The truly unique botanical notes which emanate from gin often lead people to being hesitant of using the liquor in their homemade drinks as they prefer to stick with neutral spirits like vodka. However, there are a ton of easy to find gin mixers that you can stock up on. Perfect for the days that you don't have the energy to mix a complicated cocktail or for those when you need some help in making a foundation to build custom recipes, here are 11 of the best gin mixers available.
Gin and tonic are thick as thieves, having been combined in the 19th century as a type of medicinal drink. British officers combatted malaria by drinking quinine mixed into a glass of gin and tonic water as gin was supposed to mask the medicine's strong taste. For over 200 years, people have been ordering gin and tonics, proving that the pairing is a winning combination.
Citrus flavors are often paired with gin as they work well to balance out the botanicals in the spirit. While pure juices work as well, lemonade provides you with an easier option to spending hours juicing your own lemons. Lemons are great because they have a tartness that pairs with gin's herbaceous flavors really well, and it's super simple to toss in an ounce or two of gin to your favorite glass of lemonade.
Cranberry juice is the everyman's mixer-there isn't a spirit it doesn't go well with. Of course, cranberry juice is most commonly paired with vodka to create drinks like the Cape Codder, but you can substitute gin instead and still have a refreshing drink. Squeezing in a half of a lime or lemon's juice will also give you just enough bite to round the cocktail out.
Best known for serving as one of the ingredients in the classic gin cocktail, the negroni, Campari works deliciously with gin. This bitter Italian apéritif isn't usually paired with gin by itself, though it's certainly something you can try and see if your tastebuds approve. If you're not a fan, you can add a fruit juice or seltzer to the mix for a delicious cocktail.
Gin is a great liquor to combine with bubbly wines like Prosecco, Cava, or Champagne. Cocktails like the French 75 showcase how gin, sparkling wine, and a bit of lemon juice and simple syrup can send your regular party toasts into the stratosphere.
Typically, people know of ginger beer being used in cocktails for drinks like the Moscow mule, but you can use it to make a simple highball if you'd like. Gin's juniper and botanical flavors complement ginger beer's zest, making the two an unlikely but mouth-watering couple. You can even transform the classic Moscow mule into a gin mule by substituting gin for vodka.
Vermouth definitely has a classy reputation, begotten by its association with martinis and James Bond's international espionage. Yet, there's no class barrier to being able to enjoy Vermouth, and a perfect way to combine gin and vermouth is to make yourself a gin martini.
Earl Grey Tea
An assuredly unusual brew to pair with gin, Earl Grey's floral bergamot infusion dances with gin's own unique botanicals to create a balance of flavors that bounce across your tongue. An easy way to get an extra kick to start your day off is adding a splash of gin (or a flavored gin) to your morning cup of tea. It's a perfect way to get you going but not put you right back into bed.
The number one classic cola cocktail is a Cuba libre (rum and Coke), but that doesn't mean cola isn't meant to be mixed with any other spirits. In fact, gin can add an interesting aromatic experience to cola that sits on the front of the tongue and widens the drinks' flavor profile, and diet colas are always an option for those wanting to avoid adding any sugars into their diets.
Fresh herbs and spices are game-changing for cocktail mixing, and they pair incredibly well with gin since gin has been steeped in botanicals as well. In short, the natural world complements the natural world. Since fresh herbs don't hold any juices, you can make flavored syrups or infused waters out of them to add to your gin to create a deliciously unique cocktail.
If you scrunched your nose at the idea of adding cucumber to any cocktail, take a second and prepare to widen your horizons. Cucumbers are such versatile fruits (yes, fruits), and their high water content allows them to add flavor to a drink without overpowering it. Mix cucumber juice straight with gin or infuse your favorite gin with cucumbers for an enriched spirit to use in your next gin cocktail.
Time to Get Mixing
It's never too late to start broadening your palate and experimenting with new flavors and ingredients when you get to mixing at-home or with friends, and while gin may feel like a daunting spirit to take on, it's really a rather easy one to balance a drink with. You can't go wrong with using any one of these eleven mixers to start you off, so you'd better wash your cocktail glasses and warm up your wrists, because it's time to get mixing.