I’ll be the first to admit that a good gin and tonic is on my list of go-to cocktails, especially during summer when the citrus and herbal flavors help fight the sweltering heat. As refreshing as the classic G&T is, it doesn’t even come close to opening up gin’s full potential as a spirit. In fact, gin’s history in medicinal use, and as a cheap and easily accessible spirit, are what have perpetuated the G&T’s popularity for the last three hundred years.

Accustomed to mixing the same, tired cocktail, few people realize just how versatile gin can really be. The citrus and botanicals in the average gin pair with an enormous range of everyday ingredients found in most homes. In the heat of July, a splash of Greenbar Distillery CITY Bright gin over rocks with muddled cucumber, basil, simple syrup, club soda and lemon garnish creates an aromatic cocktail that opens up the full body of the gin, striking the palate with fresh, earthy flavors. For your next dinner party, treat your guests to a contemporary Negroni in which CITY Amber gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth come together for the perfect after dinner drink. Then, when the weather turns cold, add a modest pour of gin and a dash of honey to your favorite chai or Earl Grey tea blend for a nightcap that warms both the body and soul.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of mixing your own cocktails at home. You don’t need a full bar or grocery shop to make outstanding drinks in your own kitchen. All you need are a bottle of your favorite gin and a thirsty palate.

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