Gin Makes a Fashionable Comeback

As far as clear spirits go, gin might be our absolute favorite. Its herbal flavor lends itself to refreshing cocktails like gimlets, punches, and smashes, and even does well in boozier drinks like martinis. And there’s nothing better in the summer than a limey G&T.

This is one classic you’ll want to rediscover again and again.

A Little History

Blackberry Gin-Fizz

Blackberry Gin-Fizz

Although popular in Europe for decades, gin made its move in the United State during the prohibition era. The martini and other cocktails became popular in the 1920s and because gin was easy to produce illegally and provided a smooth, dry flavor that mixed well, it became one of the top liquors in both saloons and homes. Its only competitor was whiskey. Even after Prohibition, the popularity of cocktails and executive martini lunches kept gin sales booming.

As Time Goes On

vesper gin cocktail

Vesper Martini

During the 70s, drinking during the workday became less acceptable and cocktail hour fizzled a bit. Party-tones and club atmospheres launched vodka above whiskey and gin. By the mid-80s, martinis were as far out of fashion as bellbottoms and disco balls.

During the 1990s, however, retro styles became popular among generation-X. Fashions from the 20s through the 70s swept magazines and shopping malls, and the flashbacks weren’t limited to clothing. Furniture, culture, interior design and food choices reflected a desire to return to more stylish decades. Among other things, the martini made a comeback, bringing gin along for the ride.

The Comeback

Aviation

Aviation

Today, you can order a plethora of gin-inspired drinks at any high-end restaurant. From cucumber martinis to fruit-filled beverages such as the legendary Pimm’s Cup of Wimbledon fame, gin is rising on the liquor charts once more. Consider ordering a bottle of premium gin and using free online recipes to impress your friends and guests with retro bartender skills and gorgeous drinks that provide a luxurious, smooth taste.

You might try your hand at a classic gin and tonic or go for something more exotic, like an Aviation Cocktail that mixes gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and crème de violette. Some other favorite gin-inspired concoctions to try include a Blackberry-Gin Fizz, Vesper, or a French 75.

 

 

THE RECIPES

French 75

½ oz Fresh lemon juice

½ oz Simple syrup (one part water, one part sugar)

1 oz Gin

3 oz Champagne

Add all the ingredients except the Champagne to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with the Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

Garnish: Lemon twist  Glass: Champagne flute

 

Aviation Cocktail

2 ounces gin

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons maraschino liqueur, preferably Luxardo

1/4 ounce Crème de Violette

Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to chill well, then strain into a cocktail glass. Drizzle the Crème de Violette into the glass.

Garnish: Lemon twist  Glass: Martini glass

 

Vesper Martini

3 ounces London dry gin

1 ounce vodka

1/2 ounce Lillet or Cocchi Aperitivo Americano

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well until chilled, about 20 seconds, and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Or if you want to go the full Bond route, use a cocktail shaker, shaking with ice for about 10 seconds — it’ll make a more bubbly, cloudy drink, but that’s up to you.

Garnish: Lemon twist  Glass: Martini glass

 

Blackberry Gin-Fizz

1 6-ounce container blackberries

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups gin

1 cup fresh lime juice

Club soda

Purée blackberries and sugar in a blender. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Strain purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher (there will be about 3/4 cup); discard seeds in sieve. Stir gin and lime juice into pitcher. Divide drink among ice-filled glasses; top with soda.

Garnish: Thai or Sweet Basil  Glass: Highball

 

Pimms Cup

1/2-inch thick English cucumber wheel

1/2-inch thick lemon wheel

2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1

4 ounces 7UP, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale

INSTRUCTIONS

Gently muddle the cucumber and lemon slices in a chilled highball glass. Pour in the Pimm’s and 7UP, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale, and stir to combine. Add ice to fill the glass.

Garnish: Cucumber & lemon wheel  Glass: Highball

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