Rosemary likes a good gin cocktail. One of her favorite events I did was at The Filson Historical Society for Repeal Day when we made a Gin and Tonic with a 1930s Gordon Gin. Her question for me is why have I not done a blog on gin? Many of the artisan distilleries are making gin to pay the bills while their whiskey is aging, so why don’t I show them support? I cannot argue with her logic, so here we are.

We have purchased many gins from the artisan distillers. We like the gins from Castle & Key, Limestone Branch, and Copper & Kings and even some out of state distilleries such as Green Hat in Washington D.C. I think that making gin is a better way to make some money than producing “moonshine” flavored like lollipops. 

Gin does take some real skill and a good palate to get the right balance of juniper and herbs. When they do it right, they are as good as, or better than the established brands. There is no aging involved so they can get bottles in the market and I would think no more expensive to make as “moonshine” flavored with fruit sugars. Here are some of Rosemary’s favorite gin cocktails:

Gin and Tonic from The Bartender’s Bible by Gary Regan

2 ounces gin, 5 ounces Tonic Water (Rosemary likes Fever Tree), 1 lime wedge

Pour the gin and the tonic water into a highball glass almost filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with the lime wedge.

The next cocktail, Rosemary discovered while watching a program produced by English Heritage about Prohibition cocktails, set at an historic mansion in London with a bartender who looked like Peter Lorre in a 1930s movie. It is the Aviation Cocktail. When done properly, it has a sky blue color and is very tasty.

Aviation Cocktail from The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

1 ½ ounces gin, ½ ounce maraschino liqueur, ½ ounce crème de violette, ½ ounce lemon juice, 1 violet blossom

Shake all the ingredients except the violet blossom over ice and serve in a cocktail glass. Some versions of this recipe call for less crème de violette or less lemon juice; adjust proportions to your liking. Garnish with the violet blossom.

From Imbibe by David Wondrich

¾ ounce lemon juice, 1 ½ ounce gin, 2 dashes (1 ½ teaspoon) Maraschino, 2 dashes (1 teaspoon crème de violette)

Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice and serve.

The final gin cocktail is another of Rosemary’s favorite drinks. She discovered this cocktail while researching Green Chartreuse. It is Last Word.

Last Word from Imbibe by David Wondrich

¾ ounce dry gin, ¾ ounce Maraschino, ¾ ounce Chartreuse, ¾ ounce lime juice. Server in a cocktail glass. Wondrich notes that the ingredients should be Green Chartreuse and Luxardo Marachino.

From The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

½ ounce gin, ½ ounce Verveine du Velay, ½ ounce Luxardo Maraschino, ½ ounce lemon juice, 1 sprig fresh lemon verbena.

Shake all of the ingredients except the lemon verbena sprig with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Rub a lemon verbena leaf around the rim of the glass and garnish with another leaf. If you can’t find Vervine du Velay, Green Chartreuse is a fine substitute.

These are Rosemary’s favorite gin cocktails. She likes to use the gins from artisan distillers to make these cocktails so as to support these hard-working distillers while their whiskey is aging. I do hope you enjoy them as the summer begins and a cooling gin cocktail tastes good on a hot afternoon. 

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller