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.
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!
Cranberry and Thyme G&T
25ml tonic syrup
25ml Cranberry Thyme Syrup (below)
3 fresh cranberries
Cranberry Thyme Syrup:
2 pinches dried thyme
50g caster sugar
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
1 dollop cream
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!
2tsp dry vermouth
1 rosemary sprig
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 green Chartreuse
25ml maraschino liqueur
25ml fresh lime juice
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!