32 Refreshing Summer Cocktail Recipes
with Gin

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.

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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:

Beefeater, Tanqueray, Caorunn, Junipero

Blueberry Smash

From Chisel & Fork

Pineapple Gin Cooler

From Cup of Zest

Elderflower Collins

From Ugly Duckling Bakery

Passoa Bramble

From Splash of Taste

Twinkle Cocktail

From Rosanna Etc.

Cherry French 75

From Rachel Cooks

Rosemary Gimlet
Also try it with a floral gin

From The Littlest Crumb

Lemon Cucumber Martini

From Beyond Mere Sustenance

Citrus Gin

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:

Black Button Citrus-Forward. New Amsterdam, Tanqueray Ten, Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle

Orange Creamsicle Cocktail

From Cadry’s Kitchen

Strawberry Basil Tom Collins

From Burrata & Bubbles

Cherry Sage Smash

From Cocktail Contessa

Mango Gin Cocktail

From The Littlest Crumb

Strawberry Kiwi G&T
Also try it with a dry gin

From A Saucy Kitchen

Cucumber Gin Lemonade

From Savored Sips

Sparkling Blood Orange Cocktail
Also try it with a floral gin

From Chelsea Peachtree

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!

Floral Gin

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:

The Botanist Islay Dry, Tommyrotter, Bloom Jasmine & Rose, Hendrick’s

Strawberry Elderflower Cocktail

From Emilyfabulous

Orange Ginger Cocktail

From Mitten Girl

Italicus Cocktail

From Little Sugar Snaps

Ginger Hibiscus Martini

From Beyond Mere Sustenance

Lavender Tom Collins
Also try it with citrus gin

From Casual Foodist

Aperol Negroni

From A Couple of Sips

Ginger Rose Fizz

From The Flavor Bender

Strawberry St. Germain G&T

From Caroline’s Cooking

Other Gin

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
Perfect Gin & Tonic
Try a piney gin

From Cadry’s Kitchen

Bee’s Knees
Try a piney gin

From The Spice Train

Ruby Red Clementine Cocktail
Try a grapefruit flavored gin

From Tinned Tomatoes

Pink Gin and Lemonade
Try a pink gin

From Sula and Spice

The Aviation
Try Empress 1908

From The Urben Life

Frozen Gin and Tonic
Use your favorite gin

From Cup of Zest

Gin Pear Smash
Try Empress 1908

From Jam Jar Kitchen

Strawberry Basil Gimlet
Try a classic London Dry

From Gastronom

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.

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