Since the early 1600s, gin and the city of London have had a long and spirited connection. In fact, we can say that London's distillers helped put gin on the map!
Gin is said to have originated in Holland. Yet, due to the numerous blends with robust flavours, distinctive aromas, and sophisticated concoctions that satisfy alcohol aficionados, so many classic gin cocktails are developed by various London cocktail bars well-known worldwide.
What are Gin Cocktails?
The word "cocktail" comes from the French "coquetier," the name of a drinking cup allegedly used to serve guests a mix of cognac with a dash of his bitters. In the United States, this combination of spirits and water is known as a "highball."
In its various forms, gin is one of the most popular spirits worldwide. When combined with other spirits, herbs, flavours, and ingredients, you can use gin to make a wide range of cocktails. Gin cocktails can be served in the same glassware in which they are mixed or in other types of glasses.
Here are five popular gin cocktails that were first invented in London:
1. The Breakfast Martini
When you're looking to get your day started with something slightly different, think about taking a shot at the Breakfast Martini. The Breakfast Martini is the world's most famous gin cocktail created in London by Jim Moss in 1985. It was initially called the "Gin and Juice," but its name was changed when the band "OutKast" released their song of the same name in 2000.
The Breakfast Martini is made from gin and orange juice and is served straight up. The Breakfast Martini is named after the famous breakfast cocktail invented by the American bartender Jerry Thomas in 1871.
2. The Corpse Reviver
The Corpse Reviver is a gin cocktail first recorded in the 19th century. It is said that the Corpse Reviver was invented by Harry Johnson, the author of the first cocktail book, The New and Improved Bartender's Manual.
The cocktail is made from gin, brandy, sweet vermouth, and lemon juice and is served straight up. The Corpse Reviver is named after the 'Corpse Reviver No. 2', a cocktail invented by the American bartender David Embury in 1948.
3. The Collins
The Collins is a gin cocktail invented in London in the 19th century. The Collins was famous in the United States and Britain during the 1920s, and it is still popular today. This drink was concocted by a bartender named John Collins, who worked at Limmer's Old House in the City of London.
He created the cocktail as a non-alcoholic beverage. However, in the 1950s, bartenders started to use Old Tom gin to make the cocktail.
The Collins is made from gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and soda water and is served in an Old Fashioned glass.
4. The Gintini
The Gintini is a gin drink created in London. It was invented around 1915 by renowned bartender Harry Craddock, who worked at Café Royal in Soho, one of the world's most famous cocktail bars.
The Gintini is made from gin, dry vermouth, and an orange twist and is served in an Old Fashioned glass over ice.
5. The Vesper Martini
The Vesper Martini is the best known James Bond drink invented by Ian Fleming in his novel "Casino Royale." It was also known as "The Double-O Seven," after the government agent number 007, and Bond preferred to drink it "shaken, not stirred."
The Vesper Martini is made from gin, vodka, Kina Lillet, and a lime peel. Kina Lillet was created in the 19th century and became popular in both the United States and Britain. However, Kina Lillet has been out of production since 2011, and it is no longer available. Today, Lillet Blanc can be used to make a Vesper Martini.
The cocktails you’ll find all over the UK are tourist attractions in themselves. If you're in London, you shouldn't miss hopping into its great bars, pubs, and taverns to try different types of gin cocktails.
And if you're searching for a gin bar in London to test the mixers mentioned above, come to Jim and Tonic. We have three cocktail bars and an online store that can send various gin flavours and mixers to your house. Visit us today!