How to make the best gin cocktails at home

28 Apr 2021


Dust that cocktail shaker off and turn yourself into a master mixologist

Whether you like a classic yet refreshing gin and tonic or fabulously fruity gin cocktails, making your own gin drinks at home can be both fun and delicious. Our Cacao Gin brings through a subtle malty flavour that pairs beautifully with tonic and also makes for a great twist on a traditional martini.

What do you need to make perfect cocktails?

Cocktails look and taste amazing. But why wait for a special reason to go out and have one? Gin is the perfect base for delicious, Instagram-worthy works of drinkable art at home – and you don’t need to be a mixologist maestro to create them!

For a spectacular evening (or afternoon, who are we to judge?) of cocktail delights, you’ll first need to choose your ingredients. Depending on the cocktail recipe you go for, you might like to explore different gins and their flavour profiles.

Cocktail equipment

fig cocktail next to cocktail equipment

Once you’ve decided on your spirits and mixers, it’s on to the cocktail equipment. Some cocktails require ‘building,’ which basically means you add the ingredients directly into the glass you’ll be drinking from.

Others need a vigorous shake to blend them. If you want to go all out and buy a cocktail shaker, it can ensure you get perfectly smooth results right away. However, you could also use a protein shake bottle or a regular mason jar with a lid. If you are using a jar, a tea strainer or sieve will do the job to get that silky texture.

Some recipes call for ‘muddling’. A cocktail muddler is a bit like a pestle, and you can use it to mash or ‘muddle’ herbs and spices at the bottom of your glass or shaker to release their flavours and aromas.

Ice is another crucial cocktail element! Crushed or cubed, it will keep your drink cool. Plus, it helps with the blending process. You can use it to chill your glass — be it highball, martini, or gin balloon — before mixing for a real professional edge.

How to mix gin and tonics

When in doubt, gin and tonic is a sure-fire winner. Refreshing tonic water goes hand in hand with dry, fragrant gin. Just like building a more complex cocktail, a good G&T starts with a layer of ice.

Next in is the gin itself, and then you can add the tonic. But how much tonic should you add to gin? Mostly that’s down to personal preference. However, as a general guide, 200ml tonic sets off a double measure (50ml) of gin nicely.

Sometimes, a simple, plain tonic is the ideal way to bring through the natural botanicals of particular gins. For example, our new Mango and Passion Fruit gin has a sweet, tropical flavour that can be nicely tempered by the bitter notes of a traditional tonic.

gin and tonic in a goblet glass with lemon and peppercorns

Other times, tonics flavoured with elderflower, lime, or even pink peppercorns can enhance certain notes in the gin.

The same goes for garnishing. Whether it’s a sprig of mint, a slice of grapefruit, or a twist of lime, a little garnish can add the piece-de-resistance to your gin and tonic. Not only do they look lovely (the devil is in the detail, so they say), but the flavour addition can highlight subtle notes in both the gin and the tonic.

Flavour pairing is close to our hearts at Hotel Chocolat. From creamy Salted Caramel and Butterscotch Selectors to decadent Red Wine Selectors, our talented chocolatiers are always coming up with exciting combinations.

We recommend a slice of orange to compliment the malty, chocolatey elements in our signature Cacao Gin. The orange will really pick out the uplifting citrus notes.

Our favourite gin cocktails

G&T might be a classic, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, there are some fantastic gin cocktails you can try out. And some of the best gin cocktails are deceptively easy.


Martini glass with olives

The sophisticated martini — shaken or stirred, the choice is yours — sounds intimidating but is actually super easy.

To make one, blend 60ml of gin with 1tbsp of dry vermouth. You can either add both ingredients to a cocktail shaker with some ice, give it a wiggle, and strain into your favourite glass. Or you can simply pour both spirits into a chilled glass and stir gently.

Finish off the crisp and refreshing cocktail with a garnish of lemon peel or an olive.

If you fancy mixing things up, try replacing regular gin with our toasty Cacao gin. Top with a refreshing twist of orange, et voila! You can even watch our Cocoa Gin Martini Video for a recipe masterclass.


If you’re a fan of mojitos but prefer gin over rum, you might just love a minty Southside. To start, gently muddle five mint leaves and 30ml of lemon juice into the bottom of your cocktail shaker and embrace the fabulously fresh fragrance.

Add 60ml of gin (Navy Strength is a good choice if you want something punchy) alongside 30ml of simple syrup and plenty of ice. 

Shake well, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Tom Collins

A traditional Tom Collins consists of 50ml of gin, 25ml of lemon juice, 25ml of sugar syrup built over ice and topped with 125ml of soda water. It’s quick, refreshing, and tart. However, when you find yourself hankerin’ for the finest fruity gin cocktails, why not switch out dry gin for a flavoured option?

To bring an extra summer flair to your Tom Collins, take a look at our Cherry and Raspberry Gin. Red fruits bring a gentle sweetness and vibrant colour to the classic recipe, while the lemon juice balances the acidity. Pop a couple of raspberries on the top for a photo-ready beverage.

Gin is a fantastic base for an array of delightful cocktails. But it doesn’t stop at sipping! Gin also adds a delicious twist to sorbets, macaroons, and truffles. With World Gin Day coming up, take a look at these delectable cocoa gin recipes you can whip up with our Cacao Gin in a jiffy.