5 Gin Cocktails to Celebrate World Gin Day

From the classic Tom Collins to the recently-revived Last Word, we've gathered five delicious gin cocktails to add to your summer drink menu.

We all know about classic gin cocktails, from dry martinis to gin and tonics. But there are so many more ways to put our favorite gins to use, from Beefeater to Bombay Sapphire. Why not branch out a bit?

In celebration of World Gin Day on June 10, we’ve gathered five delicious gin cocktails to add to your summer drink menu. From the classic Tom Collins to the recently-revived Last Word, you’ll enjoy learning about these cocktails almost as much as you’ll love drinking them.

Gin Cocktails: The Negroni

The Negroni was invented in 1919 for Count Camillo Negroni who wanted something stronger than the Milano-Torino (Campari and sweet vermouth). A Negroni is equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin, but this combination is ripe for creative substitutions.

Looking for a recommendation? Try the Negroni Contessa (above), which calls for Aperol instead of Campari, and dry vermouth rather than sweet vermouth.

Gin Cocktails: The Gimlet

The original written recipe for a gimlet calls for equal parts Plymouth Gin and Rose’s Lime Cordial. We love this humorous exploration of the gimlet’s history by Andrew Bohrer. Even if it doesn’t settle the matter of the gimlet’s origin, it might convince you to try making one at home.

This summer is perfect for the Live Basil Gimlet, which includes fresh lime juice and simple syrup instead of Rose’s, along with fresh basil leaves. Don’t miss the comment with instructions for turning this cocktail into a pitcher drink for your next gathering.

Gin Cocktails: The Tom Collins

If you only try one of these gin cocktails, make it the Tom Collins. This drink is truly a classic, and it’s perfect for summer. Mix gin, lemon juice, superfine sugar, and club soda, and pour it over a tall glass of ice. A Tom Collins is the original spiked lemonade.

Gin Cocktails: Tom Collins

Of course you can tweak a Tom Collins in many ways, from a Gin Fizz to a Gin Rickey. You can also sub out the gin for other spirits. But the real thing gets its name from Old Tom gin, which is why gin has been the basis of this drink for 150 years.

Gin Cocktails: The French 75

Gin Foundry describes a French 75 as “a tapestry of gin and bubbles, gracefully woven together to turn you into a carousing debauchee.” In other words, this elegant drink makes people more fun. Why not try serving one to your mother-in-law?

The French 75 was born out of World War I and named for a French field artillery gun. Given its European origins, it’s not surprising there’s a variation made with cognac, as well as a French 76 which calls for vodka, and a French 95 which uses whiskey.

Gin Cocktails: The Last Word

Last but not least, we’ll wrap up this roundup of gin cocktails with the Last Word. It’s a little-known drink that’s made from equal parts gin, Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice. You may have to search for maraschino liqueur, but take this smart tip from David Lebovitz: start at a specialty liquor store or Italian grocery.

The history of the Last Word is as intriguing as the drink itself: Created by the Detroit Athletic Club in the 1920’s, it persisted until the 1950’s when it fell out of favor. But Seattle bartender Murray Stenson revived it, and the Last Word made its way back across the country. Now you can order it from coast to coast, or better yet, make your own at home.

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