Whatever the season, gin is a cocktail cabinet must-have. After all, what's more refreshing on a glorious summer's day than a cool, crisp, gin and tonic with a big slice of lemon?
And who doesn't love a warming gin cocktail on a chilly evening… There really is a gin-based drink for every occasion.
Although it has become a huge favourite over the last few years, gin has been around for centuries. Here's everything you need to know about this oh-so popular tipple, as well as the best ways to enjoy it…
Did you know that gin is thought to date all the way back to the Middle Ages?
Made from a distilled base featuring juniper berries, gin-like spirits were first produced and sold in the belief they could treat medical issues such as 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 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 gin was added to make the whole thing more palatable. Genius!
When it comes to pairing your favourite gin with tonic water, it’s first worth noting the botanicals in that particular gin. These botanicals will 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 wonderful 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, though, try adding a slice of apple and a sprig of fresh herbs like rosemary or dill to bring all those botanicals to life
Cucumber and Mint-Infused Gin Cocktail
This crisp cucumber and mint-infused gin is kept in the fridge for a week to allow the flavours to combine. Serve with ice and sparkling water, and you have yourself one perfect cocktail for sipping in the sun.
Pink gin is just getting more and more popular! Thanks to its sweet taste with berry undertones, this particular form of gin is a favourite spring and summer staple.
Traditionally, pink gin was a mixture of gin and Angostura bitters, drunk by sailors in an attempt to treat their seasickness!
Nowadays, pink gin means something quite different. Sweet and floral with a subtle blush colour, pink gins are known for their notes of strawberry, raspberry and redcurrant that subtly complement the classic gin 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 mainly herbal botanicals. Try it with lemonade for a sweet and drinkable tipple, or try our pink gin spritz. With zesty grapefruit juice, delicate elderflower and a dash of bitters, this 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 their more traditional 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 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 sweet and tart 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 Fruits Gin Punch
If you're after something fruitier, this gin punch combines grapefruit and elderflower gin liqueur with tropical fruit juices, bitter lemon and refreshing iced berry tea for a fruity and tangy gin cocktail that's ideal served in the late-afternoon sunshine. Cheers!
Lemon and Elderflower Fizz
An elegant, hot-day drink, this elderflower and gin cocktail is refreshing and sweet. Simply mix lemon zest, elderflower cordial, lemon juice and prosecco and garnish simply with a crunchy spear of cucumber, or a swirl of lemon rind.
Gingerbread Buck's Fizz
When autumn arrives, have this Gingerbread Buck's Fizz recipe on standby! It takes moments to whip up, mixing Gingerbread gin liqueur with clementine juice and prosecco, then adding a twist of clementine zest to finish.
Rhubarb and Ginger Sour
This rhubarb and ginger sour is ultra-refreshing, mixing rhubarb and gin liqueur with an easy-to-make sencha green tea syrup and zingy lime juice. Serve in a chunky glass, with plenty of ice.