When it comes to summer drinks, gin is a tried-and-tested favourite. Whether it's a refreshing G&T, a sweet and sippable pink gin tipple, or a fun and fruity cocktail made with gin liqueurs, there really is a gin drink for every occasion.
This particular spirit might seem on-trend right now, but its various forms have been around for centuries. In honour of World Gin Day on 8 June 2019, we've broken down what makes each type different - as well as the best gin drinks to sip this summer. Scroll on to find out more…
Gin may seem on-trend now, but did you know it dates all the way back to the Middle Ages?
Made from a distilled base of juniper berries, spirits like gin were first produced and sold to treat medical issues like kidney problems, stomach upset and gout. Then, around the turn of the 18th century, 15,000 gin shops set up across England and the spirit has been popular across the country ever since…
Gin and tonic
The classic combination of gin and tonic water has a history of medicinal properties, too. The drink was supposedly invented when British colonies in India drank quinine to treat malaria. Quinine was dissolved into carbonated water to make tonic water, while the gin was added to make the whole thing more palatable. Genius!
When it comes to pairing your gin with a tonic water, it’s worth noting the botanicals in your favourite gin. The botanicals that make up each gin determine its flavour, and sometimes a tonic and garnish that contrast with the botanicals can work just as well as ones that have very similar flavours. Check out our guide on how to make the perfect pairing here.
Apple and dill gin and tonic
A classic gin and tonic is best served simple - over plenty of ice with a wedge of lemon or lime to garnish. If you want to take things to the next level, try adding a slice of apple and a sprig of fresh herbs like rosemary or dill to bring to life all of those botanicals.
Pink gin is just getting more and more popular. Thanks to its sweet taste with berry undertones, this particular form of gin is a summer staple - perfect for World Gin Day.
Traditionally, pink gin was a mixture of gin and Angostura bitters, drunk by sailors in an attempt to treat their seasickness (don’t try this at home..!)
Nowadays, pink gin means something quite different. Sweet and floral with a subtle pink colour, pink gins are known for their notes of strawberry, raspberry and redcurrant that subtly complement gin's classic botanicals of coriander, juniper, orange peel and lemon.
Pink gin spritz
Pink gin is great for anyone that's new to the world of gin: the fruity notes help to balance the otherwise herbal botanicals. Try our Extra Special Pink Gin with lemonade for a sweet and sippable summer drink, or try our pink gin spritz. With zesty grapefruit juice, delicate elderflower and a dash of bitters, this gin cocktail recipe is a summery take on the classic gin and tonic, with a little nod to pink gin's origins.
Sweeter and fruitier than its more classic gin counterparts, gin liqueurs are great for anyone that might not consider themselves a full-blown gin fan just yet.
Made by infusing classic gin with fruits and other natural flavours and then sweetening it, gin liqueurs are syrupy and sweet. Thanks to their fruity flavours, they also work brilliantly in cocktails.
Spiced lemon and ginger mule
This spiced lemon and ginger mule balances our sweet and tart Extra Special Rhubarb and Ginger Gin Liqueur with spiced rum and ginger beer for a zesty cocktail. The gin liqueur gently sweetens the drink, while the tart edge complements the fresh lemon and ginger beer.
Summer gin punch
If you're after something fruitier, this summer gin punch combines Extra Special Grapefruit and Elderflower Gin Liqueur with tropical fruit juices, bitter lemon and refreshing iced berry tea for a fruity and tangy and summery gin cocktail that's best served in the late-afternoon sunshine. Cheers!