It may be our go-to-mix with tonic on a warm summer evening, but your favourite bottle of gin is often left to gather dust at the back of the cupboard when winter sets in.

But with its lightly spiced undertones, gin transitions to winter especially well – making it a spirit worth rediscovering when the seasons change.

So often associated with crisp or sour cocktails, it’s easy to understand why gin is overlooked in winter. But here’s a little secret between friends – it’s all about what you mix it with.

Gin’s aromatic properties lend it to range of delicious, mouth-warming mixes. Think orange or cranberry to tie in with the sweeter botanicals of gin, introduce mouth-filling winter spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg or star anise, or try syrups with deeper tastes like vanilla.

So don’t leave the poor gin bottle to gather dust this winter, try these warming cocktail mixes to shake off those winter blues and fall in love with gin all over again.

gin cocktail the garnet

The Garnet

25ml gin
25ml pomegranate liqueur
25ml sweet vermouth
25ml lemon juice 

Directions: Juice a few lemons in a hand juicer and combine with remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and enjoy!

gin cocktail cranberry and thyme

Cranberry and Thyme G&T

50ml gin
25ml tonic syrup
25ml Cranberry Thyme Syrup (below)
Soda water
3 fresh cranberries

Cranberry Thyme Syrup:
150g cranberries
2 pinches dried thyme
50g caster sugar
100ml water
Splash of orange juice
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Combine the Cranberry Thyme Syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stir and pop the cranberries by pressing a spoon against them. Allow mix to cool and then strain it to remove solids.

Combine 25ml of the syrup with 50ml of gin and 25ml of tonic syrup, add soda water to taste and garnish with fresh cranberries.

Sweet Honey Chai Gin

25ml gin
1 dollop cream
1tsp honey
Crushed honeycomb
1 heaped teaspoon chai tea
200ml hot water

Directions: Infuse chai tea in 200ml hot water and add honey while it’s warm. Mix crushed ice, gin and cream and add to the chai tea/honey mix. Decorate with crushed honeycomb … and enjoy!

Olive-Rosemary Martini

60ml gin
2tsp dry vermouth
1 rosemary sprig
Pitted olives

Combine gin, dry vermouth and ice in shaker and mix well. Strain into a glass and garnish with a rosemary spring (leaves stripped from the bottom two-thirds) skewered through pitted olives.


The Last Word

25ml gin
25ml green Chartreuse
25ml maraschino liqueur
25ml fresh lime juice
Lime twist

Directions: Combine ingredients in shaker and mix well. Strain into martini glass and garnish with a twist of lime!

Have you got a favourite gin-cocktail recipe that you’d love to share? Spread the word and tell us in the comment section below!