Gin is the key ingredient to many cocktail classics, like the traditional British G&T or an all-time favourite, the Dry Martini. It is now common sense to mix gin with tonics, citrus, and bitters to make it work harmoniously in a cocktail. But what if there is much more to gin than a tonic and lime? We have found ten crazy ingredients you can mix with gin to get a great cocktail!
As the debate goes on whether rhubarb should be considered a fruit or a vegetable, the fact remains that it is a perfect addition to gin. To make your G&T more exciting, make some rhubarb syrup and add it to the cocktail. Alternatively, if you have some time on your hands, make your very own rhubarb gin!
For this, you will need: 1kg rhubarb stalks, 400g caster sugar, a bottle of gin.
To make the drink, clean and cut the rhubarb, and mix with caster sugar in a large pan. Cover with a lid and leave for 24 hours. Add the gin later, and leave for about four weeks. The infused gin will turn out a light pink colour, with the sweetness and sourness of rhubarb perfectly adding to gin’s herbal notes.
Not all gin cocktails have to be fruity or citrusy. Try having your gin with a slice of fresh cucumber – it will blend in particularly well with these sorts of gin that used cucumber in the distillation process, like Hendrick’s.
Try this: shake 50ml of Hendrick’s gin with two tablespoons of lemon juice and a couple of cucumber slices for about 1 minute, then pour into a glass filled with ice and top up with tonic. Refreshing and mild, the taste of cucumber is guaranteed to take your gin-drinking experience to a completely new level.
Another vegetable ingredient you can add to your gin, unlike cucumber, that has a very distinct taste. Indeed, celery is hard to mistake for any other food, but it is exactly what makes it a perfect companion to gin.
If you are feeling adventurous, try substituting a cucumber slice with a couple of celery sticks in your cocktail. Here is a recipe to get the best Celery G&T.
Cut celery into small chunks. Mix the celery bits, sugar and lemon juice in the shaker. Add gin and ice, shake again, and serve. Garnish with a lemon, a celery stick, or both, and enjoy!
Salt is not only good to mix with tequila, but it can also add a nice kick to a gin cocktail! In fact, Salty Dawg is a traditional gin cocktail which is made with salt, either on the rim of the serving glass or with a pinch mixed with the drink.
To make the cocktails, you’ll need, of course, 50ml gin, 100ml grapefruit juice (better fresh, if possible), ice and salt, preferably chunky. Put the ice in the glass, add the shot of gin, and top with grapefruit juice. Some experts advise to dip glasses in salt before serving the cocktail, but salt can also be added to the drink as a finishing touch.
The next one on our list is chilli, and who would have thought? Chilli is a simple way of giving your drink that extra kick. Try adding freshly sliced chilli to the glass, topping it over with some gin and gently mixing with a spoon. Add tonic and lime, and your Chilli G&T is ready!
If you have some buttermilk left after cooking a Sunday breakfast, why not treat yourself to a buttermilk gin cocktail? The Buttermilk Gin Flip is a sweet and delicious cocktail, which you can make with the ingredients you use in the kitchen every day: 1 egg, 25ml buttermilk, a teaspoon of maple syrup, fresh nutmeg and 50ml gin. Separate the egg, and shake the yolk with ice for a few seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients, and shake all together. Pour in a cocktail glass, and grate with nutmeg. As a result, you will get a beautiful soft texture and aroma of spice – perfect for a weekend afternoon!
Hard liquor like gin also goes surprisingly well with the daytime beverages, like tea. Try using Earl Grey tea for a start: mix 50ml gin with 75 ml cold Earl Grey and a spoonful of syrup. Add some fresh herbs, like cucumber and basil, and serve!
Presenting another “flip” on the list is the Espresso Flip cocktail. Made by mixing 50ml of gin with an espresso shot, one whole egg, and 15ml of sugar syrup, this drink turns out strong, yet smooth and elegant. For a better visual effect, sprinkle the cocktail with edible gold powder and serve for dessert!
As bizarre as it sounds, seaweed and gin combination does work very well in a cocktail. To make a Rock Pool Martini, you’ll need: 50ml gin, 12.5ml dry vermouth, sea salt, rock salt and dried seaweed.
Mix vermouth with ice in a shaker, then pour the liquid into a glass. Do the same with gin, adding a pinch of sea salt. Mix the cocktail in a martini glass, add a few crystals of the salt and a pinch of dried seaweed. You’ll be surprised, but this martini with a twist will prove a refreshing lunch drink on a hot day.
Don’t try this at home! An Australian bartender created a cocktail inspired by the Guy Fawkes, known for a failed attempt to assassinate King James I, and called it the Gunpowder Plot. The gin is infused with gunpowder and mixed with spiced gunpowder syrup, a bitter and an egg white. The flavours of this cocktail are smoky and wooden, which completely reinvents the usual taste of gin botanicals.
Here is just a small portion of the whole range of ingredients to mix with gin. New cocktails are being invented every day, and who knows which one comes next!