Gin’s back in fashion, riding on the coattails of a global cocktail resurgence. Vogue reports 24 gin distilleries in London as of 2018 – up from one a decade ago. Bespoke gin services came online earlier this year.  The local bar scene is now speckled with gin-forward bars, “G&T” is understood as easily as it rolls off our tongues, and Singapore this year even welcomed its first gin distillery, Tanglin, putting out an eponymous orchid-infused spirit.

This fascination with the drink is both consumer- and bartender-led; herbaceous gin is easy on the palate and goes down with nary a burn, qualities that make it approachable and extremely versatile to work with. The earlier you get it in your repertoire, the better you can service the growing thirst at your next soiree. Here are 5 classy/classic recipes to try your hand at; we’re leaving out G&T and martini because we assume you’ve got those easy ones down pat.


30ml gin
30ml Campari
30ml vermouth rosso (Italian over French, that is)
Ice, for mixing
Ice block
Orange peel, for garnish

Steps: In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients with ice. Turn until blended. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over ice block. Garnish with orange peel.

Extra tip: Crazy over citrus? Toss a whole orange slice in, or zest the peel before serving.

Fun facts:

The Negroni is supposedly an Italian count’s improvisation of the Americano – with gin taking the place of the milder soda water. Thank god for that – this classy, amber-coloured elixir is a straight-talking, no-holds-barred drink that’s perfect for days where you want to skip the pleasantries and go straight for the hit. (That, as Italians purists would tell you, is exactly why they won’t do the caffe Americano either.)


Crash Course:
Which gin?

That’s the beauty of it – you get to choose the brand. Depending on the botanicals used, each brings something different to the drink, so there’s likely to be one for every person. The Botanist holds in apple, citrus and spicy notes. Hendrick’s cooling cucumber finish makes it a favourite in our tropical climate (and sometimes poorly air-conditioned venues). London dry gins like Tanqueray stick to traditional roots that are juniper-focused, while Sipsmith caters to those who like some layers of sophistication.


Corpse Reviver #2

30ml gin
30ml Lillet Blanc (French aperitif, available locally)
30ml freshly-squeezed lemon juice
30ml Cointreau (orange liqueur, available locally)
A dash of (legal) absinthe
Ice, as desired
Orange peel, for garnish

Steps: In a shaker, combine the ingredients with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe. Garnish with orange peel.

Fun facts:

Questions you’ll get upon making this drink: Why the “#2”? Because #1 is cognac-based (we reviewed just the cognac for that). More importantly, what’s with the moniker? The Corpse Revivers are intended to bring your limp, hungover shell of a body back from the dead the next morning, in line with other “hair of the dog” recipes. Wait, what? The hair of the rabid dog that bit you was believed to be a cure for rabies – much like how we seek to remedy hangovers with more pick-me-ups. What an educational drink.

The Gimlet

60ml (2 oz) gin
45ml (1 oz) lime cordial (or juice and syrup)
Ice, as desired
Lime wedge, garnish

Steps: In a shaker, combine the gin and cordial with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with lime wedge.

Fun facts:

Believed to be named after a naval doctor, who worked gin into his prescriptions to help sailors combat scurvy. If you substitute gin with rum here, you’ll have just made a daiquiri.


Tory Burch’s South Side (gin variant)

4 mint leaves
30ml syrup
60ml gin
30ml freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Club soda (seltzer for less minerality)
Ice, as desired
Mint sprig, for garnish

Steps: In a shaker, muddle mint leaves with syrup. Add gin, lemon juice and ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into an old-fashioned glass.  Top with splash of club soda. Garnish with mint sprig.

Fun facts:

We’re still waiting for the America fashion designer to make good on a 2014 promise to move into menswear. In the meantime, she’s got a regularly-updated blog dripping with home entertainment tips you can bring to bear in your next party. (Variant via Bon Apetit.)


60ml gin
15ml maraschino cherry liqueur
8ml creme de violette (Bitter Truth is available in Singapore)
20ml  freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Lemon peel, for zesting
Maraschino cherry (preserved), for garnish

Steps: In a shaker, combine all ingredients with ice and shake Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Zest with lemon. Garnish with cherry.


Fun facts:

Wow your guests with this strikingly-hued drink. Because it’s so rare even in Singapore bars – in part thanks to evasive ingredient creme de violette – you’ll be elevating your home bar and creating some great Instagram fodder. The darn liqueur was once so limited in production that it got cut out of the iconic Savoy Cocktail Book.

written by.
Xiangjun Liao
XJ is the associate digital editor and works the F&B, tech, watch and motoring beats. Correspondingly, he's an alcoholic carnivore with a boyish fascination for all things mechanical. No prizes for guessing which Jaguar he wishes to commandeer.

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