4 Gin-Based Summer Sippers

Photo: Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Gin has a very distinct but playful palette that can go with many different flavours and foods. If you’re entertaining this long holiday weekend, serve up these fun and innovative cocktails .


Burnt Grapefruit Sak-tail


With a large fusion of Asian food into Canada, sake has slowly followed behind it. This “rice wine” has a very distinct taste that can range from very bitter to very sweet. For this cocktail I would pick a sake that is more  “middle of the road”, as to not be too polarizing but still give the distinct tang of sake.

  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1/5 oz sake
  • Club soda
  • 1/5 oz grapefruit juice
  • Grapefruit zest (to garnish)
  • 2-3 drops of cardamom bitters (optional)

Start by mixing together the gin, sake, and grapefruit juice over ice and shaking.

Pour mixture into a glass, fill with club soda, add drops of bitters if so desired to increase smokey flavour.

Take your piece of grapefruit zest and flame the peel, rub the rim with the peel and place it in the drink.

(See below video if you are unsure how to flame citrus zest.)

Gin Sparkle


This is one of the easiest drinks to make if the previous recipe seemed a little too labour intensive. Great for groups and very refreshing, this drink will definitely become a backyard favourite.

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 bottle champagne (or Prosecco)
  • Fresh mint
  • Simple syrup (Equal parts water and sugar dissolved)

Start by adding a few leaves of mint into the cup, add simple syrup, and gin and muddle this together — your just trying to get some of the oil from the mint to infuse into the drink.

Add two ice cubes, and top with champagne.

Easy, simple and delicious! If you’re not a huge mint fan you can always swap in lemon/lime, or have all of the above ready and let your guests pick which they’d prefer.

Rose Gin Sour


This drink is also very simple, and a classic. Most people are familiar with whisky sours, but very few people are familiar with gin sours, so it’s a nice surprise! This specific recipe calls for Rose Gin, which is a product from Dillion’s Distillery that is well worth it’s weight. They deliver all across Canada – check out their website if you’d be interested in purchasing it! With traditional “sour” drinks, you have an option to add egg whites and the idea is that the lemon and alcohol are acidic enough to “cook” the egg white. (As an alternative, you can use powdered egg whites.)  Personally, I prefer my drink to not have the foam that the egg white results in.

  • 2 oz Rose Gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup

Mix gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a shaker with ice, shake and serve!

Dill-icious Gin & Tonic

smallDill Gin


This is a fun twist on a classic, and can be crafted more or less dill-icious for the person’s taste. It may seem a bit scary of a taste at first, but it can actually be a lot more refreshing for a nice outdoor barbecue than one would think!

  • 2 oz gin
  • Fresh dill
  • Cucumber (Thinly Sliced)
  • 1/2 oz pickle juice
  • Tonic

Add dill and cucumber to the glass, muddle only slightly

Add gin, pickle juice, and ice, top with tonic.