Everyone seems to have an opinion about gin. You either love unwinding with a good G&T, or you can’t stand the spirit’s botanical qualities. Unlike its cousin, vodka (where being flavorless and odorless is a prized quality), gin includes juniper berries and other plant-based flavorings, which create its signature piney, almost medicinal flavor. When it comes to stocking the bar for your wedding, you’ll most likely lean to crowd-pleasing options (especially since you can’t return open bottles!), and might be thinking of leaving gin off the list. Well, think again. If you love the stuff, you should have it at your wedding, so we’ve spoken to some top mixologists to get recipes for gin cocktails that will satisfy your craving and tempt your guests—even the ones who “don’t like gin.”
The Girl Friday
If you got on the Aperol Spritz bandwagon this summer, you’ll love this citrus-focused drink. Designed to evoke the easy drinking of European café culture, it combines basil and grapefruit for peppery notes, along with bittersweet orange from Aperol. With so much going on, gin folds easily into the flavor profile and makes this drink a refreshing choice.
Recipe courtesy of Pharmacie LA.
- 1 1⁄2 oz. Gin
- 1 oz. Basil Syrup (recipe below)
- 1 1⁄2 oz. Grapefruit Juice
- 3⁄4 oz. Aperol
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. Garnish with a half-wheel of orange.
Combine one cup each of water and sugar in a small pot, and heat until the sugar dissolves. Add 4-5 bunches of basil while the syrup is hot and let steep for 2-3 hours. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature before using (refrigerating overnight is preferred).
The Bee’s Pyjamas
This drink combines aspects of a few classic gin cocktails, with herbal and botanical notes, a tart kiss of lemon, and bitters to balance the sweetness. Harkening back to the days of “bathtub gin,” when cocktails were designed so you wouldn’t taste the alcohol, the combination is fresh, brisk, and inviting. You’ll taste a little of the gin, but it’s mellowed out perfectly for the cautious gin drinker.
Recipe courtesy of Pharmacie LA.
- 1 oz. Gin
- 1 oz. Mint Syrup (recipe below)
- 1 oz. Lemon Juice
- 1 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a champagne coupe glass and garnish with a mint leaf.
Combine one cup each of water and sugar in a small pot, and heat until the sugar dissolves. Add 4-5 bunches of mint to the syrup while hot and let steep for 2-3 hours. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature before using (refrigerating overnight is preferred).
Did you know that different gins have different flavor profiles? When you’re mixing a gin cocktail, look for a brand that has notes that work well with the drink, whether it’s botanical and juniper-forward, has hints of lemon and almond, or is soft and floral. In this drink, the botanical notes of gin serve to enhance the delicate flavor of pear.
1 1⁄2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Pear Vanilla Shrub (recipe below)
1⁄2 oz. Lemon Juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Drizzle a small amount of balsamic reduction into the cocktail—this will make for a delightful last sip.
Pear Vanilla Shrub
Combine 1 cup simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar) with 1 cup pear juice and 1 oz of champagne vinegar. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Store covered in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Bet you never thought you’d have a beet-based cocktail! The earthiness creates a vibrant and complex flavor profile—opt for golden beets to avoid staining your wedding dress.
1 1⁄2 oz .Beet-infused Gin (recipe below)
1 oz. Chamomile Tea, brewed at double strength
1⁄2 oz. Honey Syrup (recipe below)
1⁄2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a glass with fresh cracked ice. Garnish with chamomile flowers atop a thin slice of peeled golden beet.
In a glass airtight container, combine 1 x 750ml bottle gin with 2 peeled and chopped golden beets. Let sit for as little as 3 and as many as 24 hours in a cool place, away from the sun. Strain and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks
Combine equal parts honey and water.
If you’re into bitters, this unexpected riff on the classic cocktail might be right up your alley.
1 1⁄4 oz. Gin
1 oz. Campari
1⁄2 oz. Sweet Vermouth (Antica Carpano)
1⁄2 oz Giffard crème de banane
Combine ingredients and stir with ice until very cold. Strain into a glass over ice. Garnish with a curl of lime peel and toasted coconut chips.