Gin, the botanical spirit that boasts the flavor of juniper berries, among other herbal elements, is an incredibly versatile type of alcohol used in many classic cocktails. Although it was originally created as a type of medicine, it quickly became a popular drink, most often mixed with tonic water. Today, you can expect gin to contain hints of anise, caraway, and coriander for a light, flowery taste that suits many mixed drinks.
If you're a fan of the spirit, you've likely ordered your fair share of gin and tonics, gimlets, gin martinis, French 75s, and negronis. However, there are a plethora of creative and tasty ways to incorporate the distilled drink in other specialty cocktails that you may not have tried yet.
While the classics are classic for a reason, if you're game to try your hand at some more experimental gin recipes, you've come to the right place. Whether you're hosting a cocktail party for a crowd or a night in with a few friends, you can test your mixology skills by whipping up a few innovative gin cocktails.
Ahead, discover 10 gin recipes, including classic and contemporary concoctions. From Spanish gin and tonics and a pomegranate gin cocktail to a raspberry Chambord gin fizz and a margarita-inspired gin drink, there's something for every palate.
Citrus Rosemary Spanish Gin and Tonic Cocktail
The Recipe: Citrus Rosemary Spanish Gin and Tonic Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: A sprig of fresh rosemary is used to garnish your glass and provide a beautiful scent that enhances each sip.
Pro Tip: Serve up this cocktail in a large wine glass, just like they do in Spain, according to Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind.
Why We Love It: Unlike the G+T's you've probably had at bars, this Spanish-inspired one calls for just a shot of gin and a healthy pour of tonic water. This method allows you to really taste and enjoy the fragrant spirit.
All-Natural Gin and Tonics
The Recipe: All-Natural Gin and Tonics
The Hero Ingredient: Kumquats give this cocktail an unexpected tart flavor and a bold orange hue.
Pro Tip: "If you’re not into citrus pulp/skin, scoop out or strain the kumquats from the drink," Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker notes. "The whole fruit is edible though, so I left mine in."
Why We Love It: This gin and tonic recipe includes an all-natural twist: homemade tonic water. Instead of using tonic water purchased from the store (which usually includes unnatural ingredients like high fructose corn syrup), this recipe calls for you to make your own by sweetening seltzer or sparkling water with maple syrup, agave, or honey.
Blackberry and Meyer Lemon Gin and Tonics
The Recipe: Blackberry and Meyer Lemon Gin and Tonics
The Hero Ingredient: Lemon juice from Meyer lemons provides a refreshing citrus taste to the fruity gin and tonic.
Pro Tip: You can add just about anything to a gin and tonic to enhance the flavors of the classic drink, according to Jenny Park of Spoon Fork Bacon. "I add raspberries a lot, sometimes blueberries or basil, and sometimes just mint. Whatever I have extra of really," she writes.
Why We Love It: This gin recipe is easy to pull off, and the finished drink looks stunning to boot. It calls for blackberries, mint, Meyer lemons, simple syrup, gin, tonic, and ice. You can add as much or as little simple syrup as you like depending on how sweet you want the drink to be.
Raspberry Chambord Gin Fizz
The Recipe: Refreshing Raspberry Chambord Gin Fizz
The Hero Ingredient: Chambord makes this gin recipe stand out from the rest. It provides both flavor and a welcome sweetness.
Pro Tip: "Raspberries can be used for garnish if desired (I added some auburn thyme sprigs from my garden and thinly sliced lemon peel)," according to Toni Dash of Boulder Locavore.
Why We Love It: This simple cocktail calls for just four ingredients and is ready in five minutes flat. It's a refreshing blend of gin, lemon juice, Chambord (a French blackberry and raspberry liqueur), and club soda. Serve it over ice for a light gin cocktail that's ideal for spring and summer.
Pink Grapefruit and Cilantro Spanish Gin and Tonic
The Hero Ingredient: Fresh grapefruit is the star of this gin recipe. Use the rind to create a tasty simple syrup and add freshly squeezed juice to flavor the rest of the cocktail.
Pro Tip: "I made a syrup with cilantro and grapefruit rind. At first, it might seem like a ridiculous amount of cilantro, but trust me, just do it," Kate Ramos of Hola Jalapeño advises.
Why We Love It: Another take on the endlessly cool Spanish gin and tonic, this recipe utilizes fresh grapefruit juice rather than tonic or soda water.
Thyme Gin and Tonics
The Recipe: Thyme Gin and Tonics
The Hero Ingredient: Fresh thyme offers a fragrant scent to enhance the classic recipe.
Pro Tip: Stephanie Le of I Am a Food Blog urges you to use high-quality ingredients since the recipe calls for so few. "Because there are essentially only two ingredients, they better be the best damn two ingredients you can get your hands on," she notes.
Why We Love It: Perhaps the simplest gin recipe in this roundup, it calls for ice, gin, tonic water, thyme, and lime. All you have to do is fill up a glass with ice to top with gin, tonic, sprigs of thyme, and a lime twist.
Grapefruit Cardamom Gin Fizz
The Recipe: Grapefruit Cardamom Gin Fizz
The Hero Ingredient: This recipe calls upon cardamom to infuse your gin right at home for an elevated flavor.
Pro Tip: You can store the homemade infused gin and rosemary syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, according to Natalie Mortimer of The Modern Proper.
Why We Love It: This cocktail feels fancy but is actually quite easy to make. It combines rosemary-flavored simple syrup, cardamom-infused gin, grapefruit juice, and prosecco for a fizzy, fragrant cocktail you'll think you ordered from the bar.
Lemongrass Gin and Tonic Cocktail
The Recipe: Lemongrass Gin and Tonic Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: You'll need lemongrass stalks to infuse your gin with the refreshing, natural flavor. They're definitely the hero ingredient of this cocktail recipe.
Pro Tip: You can store the lemongrass gin for up to a month in the refrigerator in an airtight container, according to Mollenkamp.
Why We Love It: As classic as this G+T is, it's full of surprises that make it refreshing and unexpected. Think lemongrass-infused gin complemented by tonic water, lime, and mint.
The Recipe: Gin Margarita (Margatini)
The Hero Ingredient: Gin transforms a classic margarita into an entirely new cocktail, making it the star of this recipe.
Pro Tip: "Add a hint of agave if you would like a sweeter cocktail," Ali Ebright of Gimme Some Oven suggests.
Why We Love It: You've never had a margarita like this before. With just three ingredients—gin, orange liqueur, and lime juice—the "margatini" is easy to mix up and offers a playful twist on a classic margarita.
Pomegranate Gin Cocktail
The Recipe: Festive Holiday Pomegranate Gin Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Pomegranate juice is the hero of this cocktail. It provides a sinfully sweet flavor that works well with any floral gin.
Pro Tip: If you're serving a crowd, this gin recipe can be easily adapted into a batch cocktail, according to Krista Rollins of Joyful Healthy Eats.
Why We Love It: Designed to add a bit of sweetness to the bitter taste of gin, this pomegranate gin cocktail perfectly balances the flavors. It calls for pomegranate juice, orange juice, honey, sparkling water, and gin. Top it all off with a spring of fresh thyme and an orange slice for a drink that looks as impressive as it tastes.