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Best Gin Cocktails for the Holidays

Ho Ho Ho!  Holiday cocktail time is here, and gin is perfect for the season. Uninitiated party-goers may complain that gin tastes too “piney” for them. However, this time of year that juniper flavor is perfect next to your Christmas tree.

Traditional gins are best for for your holiday gin cocktails, including Tanquaray, Beefeater and even Gordons. For an extra holiday jolt, use Junipero gin.

Our five favorite gin drinks for this time of year are:

1. Negroni

A frequently-mentioned favorite here at Wired Gin, Campari and sweet vermouth impart a festive red color to the Negroni, making it the perfect gin cocktail for the holiday season:

1 oz gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz Campari

Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice and add the ingredients. Shake for approximately 15 seconds, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of orange.

2. Emerald Isle

While the Negroni provides a gorgeous red color, the Emerald Isle cocktail provides a subtle green tint along with a winter-crisp flavor that fits the season:

1 oz gin
2 tsp Creme de Menthe liquor
2 dashes of bitters

Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice and add the ingredients. Shake briefly, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a mint leaf or a maraschino cherry “ornament”.

3. Gin Toddy

Warm your cockles this Christmas with a hot gin toddy. It is simple to make, and it will certainly make you feel better if you catch a cold while doing all your holiday visiting. Here’s a great recipe:

2 oz gin
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
8 oz boiling water

In a coffee mug, dissolve sugar into boiling water and add lemon juice and gin. Optionally, add a dash of bitters for a more exotic flavor. Garnish with a lemon twist.

4. French 75

Nothing says “New Year’s Eve” like a glass of champagne. But to give the evening more zing, the perfect New Year’s cocktail is the French 75, rumored to have been named after named after a 75 millimeter French artillery shell used in World War I. Caution: as much as a French 75 might seem quaff like friendly fire, it carries quite an impact.

1 oz gin
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Dry Champagne or dry sparkling wine

Put sugar, lemon juice, gin and ice in a cocktail shaker filled two-thirds with ice. Shake with enthusiasm and pour into a champagne glass. Fill remainder of glass with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist. Happy New Year!

5. Best Gin Cocktail for the Holidays: Martini

Surprised?  I hope not.  Elegance and grace flow from a well-crafted martini made from a foundation of quality gin. Don’t get it wrong by forgetting the importance of vermouth!

2 oz gin
1 oz dry vermouth

Pick your gin wisely based on your audience. Gin aficionados will appreciate Junipero or Oxley, but casual drinkers may prefer a lighter, more frivolous gin like Hendricks or Leopold’s. With reverence, pour your selected gin into a cocktail shaker two-thirds filled with ice. add dry vermouth and shake while thinking festive holiday thoughts. (Frosty the Snowman, perhaps?)  Pour into a chilled martini glass, slide a lemon wedge over the rim of the glass and garnish with it. Perfect.

Enjoy the gin cocktails – in moderation – this holiday season, and best wishes for a fabulous new year!


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