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Sippin’ on Gin and Juice

Though hip hop’s role in the resurgence of gin since the early 90s is an oft-neglected topic, I want to talk more broadly about combinations of gin and fruit juice. Fresh juice, while it may seem the furthest thing from revolutionary in this age of flavor labs and umami and turkey-flavored soda, has been a key component of the modern cocktail movement, which includes both the cocktail revival (a return to traditional spirits like gin and long-forgotten ingredients like creme violette and maraschino) and the modern mixologists doing new things with new ingredients — whether lychee-and-Bulldog martinis with a spritz of yuzu juice, or lavender Dry soda with Citadelle gin and a dash of Campari. It’s all part of the modern drinker’s insistence on flavor, not just a cheap drunk.

You can, of course, simply add gin to a glass of your favorite juice and see what happens. Certainly with orange or grapefruit juice, nothing more need be done — and the French G’Vine, distilled from grapes and with a nose of grapevine flowers, might go well with white grape juice, especially if you can get it fresh-squeezed from a vineyard.

But here are some other suggestions:

Lemon juice:
Aviation (8 parts gin, 2 parts maraschino, 1 part lemon juice)
Jasmine (3 parts gin, 2 parts Cointreau, 1 part Campari, 1 part lemon juice)

Lime juice:
Gimlet (1 part gin, 1 part Rose’s lime cordial — or make your own with fresh lime juice and sugar)
The Last Word (equal parts gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino, and fresh lime juice)
Pegu Club (2 parts gin, 1 part curacao, squeeze of lime juice, dash each of Angostura bitters and orange bitters)

Orange juice (or tangerine, clementine, Satsuma, etc):
Abbey (2 parts gin, 1 part Lillet blanc, 1 part orange juice, dash of Angostura bitters)
Astor Cocktail (8 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part orange juice)
Bronx (3 parts gin, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 part dry vermouth, 1 part orange juice)
Monkey Gland (add a couple drops absinthe to a glass and swirl it around to coat; stir with ice 2 parts gin, 1 part orange juice, and a few drops of grenadine, and strain into glass)

Grapefruit juice:
Fibber McGee (3 parts gin, 1 part grapefruit juice, 1 part sweet vermouth, dash of Angostura bitters)
Florida (3 parts grapefruit juice, 2 parts gin, 1 part Galliano, a couple dashes of Campari — this puts the Harvey Wallbanger to shame)
Hollywood Cocktail (2 parts light rum, 1 part gin, 1 part grapefruit juice, 1 part grenadine, 1/2 an egg white; shake vigorously with ice and strain)
Palm Beach Special (5 parts gin, 2 parts grapefruit juice, 1 part sweet vermouth)

Cranberry juice (or substitute pomegranate juice):
Gin Cosmopolitan (2 parts gin, 2 parts cranberry juice, 1 part triple sec, 1 part lime juice)
Ruby Rangoon (1 part gin, 1 part cranberry juice, top with ginger ale in a highball glass)

Nectarine juice:
Diamondhead Variation (3 parts gin, 2 parts pineapple juice, 1 part nectarine juice)

Pineapple juice:
Harlem Cocktail (6 parts gin, 3 parts pineapple juice, 1 part maraschino liqueur, garnish with fresh pineapple)
Jinx (2 parts gin, 1 part pineapple juice, dash of grenadine)
White Velvet (2 parts gin, 1 part Curacao, 1 part pineapple juice)

Mangosteen juice:
Check your local Asian market for mangosteen juice, and then serve it 1:1 with Bulldog gin, or 1:1:1 with Bulldog and pineapple juice. It’s time rum lost its stranglehold on tropical drinks.

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