5 Best Gin Cocktails For Alfresco Aperitifs
Forgive us for tooting our own trumpet, but we reckon The Frogmill has the best outdoor dining in Cheltenham. Our stunning hotel, restaurant and pub in the Cotswolds boasts a picture-perfect patio; it really is a panoramic pick-me-up (and our menu is not half bad either).
And it would feel wrong while you’re waiting for your delicious dinner to be served not to drink in the view while sipping on something summery and salubrious. Our attentive bar staff would be only too pleased to help with that, the question is, what tipple tickles your fancy?
We thought we’d provide some inspiration, so here’s our list of 5 gin cocktails that make awesome alfresco aperitifs…
1. Classic Negroni
If one of the qualities you look for in a cocktail is a boozy bang for your buck, it’s hard to go wrong with the classic Negroni.
Legend has it that the concoction was conceived by flamboyant Florentine Count Camillo Negroni, who felt that a local tipple called the Americano (Campari, vermouth and soda) needed an extra gin-flavoured kick.
These days, the bittersweet mix is what to drink if you find yourself in Milan between 6-9 pm when ‘Aperitivo’ is in full swing. But you don’t have to venture as far as the Duomo and on a sunny day, the view from our patio rivals that of any Lombardy landscape.
2. Blackberry Bramble
The Blackberry Bramble is a brilliant British invention thought up by mixology master Dick Bradsell at a Soho cocktail bar in the 1980s.
For Bradsell, the Bramble evoked memories of berry picking on childhood holidays to the Isle Of Wight and its fruity flavours come from crème du mûre, a velvety jam-like liqueur. It’s shaken with gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and ice before being served in an Old Fashioned glass.
It might be called a Bramble, but there’s nothing thorny about it. And it’s the perfect precursor to a night of outdoor dining in Cheltenham.
3. Gin Fizz
The Gin Fizz is a jazzy concoction that’s thought to have been first served in swinging New Orleans in the early 1900s. Now, if you’ve ever been to The Big Easy you can probably testify that its city folk know a thing or two about good drinking – and they certainly didn’t drop the ball on this one.
The Fizz is a simple mix of gin, lemon juice and sugar that’s shaken with ice, poured into a long glass and topped with effervescent soda. The refreshing tipple is undoubtedly best served on a hot summer evening with a night of shimmying in store.
Another American classic, this liquor-filled libation combines gin, vermouth and either an olive or a lemon twist.
Its origins are hotly debated, as is the perfect way to serve it; the drink’s most famous fan, James Bond, liked his with the addition of vodka and preferred it shaken, not stirred. This method has the benefit of cooling the drink down quicker, but some aficionados opt to mix the ingredients, preventing the drink from turning cloudy.
Really, it’s down to you. Although it’s fair to say that after knocking back a couple these details may not matter as much.
5. French 75
If you’re planning a night of outdoor dining in Cheltenham, nothing will get your evening off to a flyer like the French 75.
The cocktail was named after a formidable 75-millimetre fieldgun made famous in World War I. Known for its potent ability to knock the drinker flat out, the original ‘Soixante-Quinze’ contained gin, apple brandy, grenadine and lemon juice.
Over the years its mix has evolved and today’s incarnation has dry gin, lemon juice, sugar and champagne. It’s no less lively.