Because you shouldn’t be saving gin just for your patio pounding G&Ts.
Poor gin. It gets a bad enough rap as it is from vodka fans, whiskey enthusiasts and anyone else who fears its botanical-rich flavor. But it also has to fight the ongoing stereotype that it’s a spirit to be imbibed only in the warmer months.
With so many different options on shelves these days, and savvy bartenders mixing in seasonal ingredients that play up aromas and flavors you crave this time of year, ‘tis always the season for gin!
Recipe courtesy of Tracy Fabricante, Head Bartender, P.S. Kitchen; Image: Craig Cochran
Pomegranate juice, a sprinkle of cinnamon and spicy, smoky bitters indeed make this drink timeless.
- 2 oz. Gin
- 1 ⅕ oz. Pomegranate juice
- ½ oz. Agave nectar
- Dash ground cinnamon
- 2 sprigs Lemon thyme (1 reserved for garnish)
- 3 Pink peppercorns
- 5 dashes Hella Cocktail Co. Smoked Chili Bitters
- 3 spritzes Orange blossom water
- Lime wedge, for garnish
In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle 1 sprig lemon thyme and the peppercorns. Add the gin, juice, agave, cinnamon and bitters, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Double-strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice, garnish with a lemon thyme sprig and lime wedge, and spritz the orange blossom water on the top and sides of the glass.
Burn After Drinking
Recipe and image courtesy of Datz
Pear cider is a nice switch-up from the more expected apple, while sage’s appearance in a liqueur shows that the herb belongs in my than your Thanksgiving stuffing.
- 1 oz. FEW Breakfast Gin
- 1 oz. Art in the Age Sage Liqueur
- 4 dashes Fee Brothers Plum Bitters
- ½ oz. lemon juice
- 1 can Rekorderlig Pear Cider
- Sage sprig and 5 sage blossoms, for garnish
Open a chilled can of Rekorderlig Pear Cider and pour out 3 oz. In a mixing glass, add the gin, Sage Liqueur, lemon juice and plum bitters, and stir until chilled. Strain into the prepared can of cider, garnish with the sage sprig and blossoms, and add a colored paper straw.
Thyme is on My Side
Recipe and image courtesy of Sac-a-Lait
This drink gets a big dose of thyme, as it appears in two infused spirits, a syrup, and both a candied lemon thyme wheel and fresh sprig garnish. Kummel adds a whiff of fennel and caraway.
- 1 oz. thyme-infused Bristow Gin (see Note)
- 1 oz. thyme-infused Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey (see Note)
- ¾ z. Thyme syrup (thyme sprigs added to hot simple syrup until desired flavor is achieved, then strained)
- ¾ oz. Lemon juice
- 1 Egg white
- Kummel (also known as kummel and kimmel) liqueur in an atomizer, for garnish
- Charred lemon thyme candy wheel, for garnish (see Note)
- Thyme sprig, for garnish
Add the first 5 ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Double-strain into a chilled coupe, spray 2 spritzes of kummel on the top of the cocktail, and garnish with a thyme sprig and charred lemon-thyme wheel.
For the infused spirit (do the gin and whiskey separate):
Muddle 30 grams of thyme in a sealable container. Add 1 liter of spirit and let infuse for 24 hours. Strain out solids.
For the charred lemon thyme candy wheel:
Cut a lemon in half and dip the exposed side on a plate of sugar. Using a kitchen torch, brûlée the sugar on the lemon half. Drop some thyme leaves on the brûléed lemon half while it’s still hot and pliable. Let it cool for a few minutes, then gently cut and pull off the lemon thyme wheel with the blade of a knife.
The Gin Tub
Fragrant rosemary is reminiscent of the evergreens we adorn our doors and homes with this time of year, and it really pairs with tart and tangy pomegranate juice.
- 1 ½ oz. Spring 44 Gin
- ½ oz. Rosemary syrup (rosemary sprigs added to hot simple syrup until desired flavor is achieved, then strained)
- 1 oz. Pomegranate juice
- Dash club soda
- Pomegranate seeds and rosemary sprig, for garnish
Add all ingredients except garnishes to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a few pomegranate seeds.
24 Gun Salute
Recipe and image courtesy of Beefeater 24 Gin
This batched, do-ahead punch is scalable, whether you are expecting eight or twenty-eight guests. Grapefruit is all over grocery store shelves during the winter months – be sure to look for red rather than pink which will add both a gorgeous hue and a sweeter, more pronounced flavor.
- 3 parts Beefeater 24 Gin
- 2 parts Lillet Blanc
- 2 ½ parts Red grapefruit juice
- 1 ½ parts Ginger syrup (see Note)
- 7 ½ parts Gunpowder green tea
- Fresh lemon juice, to taste
- Ginger slices, mint sprigs, red grapefruit slices and lemon slices, for garnish
Add all ingredients in a large punch bowl with a block of ice, tasting and adjusting if needed.
For the ginger syrup:
Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 5 slices peeled ginger in a saucepan. Simmer until the sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat. Steep for 30 minutes or until desired flavor is reached, then strain out solids. Store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Cranberry Sauce Gin & Tonic
Recipe and image courtesy of Johnny Swet, Mixologist, JIMMY at The James
Winterize your favorite summer refresher by adding in a heap (or two) of cranberry sauce.) Jellied will strain out better, but whole berry works, too. Feel free to garnish with a rosemary sprig.
- 2 oz. The Botanist Gin
- ½ oz. Simple syrup
- ½ oz. Lemon juice
- 1 heaping bar spoon Cranberry sauce
- Tonic, for topping
- Lemon wheel, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, add the gin, simple syrup, lemon juice and cranberry sauce. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a tall glass over fresh ice (ideally Kold-Draft), stir in tonic water, and garnish with the lemon wheel.
Howl at the Jun
Jun is a fermented healthy beverage similar to kombucha, except that it feeds on green tea and raw honey rather than black tea and concentrated sugar. Its sweet-tart flavor plays nice off grapefruit juice and sparkling rosé.
- 1 ½ oz. Beefeater Gin
- ¾ oz. Grapefruit juice
- ¼ oz. Simple syrup or honey syrup
- 2 oz. Jun (can substitute kombucha)
- 2 oz. Chilled dry sparkling rosé wine
- Crystallized ginger on a skewer, for garnish
Build all ingredients in a wine glass, then add crushed ice. Garnish with the skewer of crystallized ginger.
Recipe and image courtesy of Benjamin Schiller, Beverage Director, The Sixth
A simple gin sour gets a boost of complexity with Peychaud’s Aperitivo, a red liqueur that adds depth, color and bitter notes.
- 2 oz. Barr Hill Gin
- 1 oz. Peychaud’s Aperitivo
- ½ oz. Simple syrup
- ½ oz. Lemon juice
- Mint sprig and edible flowers, for garnish
Add all ingredients except garnish to a copper pineapple cup, swizzle around to the top with crushed ice, stir, and garnish with the mint sprig and edible flowers.
Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics.