As the nights draw in, the days shorten and the chill in the air gets ever colder, we turn to comfort foods - and drinks! - to keep the winter blues at bay. Here are a few of our favourite gin cocktails to help keep your ‘spirits’ up as the autumn weather sets in!
Apple & Blackberry Gin Cocktail
25ml crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur)
A good squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice
Apple juice, to top up
Soda water (optional)
A few mint sprigs
Combine the gin, crème de mûre and a few leaves of mint in a shaker glass full of ice, shake vigorously and strain into a glass. Add a squeeze of lemon, then top up with apple juice (or half juice to half soda water, if you prefer). Garnish with a sprig of mint and a blackberry to serve.
Hot Spiced Gin & Apple Punch
1 cinnamon stick
A sprinkle of cloves
½ grated nutmeg
200ml gin (or to taste)
1 litre apple juice
50g demerara sugar
Squeeze of lemon or orange juice
Add all the ingredients except the gin into a saucepan and heat gently for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the gin, then strain into glasses. Garnish with a fresh slice of apple, orange and a star anise and/or cinnamon stick to serve.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Martini
50ml Irish cream liqueur
20ml Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass with ice then add your gin, Irish cream liqueur and pumpkin spice liqueur. Shake well (or, if using a mixing glass, stir using a long-handled metal spoon) for 15 seconds. Strain into a martini glass or coupe. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and serve!
Damson Gin Royale
25ml damson gin
Prosecco, to top up
Edible gold sprinkles (optional)
Half an hour before you want to serve your cocktail, pop your champagne flute into the fridge to chill. To make your cocktail, simply add your damson gin to the chilled glass and top up with prosecco (or Champagne). For a little extra sparkle, add a few edible gold sprinkles! (Be careful with these, though, as these are often made with sugar and so might add too much sweetness if you go overboard!)
25ml cherry brandy
25ml sweet vermouth
Fill your glass with ice. Add all your ingredients, then use a long-handled spoon to stir gently for about a minute. Garnish with a twist of orange and serve. Source: Wayne Collins
You could also replace the cherry brandy with cherry juice, if you prefer your drink a little less sweet (and strong).
Another alternative is to use 45ml gin and replace the cherry brandy with 15ml of cherry liqueur, such as Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur. Experiment and see which balance of flavours you enjoy most!
Spiced Pear Gin Cocktail
30ml dry gin (or to taste)
20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
20ml Spiced Pear Sugar Syrup*
50ml pear juice
Soda water, to top up
Sprig of thyme, cinnamon stick or star anise to garnish
*For the Spiced Pear Sugar Syrup:
200g caster sugar
1 pear, cored and cut into pieces
3 star anise
2 cardamom pods
* If you want to make your own spiced pear syrup, simply add the water, sugar, pear, star anise and cardamom pods to a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat and gently stir for about five minutes or until the sugar and pears have dissolved and you have a syrup. Strain the liquid into a jar and allow to cool completely before using.
To prepare your cocktail, fill a shaker with ice. Add your gin, lemon juice, pear juice** and spiced pear syrup. Replace the lid and shake for 15 seconds or until shaker becomes frosty. Strain into your cocktail glass. Top up with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and/or a star anise, and serve.
**If you don’t have pear juice at home, you can make some by blitzing a few fresh pears with half a cup of water and straining. You could also use apple and pear juice, which is readily available in UK supermarkets.