32 Refreshing Summer Cocktail Recipes
July 20, 2021
Let’s talk about gin. I have found that most people either love it or hate it, but what is so interesting about this botanical distilled liquor is its range. No matter whether you enjoy something fruity, floral, herbal, or bright, there is a refreshing gin drink out there for you. And this selection of cocktail recipes with gin will prove it.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you click through and buy something, at no additional cost to you! Learn More.
A Brief Intro to Gin
As a liquor, gin has a long and storied history, filled with everything from juniper-harvesting monks to rioting in the streets. But since 2013, there has been kind of a renaissance for this alcoholic drink, with many independent distilleries experimenting with different varieties.
There are a few categories and definitions of gin legally, but in general, it’s a distilled spirit that is around 80 proof, and has a dominant flavor of juniper berries. Beyond that, the other botanicals used in gin vary greatly, including citrus, herbs, spices, and flowers.
You may be most familiar with two very famous cocktails: the martini or the gin and tonic. Both of these highlight the unique flavors of gin, and will taste very different depending on the brand and type of gin used. So what are the types?
Well, there are not many universal definitions, but when I am mixing up a gin cocktail at my home bar, I separate them into categories based on the dominant flavor: floral, citrus, or dry. Let’s take a closer look at each of these, and try out some fun cocktails!
Dry Juniper Gin
If you’ve ever heard someone (possibly me) refer to the flavor of gin to be like “licking a Christmas tree,” dry juniper-forward gins are what they are likely referring to. The term “dry” technically means that after being distilled, no additional botanical flavors or sweeteners are added to the gin.
London Dry is a legal definition that describes the process used to make gin – not the location, and not necessarily the flavor. You can use a London Dry gin for these cocktails, but you can also use a dry gin that does not have the “London” designation.
Some dry gins to try include:
Contemporary gins don’t always have that overly dominant juniper flavor and can be a bit sweeter. In the case of my favorite style, citrus gins, that extra depth of flavor can help to mellow out the other strong flavors.
You can have citrus flavored gins, which usually contain sweeteners, or citrus-forward, which are usually distilled more like dry gins, but include more citrus botanicals.
Some citrus gins to try include:
Whether you love gin or hate it, here are 32 refreshing cocktails to try, for every gin flavor profile. You are sure to find a favorite!
Another contemporary category of gins, these tend to have a very flower-heavy both aroma and taste. Depending on the types of florals used, the flavors can vary greatly. The florals tend to be balanced with other flavors, like citrus and fruits, but the flowers take center stage.
Some floral gins to try include:
We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what’s available out there, so I have also included a few bonus options that don’t fit nicely into those three categories above. If you’re not sold yet, try a cocktail with fruity, colorful, flavored, sweet, or herbal gin.
Some interesting gins to try include:
- Plymouth: a classic brand that is its own style, with a smooth, aromatic taste
- Spirit Works Sloe Gin: sweet and lower proof, made with sloe berries
- Empress 1908: dry and with a striking purple color from butterfly pea blossom
- Malfy Rosa: a bright pink Italian gin made with grapefruit
- Sipsmith VJOP: extra piney because it uses triple the amount of juniper
- Greenall’s: the first and oldest London Dry gin, with over 250 years of history
Now that you have over thirty choices, which gin cocktail are you mixing up first? I am thinking of branching out from my standard favorite citrus-forward selections, and trying something with more floral notes.