Winter Warmers: Don’t put the gin away when the temperature drops

It is considered one of the quintessential summer drinks for those of age — the ol’ G&T

With a fresh lime squeezed into its cooled, ice-cubed pool, there is nothing quite as refreshing as the simple, sunny concoction of gin plus tonic.

But just because the above-0 weather has gone into hibernation for much of the next eight months around these parts, that doesn’t mean your gin should do the same.

In fact, there’s a long history of using it as the perfect body-thawing elixir — particularly across the pond — with cocktails known as winter warmers.

“Britain has a surprising number of traditional hot serves, from the wassail bowl to hot gin punch, the dog’s nose to the toddy,” explains Sipsmith Gin’s master distiller Jared Brown.

In fact, warm gin itself was a street-sold staple since the early 1700s and pairing it with gingerbread goes back even further.

And if it’s good enough for the Brits, we in the Great White North could certainly benefit from its heating powers in this the snowiest of seasons.

Those aforementioned warmers aside, people have, of course, become a little more creative with their use of it in the cocktail world, and Sipsmith has some inventively tasty, tongue-pleasing, gullet-warming ideas for what you can do with their delicious London Dry Gin to beat back the long, dark winter or, at the very least, make it bearable.

Try one of them out when you’re curled up in front of the fireplace or, better yet, with this being the time of social gatherings, invite some family and friends over for a night of good talk, great food and responsible imbibing, trying out several of these following recipes.

A recommendation from someone who did the latter: start with a straight sip of the Sipsmith, and then move to either the Hot G&T or the fruitier Hot Negroni (with raspberry zinger tea making for a pretty excellent and acceptable substitute).


Hot Clementine

1.5oz Sipsmith London Dry Gin

1/3oz gomme syrup

1/4 oz freshly squeezed clementine juice

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Sage leaf, to garnish

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add the first four ingredients and stir well. Strain into a chilled rocks glass, and garnish with a dried blood orange slice and rosemary sprig.

Hot G&T

1.5oz Sipsmith London Dry Gin

0.5oz Jack Rudy Tonic Syrup

1/3oz Sugar Syrup

Boiling water

Orange twist

Combine Sipsmith gin, tonic syrup and sugar syrup in a mug or heatproof stem glass. Stir well and top with boiling water. Garnish with an orange twist.

Hot Negroni

1oz Sipsmith London Dry Gin

1oz Campari

1oz Sweet vermouth

Red berry tea

Dehydrated orange

Pour Sipsmith, Campari and sweet vermouth into a mug and stir. Top with hot red berry tea and garnish with a dehydrated orange or a fresh orange slice.

Hot Pharmaceutical

1.5oz Sipsmith London Dry Gin

0.5oz maple syrup

0.5oz coffee liqueur

2 oz fresh espresso

Fresh cream

3 coffee beans, to garnish

Add Sipsmith, maple syrup, coffee liqueur and fresh espresso into a glass vessel you can seal. Place the vessel inside a hot water bath and leave until it has warmed to 70 degrees C. Remove and pour into a coupette. Float slightly whipped fresh cream on top and garnish with the coffee beans.

Cocktails Inspired by Winter Flavours

Gingerbread Sour

1.5oz Sipsmith London Dry Gin

0.5oz Lemon Juice

0.5oz Gingerbread Syrup

Egg white

1 dash Regans Orange Bitters

Fresh Ginger to garnish

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and dry shake. Add ice and shake again. Double strain

into a chilled glass and garnish with slices of fresh ginger.

Blood Orange Negroni

1 oz Sipsmith London Dry Gin

1oz Campari

0.5oz Picon

1oz fresh Blood Orange Juice

Dried blood orange slice

Rosemary sprig

Fill a mixing glass with ice and add all ingredients into the glass. Stir and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with dried blood orange and rosemary.

Chestnut Martini

1.5oz Sipsmith London Dry Gin

1 teaspoon Chestnut Syrup

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Green Chartreuse Rinse

Glacé Cherries

Combine all ingredients except the Chartreuse in an ice filled mixing glass. Stir well. Rinse a chilled coupette with Green Chartreuse and double strain ingredients into the glass. Garnish with glacé cherries.