Gimlet served in two cocktail glasses

Top 10 easy gin cocktails

Use up a bottle of dry gin with our easiest ever cocktail ideas. This versatile spirit can be used in everything from classic G&Ts to martinis and more.

Gin is more popular than ever, so it’s a good time to learn some simple serving options to take it to another dimension. You don’t need any fancy equipment for these speedy gin cocktails – even a jam jar will do as a shaker. It’s all about the love you put into the preparation.

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For more inspiration, see our top 10 fruity gin cocktails and best pink gin cocktails.

To get you started, here are a few tips to boost your cocktail-making confidence: 

  • The key to making drinks is the balance between sweet and sour/bitter. Try not to let one element overpower the other
  • Taste your drinks before you serve
  • If serving over ice, fill your glass to the top with it
  • Ensure your garnish is fresh and stacked close to the straws
  • Remember that we drink in three steps: with our eyes first, then with our nose and finally with our mouth

As a general rule, we recommend using 50ml gin for each cocktail unless otherwise stated. If using a liqueur, reduce this to 40ml gin and use 10ml liqueur. Balance 20ml fresh citrus juice with 15ml sugar syrup that’s been made from equal parts sugar and water (you’ll find a recipe at the bottom of the page).

Top 10 quick and easy gin cocktails

1) Bramble

Bramble cocktail in a glass

You’ll need:

  • 40ml gin
  • 20ml sugar syrup
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 10ml crème de mure
  • berries or lemon zest, to garnish

Tip the gin, sugar syrup and lemon juice together in a shaker, then pour this over crushed ice and drizzle with the crème de mure. Garnish with lemon zest or fresh seasonal berries.

2) French 75

This one uses smaller amounts of spirits to allow the fizz to flourish.

You’ll need:

  • 10ml gin
  • 10ml orange liqueur
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 5ml sugar
  • fizz of your choice, for topping up

Mix the gin, orange liqueur and lemon juice together in a champagne flute and top with chilled fizz.

3) Elderflower collins

Elderflower collins in a glass

If you’ve not made your own elderflower cordial, you can buy it from most big supermarkets.

You’ll need:

  • 50ml gin
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • 10ml elderflower cordial
  • soda water, for topping up
  • herb sprigs, to garnish

Shake the gin with the lemon juice, sugar and a dash of elderflower cordial in a cocktail shaker. Pour over rock ice and top up with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of your favourite herb.

4) Sloe gin fizz

Give wonderfully wintry sloe gin a mean cocktail kick.

You’ll need: 

  • 50ml sloe gin
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 20ml egg whites

Shake together the sloe gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, a rosemary sprig and the egg whites in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain, remove the ice, return the mixture to the shaker and shake without ice to ensure maximum froth. Serve in a wine glass.

5) Negroni

Negroni in a glass

You’ll need:

  • 25ml gin
  • 25ml sweet vermouth
  • 25ml Campari
  • 1 strip of peeled orange zest

Pour the gin, vermouth and Campari into a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir until it is diluted to your taste, then twist the orange peel over the glass to release the oils and drop it into the drink before serving.

6) Martini

Martini in glasses with lemon peel garnish

You’ll need: 

  • 60ml gin
  • dry vermouth, to taste
  • 1 strip of lemon peel, to garnish

Stir the gin with as much dry vermouth you like: the more you use the more herbal it will be. Stir until diluted to your taste. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

7) Gimlet

Gimlet

You’ll need:

  • 50ml gin
  • 25ml cordial of your choice (we used lime)
  • lime slice, to garnish (optional)

Stir together the gin and cordial, then continue to stir until diluted to your taste and serve in a coupe glass garnished with a lime slice, if you like.

8) Fogcutter

You can buy almond syrup online.

You’ll need:

  • 20ml gin
  • 20ml brandy
  • 20ml rum
  • 40ml orange juice
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 15ml almond syrup
  • 5ml sherry

Tip the gin, brandy, rum, orange and lemon juices, into a shaker with the almond syrup and stir to combine. Shake well, then pour over the sherry. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice.

9) G&T

Gin and tonic in a glass

The headline act. A gin and tonic evolves into something far more complex with the right twists.

You’ll need:

  • gin
  • tonic water
  • lime slice, to garnish (optional)

Make a classic G&T by combining one part gin with two parts tonic, then garnish with a lime slice, if you like (or, use cucumber slices, herb sprigs or berries). See our more unique cocktail ideas with our 10 gin & tonics with a twist guide or discover even more inspiration with our gin & tonic recipe collection.

10) Southside

Also known as a mojito, gin-style.

You’ll need: 

  • 50ml gin
  • 20ml lime juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • 6-8 mint leaves, plus extra to garnish

Drop the gin, lime juice, sugar syrup and the mint leaves into a shaker and shake together well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with mint leaves.

Quick sugar syrup recipe

Combine one part sugar and one part water in a pan and heat over a low heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool slightly, then pour into a sterilised glass jar and seal. This can also be flavoured with herbs, citrus zest and spices, if you like.

More on gin

The best gins – taste tested
The best classic gins – taste tested
Video: How to make your own sloe gin
10 gin and tonics with a twist
Our favourite gin cocktail recipes
All you need to know about gin
Gin and tonic recipe collection
The best sloe gin recipes

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