The Best Gin Cocktails

Best Gin Cocktails at HotBox London

We could just do another boring blog piece on the best gin cocktails that everyone seems to do. But this is Hotbox, and we don’t do anything simple here. Instead, the goal is to get your mouth watering with the most obscure, most inventive, most gin-ny gin cocktails there are!

Bijou

Meaning “jewel” in French, the Bijou cocktail dates back to the 1890s and was created by Harry Johnson, the “father of professional bartending”, and was named such after the 3 ingredients are the color of jewels: gin for a diamond, sweet vermouth for a ruby and chartreuse for an emerald. Originally calling for equal parts of the mentioned spirits, it was later adapted to triple the gin ratio against the vermouth and chartreuse to give the drink a more even flavor and balance. This spec eventually became the standard for all bars.

  • 40ml gin
  • 15ml sweet vermouth
  • 15ml green chartreuse
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Monkey Gland

Created by another Harry MacElhone, the Monkey Gland was named after the pseudo-scientific hypothesis by Serge Voronoff that grafting money testicle tissue into humans would increase longevity. This was obviously later disproven, but it inspired a delicious drink involving gin, orange juice, grenadine and absinthe.

  • 50ml gin
  • 30ml orange juice
  • 2 drops absinthe (or rinse the glass)
  • 2 drops grenadine

Aviation

The Aviation is a classic cocktail utilizing gin, maraschino, lemon juice and crème de violette. This refreshing cocktail was invented by head bartender of Hotel Wallick in New York Hugo Ensslin in the early 20th century. The cocktail itself, when completed, has a pale purple complexion and can sometimes be considered a variation of the gin sour. It has no affiliation with Ryan Reynolds’s gin brand Aviation gin, but is simple for bartenders and aficionados of gin to adapt and tailor.

  • 45ml gin
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 10ml maraschino
  • 5ml crème de violette

Suffering Bastard

Originally made for those suffering with a hangover, this tipple is essentially an elevated Mai Tai. Joe Scialom was a trained chemist, but upon learning the bartending trade, decided that was more “fun” for him and began working fulltime as a bartender at Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo during World War II. There have been multiple variations of the cocktail, and for a short while, the drink was known as the “Suffering Bar Steward”. Since then, the Suffering Bastard returned and has inspired two different variations of the hangover cure: Dying Bastard and Dead Bastard.

  • 30ml gin
  • 30ml bourbon
  • 10ml lime juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Top ginger beer/ginger ale

Corpse Reviver No. 2

Keeping on topic with hangover cures, the Corpse Reviver family is known for its potency and being able to “revive someone from the dead”. Several variations are heavily tied to The Savoy Hotel American Bar’s Harry Craddock in the 1810s. Though many variations of the cocktail have died, the Corpse Reviver No. 2 is still found in bars across worldwide.

  • 25ml dry gin
  • 25ml Triple Sec
  • 25ml Lillet Blanc
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 1 dash Absinthe 
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