| April 18, 2014

When it comes to spring, gin is in.

READ: Celebrate Spring With a Boozy Cucumber Lemonade

Earlier this year, NPR reported that the juniper-based spirit is set on becoming a major trend in 2014. And just like the cool, crisp season, gin is bursting with delicate floral notes, making it perfect to savor now more than ever. Served in a chilled glass, it’s a tall, ice cold, fizzy libation ideal to complement sun soaked days or breezy evenings.

“We’re seeing more creativity and experimentation with gin products than ever before,” says Erica Duecy, author of “Storied Sips: Evocative Cocktails for Everyday Escapes, with 40 Recipes.” “Just last month, the first-ever gin with Japanese botanicals debuted in the UK from Cambridge Distillery, and is set to launch in the US later this year. With a base of juniper, the gin also features yuzu peel, shiso leaf, sansho pepper, sesame seeds, and cucumber.”

READ: From Garden to Glass: Go Green with These 9 Cocktails

“Along with more experimental products like that, we’re also seeing a wider range of more traditional flavor profiles,” adds Duecy. “Some, like Nolet, have softer juniper notes with fruitier flavors, like peach and raspberry, coming through. Hendrick's, meanwhile, features cucumber and rose more prominently.”

Another perk to sipping gin-fueled drinks? It’s easy to shake, stir, or pour onto nearly any cocktail. And with so many flavors and varieties to choose from, as well as recipes ranging from the classic "Roaring 20s” to modern mixes, there’s  a gin cocktail for practically everyone.

READ: 10 Coffee Cocktails to Kick Off Happy Hour

“With the rare exception of barrel-aged gins, the category is known for products that have clear, crisp flavors,” says Duecy. “Along with juniper, we see citrus rinds, and spices, like cardamom and coriander. The combination of flavors tends to be light and refreshing…the bright botanicals in gin pair well with the blossoms and budding herbs of the season."

For some inspiration to shake things up, check out 10 refreshing gin cocktails from mixologists across the country to welcome the blooming days of spring:

Bartender Eric Johnson of Sycamore Den in San Diego.
Dovetail Julep

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz. gin
  • 1.5 oz. cognac
  • peach bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • fresh mint leaves
  • absinthe

Preparation

Start with a large pinch of mint and sugar cube and drop them into a julep cup. Add all remaining ingredients and do a light muddle to extract mint. Add ice and then a mint sprig.

The Living Room at W Fort Lauderdale.
Spring Fever

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • ½ oz. Aperol
  • ¼ oz. elderflower liqueur
  • ¼ oz. fresh lime juice
  • splash of grapefruit juice
  • champagne

Preparation
Shake well and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Top with champagne.

Nicole Lizuka, POPSUGAR.com.
Thyme After Tyme

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz. gin
  • 1 oz. thyme-infused honey (boil honey, add sprigs of thyme, and let steep for 15 minutes)
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • 4 slices cucumber
  • 2 oz. ginger beer
  • cucumber slices
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Preparation

Add cucumber, lemon juice, and thyme-infused honey into a shaker and muddle. Add gin and a generous amount of ice. Shake vigorously and then strain into an ice filled glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with cucumber slices and fresh thyme leaves.

The Headless Horseman in New York City.
43 Fizz

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. gin
  • ½ oz. Licor 43
  • soda water
  • 1 tsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Preparation

In a shaker, muddle lime wedges and sugar. Add gin, Licor 43, and ice. Shake well and pour contents in glass. Top with soda water.

Beverage Director Klaus Puck of Nest at WP24 in Los Angeles.
Bird of Paradise

Ingredients

  • 1 orange wedge
  • 2 oz. 209 Gin
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup
  • club soda

Preparation

Muddle orange wedge and then add ingredients. Shake and strain over ice. Top with club soda.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Austin.
Scottish Summer

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz. Hendrick's Gin
  • 1.5 oz. St. Germaine Liqueur
  • 2 drops Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 lemon wedge

Preparation

In a Boston shaker, add gin, liqueur, and sauce. Squeeze and drop in lemon wedge. Fill shaker with ice and shake lightly. Pour into highball glass.

Harding’s in New York.
Harding's Tom Collins

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 2 oz. simple syrup
  • ¾ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • club soda
  • 1 lemon slice
  • 1 amarena cherry

Preparation
Combine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake and pour over ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon and cherry.

Mixologist Mariko Amekodommo.
Watermelon Ginger Fizz

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced watermelon
  • 1 ½ oz. gin
  • 2 Tbsps. lime juice
  • 1/3 cup ginger ale
  • 1 lime wedge

Preparation

Puree watermelon in a blender until smooth. In a cocktail shaker, add watermelon puree, gin, ice, and lime juice. Shake vigorously. Pour into ice-filled glass, top with ginger ale, and garnish with lime.

Mixologist Adam Stemmler, Blind Tiger Cocktail Co. and Oakland’s Easy Bay Spice Company.
Flora & The Bees

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. Nolet’s Gin
  • 1 oz. Petal & Thorn Aperitif
  • . 75 oz. ginger honey (equal parts fresh ginger juice and wild flower honey)
  • . 75 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 dash lavender-infused bitters
  • 1 lemon wheel
  • 1 lavender sprig

Preparation
Shake and strain on the rocks. Add lavender sprig and lemon wheel garnish.

Center Bar in New York City.
Karthago

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz. gin
  • juice of half a lemon, freshly squeezed
  • dash of simple syrup to taste
  • fresh raspberries
  • fresh mint leaves
  • dash of soda

Preparation

In a Collins glass, add 5 raspberries and 4 mint leaves. Muddle lightly. Fill glass with ice and squeeze in half a lemon. Add a dash of syrup. Pour in gin and mix thoroughly, getting the cocktail ice cold. Top with soda. Garnish with sprig of mint and serve in a tall highball glass.