Today is "World Gin Day" so to celebrate we're enjoying some of our favorite gin-based libations that highlight the unique profiles of different gins. If you haven't enjoyed the spirit before, try some of these drinks. Rather than a straight up martini, these mixes have have a touch of sweetness and acidity that compliment the unique flavors of gin, and make it very drinkable for even those who don't fancy themselves fans of the liquor.
Dating back to the 17th century, gin was first developed by dutch chemists as a cure for sour stomachs and other ailments. Through the Gin Craze in England, to bathtub gin in America during Prohibition, up to today -- juniper remains the predominant flavor in the popular spirit. Each label has it's own unique blend of botanicals, and new formulations such as Hendrick's boast the unique combination of rose petals and cucumbers as part of their blend. Gin is a great foundation for any home bar -- from classic cocktails to modern mixes there are countless ways to use the spirit to create your own delicious drinks.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 1 ounce sloe gin, 1 ounce dry london-gin, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1 teaspoon superfine sugar. Shake, and pour into a Collins glass. Top with 2 ounces club soda. Makes 1 drink.
Combine 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup water. Heat in microwave or in a saucepan until mixture reaches a boil. If desired, add a generous amount of your favorite herb or citrus zest (we used 1/4 cup of lemon verbena) to hot mixture and let steep 10 minutes before straining. Reserve extra mixture in fridge for another use. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice combine 2 ounces gin, 1 ounce honey syrup, and 1 ounce lemon juice. Shake well and strain into a coupe or martini glass. Makes 1 drink.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle 5 slices of peeled english cucumber and 1 teaspoon sugar. Fill the shaker with ice and add 2 ounces gin (such as Hendricks), 1/2 ounce lemon juice, and 1 ounce pomegranate juice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with cucumber spear. Makes 1 drink.