A highball glass, brimming with ice and fizz, condenses as the summer heat hits it—that is the picture of the perfect summer cocktail. Often, the base of your favourite summer drink will be a gin. The fragrant white spirit blends well and at the same time holds its own in a cocktail.
Meghana Balaji, Brand Ambassador of liquor brand Diageo explains that summers are all about highball or tall drinks that are lengthened with bubbly mixers of your choice such as soda, tonic, or ginger ale. “Gin fits fantastically with this style of drinks as the botanicals present in your favourite gin brand naturally add a layer of flavour that can be further complemented with chosen modifiers,” she adds.
Apart from sharing some of her five favourite gin cocktail recipes, we asked Meghana to list five things to keep in mind fixing yourself a cocktail.
- Glassware: Aesthetics elevate the drinking experience. Have a selection of highballs, wine goblets, and other interesting cut glasses.
- Garnishes: Even the simplest aperitif benefits with the right garnishes, used correctly. Also, it’s a cool art project to challenge yourself.
- Ice: Investing in silicon ice moulds (squares and globes) is a game-changer. No longer will you over dilute your drink with shallow ice made with factory fitted ice trays that come with your refrigerator.
- Flavour: Tasting varied gins neat over ice is a great way to discern the botanical notes and be well on your way to connoisseurship.
- Inspiration: Get creative, look around your pantry and find different ways to use the spices, herbs and staples steeped in alcohol to create tinctures, or in sugar syrup as a flavoured substitute.
1. Classic G&T
- 60ml Gordon’s London Dry
- 150-180ml Fever-Tree Tonic
- 2 dashes Bitters
- Mosambi Wheel, Sage leaves garnish
- Cubed Ice
- As prep, chill your glass, the tonic and the gin far ahead of time.
- In your chilled glass, pour in 60ml of Gordon’s London Dry Gin.
- Top up with ice, until ice peaks through the glass like a mini iceberg.
- Start to pour in 180ml of cold tonic water, you will notice the ice starts to melt.
- Top with more ice to keep the carbonation strong, avoid over diluting your drink with a mixer and to reduce the melt. Finish pouring in your tonic water as desired.
- Dress with 2-3 dashes of bitters, and garnish with a mosambi wheel and sage leaves.
2. Andalusian Summer
- 45ml Tanqueray London Dry
- 20ml Chamomile Honey
- 20ml Fresh Orange Juice
- 15ml Lime Juice
- Soda to Top Up
- Orange Wheel
- Take highball, add 60ml Tanqueray London Dry, and all other ingredients until lime juice.
- Top up with ice, until ice peaks through the glass, stir and cool your drink down.
- Place your orange wedge against the glass for a clean garnish look.
- Add more ice and then top up ever so slightly with crisp soda.
- Dress with 2-3 dashes of bitters if you like!
3. Third Wave
- 45ml Gordons London Dry
- 45ml Cold Brew Coffee
- 90 ml Tonic Water
- Wedge of Orange
- Pour in 45ml of Gordon’s London Dry and 45ml of Cold Brew
- Top it up with ice until ice peaks through the glass
- Pour in 90ml of cold tonic water, you will notice the ice starts to melt right away.
- Top with more ice to keep the carbonation strong and to reduce the melt
- Squeeze in an Orange Wedge and drop it in.
4. Peppermint Daisy
- 45ml Tanqueray London Dry gin
- 30ml Peppermint Syrup
- 15ml Lime Juice
- Soda to top up
- Orange wedge
- In a shaker, pour in 45ml of Tanqueray London Dry, Peppermint Syrup and Lime juice.
- Add 3-4 cubes of ice and shake until the outside is frosty.
- Strain through the finest sieve you own and pour into a chilled coupe glass.
- Add the slightest touch of soda for freshness.
- Garnish with a wedge of citrus to enhance the aroma. Et voila!
5. Cucumber Chilli Cooler
- 45ml Gordons London Dry gin
- 10ml Lime Juice
- 2 Cucumber Ribbons
- Soda to top
- 2 dashes House Made Chilli Curry leaf Tincture
- Mint leaves to garnish
- Pour in 45ml of Tanqueray London Dry, Lime juice.
- Add ice to the top and place your cucumber slices along the wall of the glass.
- Add soda water until halfway, refill more ice to keep the drink super cold.
- Top with 2 dashes of bitters. Agitate your sprig of mint, by slapping it against your palm
- Garnish and enjoy the clean fresh notes of cucumber enhanced with chilli and curry leaf!