you're after a slightly sweet digestif post-meal or at the end of the night, the Martinez is the one. My preference is two parts good gin to one part red vermouth, a dash of maraschino liqueur and a smaller dash of orange bitters, finished with a booze soaked cherry. Perfect for if you want to drink Negronis but don't like the bitter take on a Martinez. You'll be in deep, seductive gin heaven within minutes."

– Leon Dalloway, founder of Gin Journey, London

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5. A Collins Twist

Instagram: @manhattan_gold

"The beauty of a Collins is that it works in so many forms. The above variation I came up with is full of seasonal flavours for spring, and contains gin, blood orange liqueur, elderflower liqueur, and bitters, topped with prosecco instead of soda. For something lighter and less alcoholic, the drink also works with just elderflower cordial and bitter lemon instead of the liqueur and prosecco. Ask your bartender for their take on a Collins and see what they come up with!"

– Josh Powell, head bartender at 68 & Boston, London

6. A G&T

Instagram: @fairmontdubai

"Truly the king of gin cocktails, gin and tonic is by far the most common way to drink gin. Since its conception in colonial India, the gin and tonic has developed into something far more refined than its medicinal origins, when British officers added gin to their daily ration of anti-malarial quinine tonic (never forget, folks, that your G&T is a health drink. Step away from the green juice).

"Almost as diverse as the gins on offer, modern tonics vary wildly in flavour too. I love the relatively new tonic syrups that are popular in the US right now – rustic syrups made from cinchona bark. Garnishes too should be explored: How about trying fresh thyme, pink peppercorns, lemongrass, or red apple in your next G&T? The options are endless.

"The gin and tonic is the world's most famous and probably most versatile gin cocktail. Enjoy its wild variety. Frequently."

– Cara Ballingall, brand ambassador at Pickering's Gin, London

7. A Ford

Jamie Baxter

"I'm forever indebted to Nate Brown of London Bar Consultants for introducing me to the Ford cocktail, which dates from around 1900. Effectively it is a wet Martini stirred with Benedictine.

"I like to twist the classic recipe by using Burleighs London Dry Gin with Cocchi Americano rather than vermouth. It's beautifully bittersweet, citrusy, and herbal with a bit of a kick – just what I want from a gin cocktail."

– Jamie Baxter, director and master distiller at 45 West Distillers, Leicestershire

8. An Aviation

Instagram: @heavyfeatherchicago

"A citrus-fresh, gin-heavy cocktail that's super easy to drink, the Aviation is a great way to introduce people to the gin category. The first published recipe for an Aviation appeared in 1916 in Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks. A mixture of gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and crème de violette, the cocktail should be sour, floral, and delicious. There is some discussion about whether to include the violette (it's omitted in the Savoy Cocktail Book – some say due to a typo) but for me it's what gives the Aviation its distinctive taste (and awesome blue-ish hue!)."

– Emma Stokes, creator of Gin Monkey, London

9. A French 75

Alfie Amayo

"As cocktails go, an absolute classic that everyone must try is the French 75. Supposedly named after the famous 75mm Howitzer field gun favoured by the Americans and French in World War I, the French 75 was said to have such a kick that it felt like being hit by that weapon.

"Although the cocktail has gone through a few evolutions in regards to the measurements, the ingredients have remained the same; gin, fresh lemon, and sugar syrup, all topped with champagne and garnished with a maraschino cherry. Taken from the 1930s Savoy Cocktail Book and served in a coupe, this timeless classic is as elegant as it is delicious."

– Alfie Amayo, brand ambassador for City of London Distillery, London

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10. Gin on the rocks

Instagram: @caraballingall

"More and more gin brands are producing high strength or ‘navy’ gins. These gins are quite often used in stronger versions of classic G&Ts and Martinis (a wise and noble use). However! If you pull yourself away from the idea that gin must be mixed in some way, and start to think of it as a complex sipping spirit in the tradition of well-made cask-strength whiskies, then you could be on to a winner.

"Alcohol and water is a fantastic and fearsome combination; alcohol binds to flavours and locks them away, while water ‘blasts’ the two apart and releases the wonderful flavours the alcohol has locked away. Much like adding a drop of water to whisky to ‘open it up’, the combination of melting ice and high alcohol in a navy-strength gin creates a drink that actively matures as you drink it. Different flavours are released as the gin becomes more diluted, so you have a different flavour with every sip! Proper magic in a glass."

– Paul Donegan, brand ambassador for Pickering’s Gin, Edinburgh

11. A Pegu Club

Instagram: @gitabulous

"The Pegu Club is quite a simple drink that's especially refreshing in the summer – fitting, given it was invented in Burma. It's similar to a margarita in its recipe (gin, curaçao, lime, and orange bitters) but the gin element allows for the drink to have the subtle nuances of the botanicals."

– Luke McCarthy, bar manager at The Library, London

12. A Gin & Ginger

Michael Saechang / Via Flickr: saechang

"I have a terrible secret. Despite loving gin, I actually hate tonic. Luckily, I'm not entirely alone in this. Most people know that historically, tonic was taken as a medicine, due to it being full of malaria-fighting quinine. What fewer people know is that gin was first added to tonic to make the tonic taste more palatable – not vice versa. I'd go so far as to say that most people who claim to hate gin actually just hate tonic.

"So you're well within your rights to swap out the tonic in your G&T for something a bit tastier, like ginger ale! I think Sipsmith goes particularly well with the soft drink, but the botanical flavour of most gins combined with ginger is pretty magical."

– Emma Cooke, lifestyle writer at Buzzfeed UK, London

13. A Floradora

Polly Bartlett / Via Flickr: pollybartlett

"Made with ginger ale, gin, and raspberry syrup, this classic is a bit more obscure than most but I think you might find a new summer drink if you try it. Although the original recipe calls for raspberry syrup, I like my Floradoras with Chambord. I also like using Tarquin's gin with this one, as it's a bit more floral and can handle the sweetness of the Chambord well."

– David Smith, bar manager at The Anchor Inn at Seatown, Dorset

14. A Hanky Panky

Instagram: @baristahands

"In the early 20th century Ada Coleman came up with an inspired variation on the Martini: the Hanky Panky, named when actor Charles Hawtrey tasted her new creation and declared, “Ada, this is the real hanky panky!” Her drink was an abridged original, combining gin and sweet vermouth. To this she added Fernet Branca for a fresh, minty, bitter finish.

"At home, I take it a step further. A little less Fernet. Half a dozen mint leaves into the mix. Give it a hard shake. Double strain. Garnish with a spanked mint leaf (place it on your palm; clap once sharply cupping the mint leaf to awaken the flavour). This is the real Spanky Panky."

– Jared Brown, master distiller at Sipsmith, the Cotswolds

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15. A Southside

Instagram: @wheresthesungone

"The gin mojito. Everyone loves gin and everyone loves a Mojito, so the Southside makes perfect sense. I prefer it straight up in a martini glass, but you can also have it long with soda or fancy with champagne. Martin Miller's tends to be my favourite gin for this (not that I'm biased or anything)... It hints of cucumber, so pairs perfectly with the mint in this drink!"

– Mikul Kaylan, brand ambassador for Martin Miller's, London

16. A Tom Collins

jamieoliver.com

"The Tom Collins is so easy to drink; it's just a simple and tasty mix of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and sparkling water. Make sure you drink it with an 'Old Tom' gin – the Tom Collins is how people used to drink the historic 18th-century gin recipe. Ask for either Sipsmith or Bathtub gin – they're both great 'modern' Old Tom gins."

– Daniel Kaizen, bartender at Playboy Club Mayfair, London

17. A Corpse Reviver No. 2

Instagram: @baristahands

"Hailed as a 'hair of the dog' hangover cure, variations of the Corpse Reviver have been recorded as early as 1871, but the first recipe for this drink was included in Harry Craddock’s famous Savoy Cocktail Book.

"The great thing about equal parts cocktails (the Corpse Reviver is equal parts gin, Cocchi Americano, triple sec, and lemon) is that they can be easily scaled up or down to make great batch cocktails. Although some bartenders argue that you should increase the gin and decrease the other ingredients for a more refined cocktail, my favourite adaptation was by Jacob Briars in 2007, swapping out the triple sec for a blue curacao.

"No matter the variation though, you should always remember Harry’s sage advice: 'Four of these taken in swift succession will un-revive the corpse again.'"

– Phillip David, freelance bartender and writer, New York

18. A Gimlet

Instagram: @theginqueenau

"Said to be created for sailors as a way to prevent scurvy, the Gimlet has the added benefit of being delicious! I love that it's super simple to make (it's made with either gin and Roses lime cordial, or gin, lime juice, and sugar syrup), and everyone can easily source the ingredients. It's also easy to twist up by substituting flavoured syrups, instead of simple syrup, and other citrus juices, although the classic has to be lime."

– Emma Stokes, creator of Gin Monkey, London

19. A White Lady

Instagram: @diageobarac

"The White Lady a great riff on the classic gin daisy/sidecar formula, with gin in place of the cognac – the classic recipe calls for cointreau but I prefer mine with dry curaçao. Either works. The latter just makes it dryer (obvs).

"It's crisp, elegant, and refreshing. Plus it has an egg white in it, and eggs in cocktails rule: They add a silky texture, make the drink dryer on the palette, and they create an awesome foam that looks cool and is great for capturing aromas."

– Robert Colin Roy Simpson, bar manager at The Clove Club, London

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20. A Red Snapper

"A more interesting cousin to the better known Bloody Mary, a Red Snapper swaps out the vodka for gin. This gives more flavour and complexity to the drink, and balances nicely with the tomato juice.

"A firm favourite for soothing the soul (and your hangover), the Red Snapper, or as it's known as fondly at Meatmission, Yianni's Breakfast, is a hearty drink that will give you strength for the day ahead. After you've had one of these it's hard to switch back to vodka."

– Holly Willcocks, bar manager at Meatmission, London

21. An Alaska

Instagram: @crookedrooster

"The Alaska's herbaceous mix of flavours always takes me back to my time at the London Cocktail Club. In my illustrious 18 years, the only person who ever ordered this drink was a good friend, and that was when my love affair with this cocktail's layers of botanicals began. Made with gin, yellow chartreuse, orange bitters, and sherry, it's a cocktail worth discovering."

– Des Yatigammana, bartender at 68 & Boston, London

22. A Ramos Gin Fizz

Instagram: @twelvetenph / Via Flickr: kevinomara

"The Ramos is awesome. At one period of time, there was even a team of bartenders dedicated to shaking solely Ramos Fizzes, known as the shaker boys! Made with gin, double cream, lemon and lime, egg white, and orange flower water, and topped with soda, this creamy twist on the brilliant Collins classic (which I'm sure will feature on this list) has somehow fallen through the cracks on modern lists, but most bartenders know this drink and love it."

– David Coveney, bar manager at Aperitivo at The Oliver Conquest, London

23. A White Negroni

Georgia Billing

"The Negroni is a bitter aperitif that is growing in popularity, but why not try a slightly unexpected variation: the White Negroni. The formula is close to the original: gin, fortified wine (the classic calls for sweet vermouth), and something bitter in equal parts.

"The flavour of my version is soft and earthy; I've pared my gin base with gentian root (typically found in alpine habitats), and added dryness with fresh and piney fino sherry instead of vermouth. The original citrusy orange flavour is changed for grapefruit in the garnish. Grapefruit juice or lemon oil? It's drinker's choice!"

– Georgia Billing, assistant general manager at Looking Glass Cocktail Club, London

24. A Clover Club

tuxedono2.com

"The Clover Club is like the fabulous lovechild of the Martini and the White Lady. It's pink and fluffy and it doesn't care.

"Probably one of the finest examples of the gin sour family, it's made with egg white, gin, lemon, and raspberry syrup – when well made, the raspberry is delicate and gives enough space to use a great gin in there. Here at The Dark Horse we use Sipsmith gin, a house-made raspberry syrup, and a little dash of dry vermouth. It's just fucking tasty."

– Louis Lewis-Smith, owner of The Dark Horse, Bath

25. A Last Word

Instagram: @lichtundspiel

"The Last Word is an excellent palate-cleansing drink, ideal before or after a meal. Comprised of equal parts green chartreuse, maraschino, gin, and freshly pressed lime juice, it was first invented in the 1920s in Detroit but was essentially lost after World War II. We saw a resurrection of it in the early 2000s and it's become a modern classic since."

– Tony Kousoulou, bartender at East London Liquor Company, London

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