Easy Gin Drinks To Make At Home

If you're looking for easy gin drinks to make at home or to learn more about gin, you've come to the right place. If you've ever wondered what type of gins exist, what the different flavor notes of gin are, or how to pair other ingredients for delicious cocktails, this guide will provide you with the answers you've been seeking.

Let's get started so you can get sipping!

The Four Varieties Of Gin

When making gin drinks at home, knowing what types are available is essential. The gin distillation processes impart various flavors into the spirit, which produces a wide range of tastes to explore. The four main types of gin are London Dry, Plymouth, Old Tom, and Genever. There is also a new term emerging called "New Western Gin." Let's look at all of them to help guide you and your home drink-making.

London Dry Gin

Can you guess where this gin variety originated? That's right! England. Now, London dry gins are widely produced across the globe, and you've probably tried this style. Some familiar brand names may be Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, and Tanqueray.

The flavor notes of London dry gins mainly contain juniper and citrus. Juniper berries essentially taste like a Christmas tree, but the strong flavor calms throughout the distillation process. The bright, citrus-forward notes you may taste are due to distillers adding in fruit peels when distilling. In short, a "dry" gin means the spirit does not contain any artificial flavors. Any taste you get when sipping on a dry gin comes from the botanicals used throughout distillation.

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth gin is unique in that it is most certainly in its own category, but only one brand produces it! The Plymouth distillery holds a lot of history, dating back hundreds of years. The history shows on the bottle's packaging where you can see an old British Royal Navy ship. In fact, the British Royal Navy enjoyed Plymouth's gin so much; the distillers made a variety specifically for them—adequately named "Navy Strength Gin." It packs a punch with a whopping 57% alcohol by volume.

Plymouth gins are far more citrusy than a London dry gin. The blend of botanicals used throughout the distillation process is typically cardamom, orange peel, juniper, coriander seed, Orris root, and Angelica root. It does not contain the juniper-forward tastes of other gins and has a slightly oily mouthfeel that makes it perfect for making gin drinks like negronis and martinis.

Genever

Genever comes from 16th-century Holland. It's the original style of gin from which all other variations stem. Instead of starting the distillation process with a neutral grain spirit, it begins with malt wine. This foundation results in a far more robust flavor and texture than we find in a London dry or Plymouth gin. The flavor notes aren't citrus-forward like other styles but more malted with subtle hints of juniper.

Old Tom Gin

Old Tom was the street name for gin back when people attempted to make it in their bathtubs (we're delighted we've moved past that era). It is a sweetened type of gin that can take on wide-ranging flavors due to shifting sugar levels and varying aging processes. The typical rules that apply to most distilled spirits don't seem to apply to Old Tom. It can be aged or not aged, and it can have sugar or no sugar, and it can use a neutral base spirit or not. Most experts say that the flavor profiles of Old Tom gins fall somewhere between Genever and a London dry.

New Western Gin

A term emerging over the decade or so, New Western refers to the blossoming industry of craft gins across the world. It seems the focus of this enduring trend is to minimize the juniper-heavy flavors found in most mainstream gins. While they're not necessarily made entirely sans juniper, the distillers attempt to draw out the flavors of the other botanicals in a more pronounced manner. These additional flavors each brand attempts to highlight can vary greatly, from more common citrus notes to more unexpected flavors like rhubarb. Many New Western craft gins contain a hint of sweetness to appeal to a broader range of imbibers.

What Gins Should I Use In Cocktails?

The only thing to stay away from for making gin drinks at home is cheap gin. Why? Because it usually tastes like lighter fluid and is deficient in quality. That may be exaggeratory, but in all reality, you want to purchase gins that are well made because they will make a world of difference when making your own gin drinks at home.

Most gin drinkers have their personal preferences, and it's not unusual for people to find that they prefer one brand over the other. Start experimenting and tasting more than one kind of gin to see what most appeals to you. There are plenty of distilleries producing gin these days, and they all vary wildly from each other—you're bound to find one (or a few) you adore.

And if you're genuinely not sure where to start, ask a bartender whose gin cocktail recipes you've tried and liked before.

Making Gin Drinks At Home

Now that you know all the options available, let's get to the good stuff. Below is a list of easy-to-make gin drinks for at-home cocktail making. And remember, creativity is key! Add in your own flair by trying out different styles of gin in each of the cocktails you create. Exploration will lead you to the gin tipples of your dreams.

A few standard mixology tools you may need are:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Mixing glass
  • Strainer
  • Jiggers
  • Bar spoon
  • Glassware
  • Muddler
  • Juice press or juicer
  • Fruit peeler

Let's get shaking!

Tom Collins Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz gin
  • 1oz lemon juice
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Lemon wheel and maraschino cherry for garnish

Instructions:

Add the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a glass. Fill the glass with ice and top with club soda. Gently stir the drink to incorporate the ingredients, and then garnish with a lemon wheel and cherry.

Bee's Knees Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz gin
  • 0.75oz lemon juice
  • 0.5oz honey syrup
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Instructions:

Add the gin, lemon juice, and honey into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled glass without ice. Garnish with a twist of lemon and enjoy!

For another layer of flavor, throwing in a dash of Angostura bitters works well in this cocktail.

Strawberries & Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz gin
  • 1oz strawberry liqueur
  • 1oz white crème de cacao
  • 0.5oz half and half
  • Strawberry for garnish

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients (except for the strawberry garnish) into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a martini or coupe glass and garnish a strawberry. This drink is a delightful tipple that makes a perfect alcoholic dessert!

(recipe source)

Cucumber Gimlet Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz gin
  • 3 cucumber slices
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 0.75oz lime juice
  • Cucumber slice for garnish

Instructions:

Add three cucumber slices to a cocktail shaker and muddle them. Then, add in the gin, simple syrup, and lime juice. Add ice and shake well—Strain into a coupe glass or over fresh ice. Garnish with an additional slice of cucumber. Cheers!

Gin Rickey Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz gin
  • 0.5oz lime juice
  • Club soda
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions:

Fill a glass with ice, and then add lime juice and gin. Top off with club soda and give the drink a quick stir. Garnish with a slice of lime and enjoy!

Modern English Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2.5oz gin
  • 0.5oz maple syrup
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 4 pear slices

Instructions:

Add the maple syrup, lemon wedges, and pear slices into a cocktail shaker. Muddle until the ingredients are well incorporated. Next, add gin and then ice. Shake well—Double-strain into a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with additional pear slices, if available. Cheers!

London Light Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz gin
  • 1oz pomegranate juice
  • 0.5oz grapefruit juice
  • Club soda
  • Grapefruit twist or pomegranate seeds for garnish

Instructions:

Add the gin and both juices into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a glass and top off with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a grapefruit twist, pomegranate seeds, or both!

(recipe source)

Bramble Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz gin
  • 1oz lemon juice
  • 0.25 simple syrup
  • 0.5oz crème de mure (aka blackberry liqueur)
  • Lemon wedge and fresh blackberries for garnish

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, and shake. Strain into a glass over crushed ice (if available) and garnish with a lemon wedge and fresh blackberries.

If you do not have access to a blackberry liqueur, here is an alternative recipe:

Add 4-6 fresh blackberries and 0.5oz of simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Muddle them together. Then, add in the gin and lemon juice. Add ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with fresh blackberries. Cheers!

South Side Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz simple syrup

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake—Strain into a martini or coupe glass, or over ice if preferred. Garnish with an additional mint sprig and enjoy!

Making Gin Cocktails At Home

So, there you have it—a few easy recipes perfect for beginners who want to learn how to make gin cocktails at home. If the recipes seem like too much work, try using a Mixly mixer! All you have to do is build, stir, and serve.

Mix it up with Mixly and impress your guests (and yourself) with expert cocktails and fresh ingredients. Let the gin drinks commence!