I want to give you an idea about how the gin family of cocktails has come to be stored in my mind, and probably the minds of other folks that have thought about, and spoken about gin cocktails for long enough. In particular, this little journey relates to the “sour” family of drinks. This means that there is citrus and a sweetening agent at the heart of the drink.
So here goes.
At the top of the tree you have a Gin Sour. This is gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup. A sour is usually served on the rocks but for the purpose of this ramble, lets serve it up in a cocktail glass. If we add soda to this drink and serve it long, we have a Gin Fizz (or a Tom Collins if we build instead of shake it). Adding egg white to our Gin Fizz makes it a Silver Fizz. Egg yolk for a Golden Fizz (delicious for breakfast we are led to believe). A whole egg and it’s a Royal Fizz.
A Silver Fizz with orange flower water, lime (with the lemon) and creme is a Ramos Gin Fizz from New Orleans. Swap lemon for lime in your Gin Sour, and add a drop of Angostura bitters, you have a Pegu Club cocktail. Gin Sour again, this time with mint and you have a Southside. If you add soda to your Southside serving it tall, you have a Southside Fizz. Swap soda for homemade ginger beer and you have Audrey Saunders’ excellent Gin Gin Mule. Keeping it tall, and combining raspberry with the ginger and you’re talking Floradoras.
Add raspberry syrup and egg white to your Gin Sour and you’ve entered the realm of the Clover Club. With the addition of soda, this might have been the Clover Club Fizz. Instead we know it as the Albermale Fizz.
If you think jam is an appropriate way to flavour your drinks, and cocktails in the morning are your thing – you’ve got yourself a Breakfast Martini (using orange marmalade). A teaspoon of Campari to this and you have The Hawksmoor’s excellent Marmalade cocktail.
Let’s talk liqueurs. Your gin sour with apricot brandy as the sweetener and you have the aptly named Apricot Cocktail. Cointreau in for the apricot and yours is the elegant White Lady (a Margarita with gin – but I digress). Away from liqueurs and in to syrups momentarily. A gin sour with orgeat, and Angostura bitters and you have the awesome Army & Navy cocktail.
If sweetening your gin sours with red vermouth is of interest, with the inclusion of fresh raspberries you have a Bloodhound. Sticking with liqueurs, sweetening with white crème de cacao and bringing in some fortified wine in the shape of Lillet Blanc then you are in the land of the 21st Century Cocktail. Last but not least, if you like liqueurs sweetening your gin sours and the fortified wine thing was your bag, don’t forget the exquisite Corpse Reviver #2. Phew.