Articles Tagged: cocktails


Blending Gins


The art of blending is expanding into the world of gin. You may have seen such cocktails as of late if you are a patron of some cutting edge cocktail bars that tend to push the envelop; however, we predict this is a trend which is going to rapidly take the gin world by storm.

With the advent of contemporary gins, there are now more than ever gins which emphasize other ingredients than the humble juniper berry. If you have a flavor preference, odds are there’s a gin on the market today that pushes gin in that direction. This vast array of gins can now empower even the non-distiller to reimagine what their ideal gin might be and taste-like.

It’s also a way for fans of classic gin aficionados to embrace the new flavors while staying true to the style’s roots. But more on that in the blending section below. First, a case study of a cocktail found in the wild at one of my favorite spots, Pouring Ribbons in Manhattan, New York.

The Old Fashioned at Pouring Ribbons, July 2015

Case Study: The Old Fashioned at Pouring Ribbons

The cocktail itself is magical.

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Sneak Preview: Varuna Cocktail


I’m excited today to share with you a second sneak preview from my forthcoming book Gin: the Art and Craft or the Artisan Revival. 

One of the biggest challenges I’ve found facing the recent explosion in quite excellent Aged Gins is the lack of cocktails to make with them. I partnered with friend and cocktail creator Justin (follow him on Twitter @thetoptippler) to help engineer some novel creations that highlight these new spirits. One which I’m really proud to share with you today is called the Varuna Cocktail and it is an unlikely pairing of aged gin and coconut rum that is absolutely sublime and unique. You’re going to love this drink as much as I do, I promise. And you can get a head-start on making one of these new aged gin cocktails today.

The Aged Gin!

I was playing around with Aged Gins and Justin’s cocktail. Roundhouse Spirits in Colorado makes a fantastic Imperial Barrel Aged Gin (). In the Varuna, Justin’s drink uses this gin to showcase the chamomile, floral, caramelized notes and marries them perfectly with the slight coconut note from the dash of rum, all in a rich, frothy texture.

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Summer Gin Cocktails: Watermelon Gin Fizzy


Cooking as the summer approaches can be a fool’s errand – especially when you don’t live in an apartment with AC, and the temps start to rise above 85F.

So, while I am avoiding cooking in the kitchen , I present a lovely summer gin cocktail to keep you cool.

Watermelon Gin Fizzy

Some watermelon

Some gin (I used Halcyon Gin)

Mint leaves

Soda water

Simple Syrup

A pinch of salt


Rocks glass

I let the gin and watermelon soak for a couple days.

Cocktail, assemble!

Mash up the watermelon and gin together. You can do this step ahead – slice up some seedless or de-seeded watermelon and let it soak in some gin. Or for a more spur of the moment cocktail, just mash it in a glass together. Add the ice. Slice up a couple mint leaves and add to glass. Then, put in some simple syrup to taste – maybe half an ounce or less, whatever suits your sweet tooth. Add a pinch of salt – the tiniest pinch. Trust me! The salt helps even out the flavors and bring out the freshness of the watermelon.

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Cooking with Gin: Gin in Horchata


That’s right – we’re putting gin into drinks that are historically non-alcoholic. That’s just what we do here in Gin-Central.

Struck by the tastiness of Gin infused Vanilla, and presented with a whole takeout tin of leftover rice, Horchata happened! How did it happen, you ask?

Well, like this:

Gin Horchata

This is based on the Mexican horchata – rice, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and copious amounts of sugar. I’ve altered it a bit because I was too impatient to soak the rice overnight, like many recipes I saw.


1 cup Leftover rice – and I mean leftover. If you cook up a fresh batch, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

1 cup Rice Milk – optional. You can also use water.

4 cups Milk

1/2 cup sugar, or, to taste

Dose of Gin Vanilla, or just plain gin. Or, just vanilla, but c’mon.

Liberal amount of cinnamon

Hand Blender, or regular blender if you must

Pan that you can cook in, and ideally put in the fridge


Serving cups


Method to the Madness:

Put most of the rice in a pan on the oven.

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Gin Reviews

The Gin Wife Reviews: Audemus Pink Pepper Gin

Hello friends, the Gin Wife here to talk to you today about a gin I happen to like very much! (Musical Flourish)

May I introduce Pink Pepper Gin, from Audemus Spirits out of France? Audemus states that there are Spanish pink peppercorns, juniper, and a variety of other spices in their gin. They suggest it served straight, or in cocktails.

First off – I love pepper. I put it on everything – salads, strawberries, meats, vegetables, etc. If it’s a food, I’ve probably tried to put pepper on it before. We own at least three or four pepper grinders, I sniff at pre-packaged peppers, and I’m aware that there are black, red, pink, and other varieties of peppercorns out there. I would get a tattoo dedicated to that wonderful, biting flavor if I could. So I felt like I was predisposed to enjoy this gin.

The first sip of gin had strong, but delicate, notes of peppercorn. (N.B.- pink peppercorns are not actually, well, peppercorns, but dried berries that resemble peppercorns in taste and appearance.) Juniper dawdled behind the peppery note, and it finished overall with some light hints of citrus.

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The Confederation Cocktail

confederation cocktail

While on our recent vacation to the Canadian Maritimes, I did my best to try as many local/regional products as possible. “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” Something to that degree I think. One of these things which caught the eye of the Gin Wife and I was a Maple Dessert Wine from Rossignol Winery on Prince Edward Island. On its own, its sweet, with a hint of caramel, burnt brown sugar, maple, and young port. Nice, but perhaps a touch sweeter than we were able to drink a whole bottle of in a single sitting.

Enter my gin tasting. I had only a small set of basics for writing up the few gins I couldn’t bring back*: tonic, soda, and of course anything else we picked up along the way. Other things [such as the Maple cream liqueur] didn’t quite stick around long enough for me to use in a review. But this local wine, I didn’t want to go to waste, so I did a little bit of on-the-spot cocktail creation to give me a) another lens with which to look at the gins I had to try and b) and an excuse to come up with a Prince Edward Island inspired cocktail.

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Last Drink of 2013!

My friends, join me and Summer Fruit Cup, wherever you are around the world this new year’s eve. This year we drink in tribute to one of the great names in the world of gin, the Martin Miller who passed away this Christmas Eve. The world lost a good man, the man behind a gin that I’m quite crazy about (Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin ). So tonight we’re drinking to his memory, as well as to the year that was.

{"@context":"http:\/\/\/","@type":"Recipe","name":"Martin Miller's Favorite Martini","author":{"@type":"Person","name":"Aaron"},"datePublished":"2013-12-31 12:17:36","image":null,"description":"Martin Miller, creator of Martin Miller's gin has said this was his favorite way to join his eponymous gin","recipeYield":"1 ","totalTime":"PT1M","recipeIngredient":["6 parts Martin Miller's Gin","1 part Noilly Prat Vermouth","1 dash Orange Bitters","1 garnish Green Olive and Lemon Twist"],"recipeInstructions":["Stir together with ice, then strain. "]} Martin Miller's Favorite Martini Print Recipe Martin Miller, creator of Martin Miller's gin has said this was his favorite way to join his eponymous gin
Servings Prep Time 1 1 minutes Servings Prep Time 1 1 minutes Martin Miller's Favorite Martini Print Recipe Martin Miller, creator of Martin Miller's gin has said this was his favorite way to join his eponymous gin
Servings Prep Time 1 1 minutes Servings Prep Time 1 1 minutes Ingredients Servings: Instructions
    Stir together with ice, then strain.

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Apple Flavored Gin: What can I make?

flowering apple tree cocktail

I admit to having the same problem upon finding a bottle of Apple Flavored gin. There just isn’t a lot of ideas out there as for how you can do something interesting with this bad boy. There’s a couple of ideas out there, “mix it with ginger ale,” says every internet liquor warehouse ever, and the Institute for Alcoholic Experimentation came up with an idea as well. I recommend the Negroni among all of the old standby cocktails, but thought perhaps I could add a couple new ideas. Below are a couple of cocktail ideas I came up with that do this somewhat obscure and hard to pair ingredient justice.

{"@context":"http:\/\/\/","@type":"Recipe","name":"Spring Orchard Cocktail","author":{"@type":"Person","name":"Aaron"},"datePublished":"2013-11-16 14:14:29","image":"http:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2013\/11\/flowering-apple-tree-cocktail.jpg","description":"Been wondering what to do with that Apple Gin you bought? Maybe want to do something other than just pour oodles of soda over it? Here's an idea that works really nicely if you happen to have St. Germain or another Elderflower liqueur on hand. ","recipeYield":"1 ","totalTime":"PT1M","recipeIngredient":["3 parts Apple flavored Gin","2 parts Elderflower Liqueur ((St. Germain preferred))"],"recipeInstructions":["Shake ingredients with ice, strain. Top with about 3 oz. of soda water. Garnish with lemon peel, serve. "]} Spring Orchard Cocktail Print Recipe Been wondering what to do with that Apple Gin you bought?

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Bar Programs are a dime a dozen at restaurants these days, with every looking to be a little bit of “everything” to everyone. But focused bar programs, those are exceptionally hard to find. So although I would say, Oceana’s selection of other spirits are quite good in some places [whiskey?] their gin program stands head and shoulders above. Because it’s not just the gin selection which is stellar, but the attention paid to gin’s two major drinks which everyone knows that helps Oceana stand out as a place for a gin drinker in New York City to seek out.

First, the selection. It was excellent, with almost 50 gins spanning both sides of the Atlantic. Most stunning to me was that they had Berkshire Mountain’s Ethereal Gin Batch No. 4 as one of their more inexpensive options. An out of production, never to be seen again, excellent gin just sitting there? Their other options included stateside standbys like Corsair, Greylock, Farmer’s and Terroir (to name a couple, warning .pdf). Plenty of classic gins from Europe were represented on the stellar menu, including several of our 4.5 and 5 star reviews.

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Sherry Is In!

Yes, if you haven’t heard: the first somewhat obscure alcoholic drink du jour of 2013 is Sherry. In most folks’ minds, the humble fortified wine is that cooking thing you keep in the cabinet and splash on meats or risottos.

But I’m not here to demystify the Sherry. I’m here to help you hop on the bandwagon with gin driving and your new best friend Sherry seated shotgun.

Note, anthropomorphized hands not included to keep it on this side of the uncanny valley.

So what kind of drinks can we mix up?

Alaska + 1

While we’ve previously covered the Alaska Cocktail on this site, you might not realize that there are a couple of variations on it. I’m not in sleuthing mode, so let’s just say the origins are muddy but some variation of this recipe has floated around cocktail blogs for some time. 

The Alaska #2 Cocktail 4 parts gin 1 part green chartreuse 1 part dry sherry [such as a Manzanilla or the like] Shake w/ ice and Strain into a cocktail glass. Serve with no garnish. 

This drink is somewhat martini like, and the green chartreuse is powerful.

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