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The Nine Most Useful Mixers for Gin Drinks
Gin varieties are evolving as independent and big distillers bring innovations and flavors to the fore. The individualized, interesting flavors of gin contribute to the spirit’s popularity as the base in a brilliant range of mixed drink and cocktail options.
The focus may be on the spirit and distillation, but things are moving forward as well for what you put in your drink alongside the gin. While previous articles have focused on the best gin brand to try or the best gin cocktail, this article will show useful ingredients that mix best with the popular spirit.
What to Mix with Gin
1. Bitters Triple Pack
This triple pack of Peychaud’s Bitters, Regan’s Orange Bitters, and Angostura Bitters are an absolute must have for any home mixologist, regardless of whether you’re making a gin drink or classic cocktail.
Angostura Bitters is a unique blend of natural herbs and spices made for versatility. Peychaud’s Bitters is a New Orleans special for old school cocktails like the Sazerac. Then there’s Regan’s Orange Bitters, a delicate yet complex orange flavor infused with spicy cinnamon and cloves. Put this in a glass with Bombay Sapphire and regular orange juice to give your mixture some extra pizzazz.
The variations between these types of bitters enhance the quality of your drink when deployed correctly, adding layered textures and notes to your beverage.
2. Q Tonic Water
Q Tonic Water is marketed as “spectacular tonic water” and achieves it because it’s meant specifically for mixing with spirits. The taste, carbonation level, and ingredients are all geared toward a vodka drink or classic gin and tonic.
Q tonic is highly carbonated and dry (only 35 calories per six ounces), crafted using organic agave and real quinine from Peru, and made in Brooklyn, New York. It’s all-natural, is Non-GMO, and Kosher. There’s no corn syrup, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
The other cool thing is there is a vast range of Q Tonic flavors, so you can tailor make your perfect gin mixed drink – whether it’s with club soda, ginger beer, or even grapefruit flavor. Mix up a cool gin variation such as Slipsmith’s sloe gin, add some ice cubes, fresh lime juice, and Q Tonic Water to make an easy, crisp, and refreshing mixer.
3. Belvoir Fruit Farm Elderflower Cordial
Elderflower cordial is a lightly sweet cordial reminiscent of peach. It’s been described as a beautiful scent masquerading as a flavor – this version has been made for over 30 years in the English countryside.
According to Peverel Manners of Belvoir Fruit Farm: “The secret of a really good elderflower cordial is to use masses of flowers that have been picked in the sunshine when they’re warm and heavy with yellow pollen, then get them into the vat within three hours.”
Belvoir’s original cordial is made from fresh-picked elderflowers and lemon juice and has a fantastic amount of uses. For example, you can make a cracking French 75 cocktail with Hendrick’s gin, elderflower cordial, a top up of sparkling wine, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a lemon twist to garnish.
4. Lakewood Cranberry Juice
A staple in mixed drinks for gin and vodka, or even cocktails such as the Cosmopolitan, a quality cranberry offering can enhance your gin and juice markedly. Lakewood Cranberry Juice is a certified biodynamic and USDA organic, 100% organic juice made from whole ripe organic cranberries.
In each 32 oz glass bottle, you’ll find the juice from over 3 pounds of cranberries fresh pressed (which means it’s not made from concentrate). Combining Beefeater Pink London Dry Gin with some cranberry and vermouth makes a killer pink gin martini (and switch out the olive for a strawberry).
5. Fever-Tree Spring Club Soda
Fever-Tree, which featured in our Best Ginger Beer List, is a brand that also makes a handy soda water. Fever-Tree is a soft spring water from Scotland made with premium natural ingredients. There’s no high fructose corn syrup or artificial additives.
Sure, it’s not the most exciting thing to put in a glass, but quality soda water is essential when crafting a premium gin rickey or alcohol cocktail.
Add this soda to a highball glass. Throw in an ounce or two of Glendalough Wild Botanical gin, ice cubes, and a fresh lime wedge to make a simple, classic gin rickey – it’s not even demanding work!
6. Stirrings Pure Cane Simple Syrup
It can be confusing when reading cocktail recipes – especially new ones you’re nervous about getting right – but the terms “simple syrup” and “sugar syrup” are interchangeable.
Much like the bitters earlier in our list, if you’re into making cocktails and mixed drinks it’s necessary to have some in your bar stock. Stirrings is brilliant because it’s simple. Pure cane sugar and clean filtered water. That’s it.
Not only does it go well with specific drinks, but sugar syrup can also be used in situations to improve a flavor or help someone whose drink wasn’t what they were after (full disclosure: I put it in Earl Grey Tea once because it tasted stale).
If you want to make the best gin sour; get some Hendrick’s gin, egg white, Stirring’s syrup, and lemon juice, throw it in a cocktail shaker, and mix it up. Add some crushed ice to a coupe glass and fill it up for a perfect gin sour.
7. Noilly Prat Original Dry Vermouth
Almost an afterthought in many a gin martini or vodka cocktail, Noilly Prat is the first and most famous of all Vermouth expressions. It’s a dry, straw colored fortified wine created by French herbalist Joseph Noilly in 1813 and fundamental to many martinis.
If it’s not quite your style of mixer, there’s a range of sweeter (or even drier) variations available to jazz up your cocktail mix.
8. Tropicana Pure Red Grapefruit Juice
Look, I’m not a huge fan of grapefruit juice (sweeter apple juice is more my go), so if I’m going to drink it in a cocktail it must be the best possible juice or I won’t consider it. Life’s too short for sketchy grapefruit juice.
I also prefer red grapefruit juice because it looks more enjoyable. Tropicana grapefruit juice has no added sugar, water, or preservatives. It’s 100% pure-squeezed grapefruit juice that’s never made from concentrate.
I don’t mind the Grapefruit Gin Fizz cocktail, which combines gin, some juice, a bit of fresh lime, and syrup all mixed up in a shaker with some crushed ice. I can probably handle that for breakfast.
I haven’t added a link to buying cucumber because you should be able to buy or grow it yourself with relative ease.
Cucumber is often infused in botanical gin and vodka brands because it works beautifully in conjunction with the neutral spirits to either soften bitter parts of the liquor or to amplify the herbal essences. Throw a couple of slices into your G&T and notice how it makes the drink more refreshing.