Spirit Spotlight: Gin

Author: The Grogfather   Date Posted:25 January 2016 

A Spotlight on Gin and some easy to make Gin-fuelled cocktails, YUM!

Ever since the concept of a cocktail (as we understand it today) was first conceived one spirit above all others has been at its heart; Gin. Originally made in the Netherlands and known as Genever it was brought over to England during the time of the Plague by Dutch Sailors. After a pretty rough start it managed to find its way in the hands of some of history’s greatest bartenders.


A range of Negroni cocktails using gin from The Grogfather

There are more classic cocktails made with Gin as their soul than any other spirit in the world. Drink slingers such as Harry Craddock at the Savoy popularised the use of it With Drinks such as the Leap Year cocktail, said to have led to more proposals of marriage than any other drink. 


Leap Year Cocktail

30ml Tanqueray  Gin

15ml Grand Marnier

15ml Sweet Vermouth (Rosso)


Simple, elegant, delicious. No drink needs any more than that, and it brings me handily towards the next drink. Without doubt an ancestor to the leap year cocktail. The Martini, the king of all cocktails, today made just as often with Vodka, its birth had Gin at its heart and if you ask me it tastes better that way.


The Martini

60ml Tanqueray Gin

30ml Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth


This is just a simple Martini recipe, over the years there have been countless variations, less gin more vermouth like The Perfect Martini. Or nearly all gin and very little vermouth like The Dry Martini. All of them have become building blocks for some of the greatest cocktails ever conceived. Even the Negroni a great Gin cocktail by any measure can trace itself back to the original Martini. All of these early cocktails are spirit forward drinks, and because of Gin’s complex yet light flavour profile it has always leant itself to this style of drink.


The Negroni

30ml Old Tom Gin

30ml Campari

30ml Sweet Vermouth (Rosso)


Today we find a lot of people who come through the bar are put off by the idea of having Gin in their drinks. Whether this stems from bad experiences or a fear of not wanting to drink what their grandparents drink I’m not sure. I don’t think it matters. It has always struck us as particularly surprising when people who have no problem drinking vodka in a drink are unable to stomach the idea of Gin.

In essence Gin is a form of Vodka, it is made from the same base ingredients and until it is flavoured with the botanical’s it is very much the same spirit as Vodka. You could reasonably argue the Gin is just a flavoured vodka. So when it comes to cocktails there is never any reason not to think that Gin can do the same job better. Let’s take for example a classic Vodka Cocktail, The Cosmopolitan.



The Cosmopolitan

30ml Citron Vodka

30ml Orange Curacao

15ml Lime Juice

30ml Cranberry Juice


Made by Dale DeGroff, this cocktail has done laps around the world and is now found on even the most basic of cocktail lists. Now if we modify it slightly it becomes a beautiful Gin based drink.


Gin Cosmo

30ml Martin Millers reformed Gin

30ml Cointreau

15ml Lemon Juice

30ml Cranberry Juice


Now whoever you are, if you like the original Cosmopolitan there is no way the gin version won’t also please your tastebuds. It’s impossible. Fact. The point here is not that the Gin version is better. Simply that it should not be overlooked because your grandma drinks it, or you had a horrible gin and tonic in some dirty dive bar that one time when you were 18.


Gin is fantastic, so we strongly suggest that you do what we will be this Friday and that’s relax with a refreshing Tom Collins or three and enjoy the onset of the weekend, they never last long enough so why not make the most of them.