A sip of history: discover the fascinating story of gin through these cocktail recipes

Gin has had a long and fascinating history. Dating back some 300 years, this versatile spirit has gone in and out of common fashions, but always inspired the passions of discerning drinkers like our wonderful Craft Gin Club members!

Take a journey through the history of gin via these four classic cocktail recipes that have all withstood the test of time.

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17th Century: The Flying Dutchman

When the Dutch aristocrat William of Orange sailed across the sea in 1689 to become the King of England, Scotland and Ireland, he brought with him a love of genever, the Dutch spirit that was the forerunner of the spirit that we know and love today.

50ml gin (or genever, if you’re feeling authentic!)
25ml grenadine
25ml lemon juice
Water, to top up

In a mixing jug filled with ice, combine the gin, grenadine and lemon juice. Stir gently then strain into a Martini glass. Top up with water and serve.


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Black Cat 

Before the invention of the copper column still, spirits were difficult to make – and, thanks to varying levels of skill, not always particularly tasty. Old Tom Gin was the dominant style in 18th century England, after the debauchery of the ‘Gin Craze’ drove the market underground. Gin lovers would head to a pub hung with the sign of a black cat (an ‘old Tom’), slot their money into a hole and wait for a dram of this slightly sweet spirit to appear. Spooky!

Pinch of grapefruit zest
1 tsp simple syrup
30ml Old Tom gin
30ml mescal
20ml Punt e Mes vermouth
20ml Amontillado sherry Grapefruit twist, to garnish

 Muddle the grapefruit zest and simple syrup in a mixing glass, then add all of your other ingredients. Stir with ice, then strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish and enjoy!

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London Dry Martini

 It was the invention of the column still in the early 19th century that gave us the world’s favourite style of gin: London dry! Copper column stills make the distillation of smooth, refined spirits much easier, and strict rules dictate that London dry gins have no sugar, colour or flavouring added after the fact. Savour the perfection of the London dry style in a classic Martini – done, of course, the London way.

  50ml gin, frozen
10ml dry vermouth
Lemon peel, to garnish

 Two hours before you want to drink your Martini, put a glass in the freezer. When gin o’clock rolls round, remove your chilled glass and swirl your vermouth around the interior. Discard. Pour your frozen gin straight from the freezer into the glass. Spritz the lemon, peel side down, over the surface of the drink and drop the peel in to serve. Enjoy! 


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Hanky Panky

 As gin lovers, we know that mother’s ruin is the ultimate cocktail tipple. But it wasn’t until the 20th century that cocktail culture really caught on – largely thanks to pioneering bartenders like Ada Coleman. One of just two women to hold the position of Head Bartender at The Savoy Hotel, Ada kick-started the craze for perfectly balanced drinks, which led directly to the craft gin renaissance we’re lucky enough to be living through today! The Hanky Panky is her most enduring classic.

 45ml gin
45ml Martini Rosso vermouth
2.5ml Fernet Branca
Orange zest twist, to garnish

 Combine your ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a glass. Garnish and serve.

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