How To Celebrate Ginuary with Best Gin Cocktail Recipes

If dry January isn’t your thing, you might like the sound of Ginuary – the month of January filled with gin.

The juniper-based spirit is best known for classics like martinis or rickeys. But did you know there are a variety of styles of gin to suit just about any palate? In honor of Ginuary, let’s explore those styles as well as cocktails you can make at home to make this January a great one.

First, what is gin? Gin is a distilled liquor made from a neutral base spirit. Its predominant flavor must be juniper berries and it must have aminimum strength of 37.5% alcohol/volume. Other than that, distillers have a lot of room to decide what kind of gin they want to make.

Regardless of style (which we’ll discuss momentarily), gin can lean into citrus notes (such as Uncle Val’s Zested Gin). It can even be left to age in bourbon barrels before bottling for a dark appearance and mellowed flavor Cardinal Barrel Rested Gin. Some are very piney, while others sport expressive botanical notes. There’s a gin out there for everyone.

Continue reading for more on various styles of gin plus some recipes to try during Ginuary.

London Dry Gin

London dry gin cannot use artificial flavorings or any coloring at any point during the distillation process. It is infused with natural botanical flavors upon re-distillation and must be juniper-forward. Despite its name, it doesn’t have to be made in London.

Some examples of London dry gin include:

  • Tanqueray
  • Bombay Sapphire
  • Beefeater

Channel James Bond and try a Vesper Martini – London dry gin, vodka, Lillet blanc, and a twist of lemon – for a double-0 London dry experience.

London dry gins are also great in classics like gin and tonic, dirty martinis, and gimlets.

Vesper Martini

Navy Strength

Navy Strength gin packs quite the punch, at minimum 57.1 percent alcohol by volume. It’s similar to London dry in taste, but its elevated alcohol makes it a great choice for a Negroni. The boldness of Navy Strength gin can also blend well with strong tiki flavors, like in a Saturn.

Saturn Cocktail

1.5 oz. Navy Strength gin (like Conniption, Sipsmith VJOP, or Leopold’s Navy Strength)

.5 oz. fresh lemon juice

.25 oz. passion fruit puree

.5 oz. orgeat

.25 oz. Velvet Falernum

Blend all ingredients in a blender with a cup of crushed ice. Pour into a rocks glass with fresh crushed ice and garnish with a lime twist and cherry.


Genever is Dutch for “juniper.” And while gin and Genever have that botanical in common, Genever is made from a malt wine distillate rather than a neutral base spirit. As a result, Genever is richer in flavor and better suited as a substitute for whiskey than gin. Genever makes a great Old Fashioned – just use it instead of bourbon.

Some Genever brands include:

  • Bols Genever
  • Old Duff Genever
  • Aviation Dutch Style Gin

Bols Genever American GinOld Duff Genever GinAviation Dutch Style Gin







Old Tom

Between Genever and London Dry sits Old Tom. It’s a slightly rich, barely sweet gin that’s perfect for classics like a martini with a twist of lemon or a Tom Collins. Many are herbaceous and/or citrusy.

Old Tom is great to sip neat or over ice, as well:

  • Copper and Kings Old Tom Gin
  • Sacred Old Tom Gin
  • Hayman’s Old Tom Gin

Fun fact: Old Tom gins were very popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Black tom cats would adorn labels on bottles of the stuff, solidifying its name and place in cocktail bars to this day.

New Wave or Artisanal Gin

Distillers have begun experimenting and pushing the gin boundaries in fun and interesting ways. They do have to adhere to certain distilling basics in order to be called gin. But these bottles have a lot more flexibility in terms of flavor, with distillers often choosing to downplay the juniper taste.

This is a wide category with many ways to treat each bottle:

  • Hendricks (infused with cucumber)
  • The Botanist (infused with foraged botanicals from the Scottish hills)
  • Uncle Val’s Botanical (notes of lavender, sage, and earth outweigh juniper)
  • Empire Spirits Smoked (infused with applewood smoke and Szechuan peppercorns)
  • Bar Hill (distilled with raw honey)

Before experimenting with any of these gins in cocktails, try them neat. That way, you can get an understanding of complementary flavors for the best experience.

Are you lucky enough to have a gin-focused bar in your area? (We’re thinking of Bittersweet in Raleigh, North Carolina, The Gin Joint in Charleston, South Carolina, or Scofflaw in Chicago, among others.) If so, ask the bartender for a gin flight this Ginuary. Trying 3-4 gins against one another is a great way to determine profiles as well as a fun way to try out a variety of styles at once.

What gin styles and cocktails will you try this Ginuary?