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5 Classic Gin Cocktails to Celebrate World Gin Day 2014

Gin-DayThis year, we celebrate World Gin Day on Saturday, June 14.

This spirit originated in Holland around the 17th century, but later became very popular in England after the Thirty Years’ War. Gin gets its flavor from juniper berries and other botanicals such as cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, lemon peel, and coriander (just to name a few). A fine gin usually contains six to ten botanicals. Unlike other spirits, gin is not meant to be drunk straight. The flavors of its botanicals come out when it is mixed in cocktails. This is why there are more classic cocktails made with gin than any other spirit.

If you’re looking to celebrate World Gin Day in style, raise a glass filled with any of these classic gin cocktails. These delicious recipes will be sure to delight your palate.

Gin and Tonic

The gin and tonic was first invented to fight malaria. Quinine was added to carbonated water to fight off the parasite, and gin was added to the drink to make it taste better. This classic cocktail is both popular and easy to make! Try this recipe from Allrecipes for a simple, yet delicious, gin and tonic.

Gin Day-Gin&TonicIngredients

4 cubes ice

2 fluid ounces gin

4 fluid ounces tonic water

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 lime wedge

Directions

Place the ice cubes in a tall, narrow glass with the ice coming near the top. Pour gin, tonic water, and lime juice over the ice. Stir well with a long-necked spoon. Garnish with lime wedge, and serve immediately.

Negroni

The negroni is another classic cocktail that is simple to make. Martha Stewart has a recipe that only calls for three ingredients and can be made in minutes.

Gin Day-NegroniIngredients

1 ounce gin

1 ounce sweet vermouth

1 ounce Campari

Directions

Step 1:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari.

Step 2:

Shake vigorously, then strain into a glass.

Cucumber Mint Gimlet

Another recipe from Martha Stewart is a cucumber mint gimlet. This refreshing recipe calls for you to create your own cucumber gin and homemade mint simple syrup.

Gin Day - Cucumber Mint GimletIngredients

4 1/2 cups Cucumber Gin (or 2 oz.), how-to follows

2 1/4 cups fresh lime juice (or 1 oz.)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Mint Simple Syrup (or 1/2 oz.), how-to follows

Cucumber peels, for garnish

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Cucumber Gin

Steep 2 1/2 cups diced, peeled cucumber in 4 1/2 cups gin, covered and chilled, 8 hours to 4 days (or 1/2 cup cucumber in 1 cup gin). Strain; store indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Mint Simple Syrup

Heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water over medium-high heat, stirring until dissolved. Add 1 cup mint leaves; remove from heat. Cover; steep 30 minutes to 1 hour. Strain; discard mint. Refrigerate up to 2 months.

Directions

In a 2-quart pitcher, stir gin, lime juice, and syrup. Refrigerate. To serve, pour into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and divide among ice-filled 10-ounce glasses. (For a single drink, mix in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake.) Garnish each with cucumber peel and mint.

Gin Martini

The martini originally called for gin, until James Bond made the vodka martini widely popular. This recipe from Gin Cocktails is one for the original martini. If you prefer gin over vodka, this is a great recipe for you to try.

Gin Day - Gin MartiniIngredients

2 Oz Gin

Dry Vermouth

Ice

Instructions to prepare your Gin Martini

In a cocktail shaker add a handful of ice, gin and vermouth.  Shake well, and strain into a chilled martini glass. If you desire, add an olive or two, a lemon twist or whatever you wish.

Do not overshake, otherwise ice crystals will form on the top of the drink. You do not want this, this is a sign of a bad cocktail. You want to shake so it is cold and mixed, but not iced. Also, do not store your gin in the freezer. Part of the shaking process adds a bit of melted ice into the drink, and with chilled gin you cannot do this.

Raspberry-Rose Gin Rickey

Another classic gin cocktail in a gin rickey. This recipe from Bon Appétit calls for some fresh berries and a citrus twist, which makes it the perfect cocktail for the summer.

Gin Day - Raspberry-Rose Gin RickeyIngredients 

3 cups fresh raspberries

1 cup gin

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon (scant) rose water

3 cups crushed ice

Preparation

Mix first 5 ingredients in bowl. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature, occasionally stirring and crushing some of berries.

Place 3/4 cup ice in each of 4 glasses. Top each with 3/4 cup raspberry mixture.

Now that you have the recipes to celebrate World Gin Day with a cocktail, you’ll need to get gin. Head over to Julio’s Liquors in Westbourough, MA for all the ingredients required to make these classic gin cocktails. We carry a number of fine gins at varying price points to meet your individual needs.

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