The Perfect Party Spirit

The Higliner’s chef Raymond Mohan creates gin cocktails that are sure to wow your guests

Let’s take a minute to talk about the good stuff — cocktails. While there are a plethora of signature drinks that are essential to any bartender or mixologist’s repertoire, one made with gin should be near the very top. 

Gin is used in many cocktails, but perhaps one of the most famous is the Gimlet — an odd name indeed — which has been around for quite some time. Back in 1928, the definition entailed "gin, a spot of lime, and soda." That was all. Now, chef Raymond Mohan of New York’s The Highliner has perfected the beverage and is sharing his secrets.

So nail down this recipe and show it off the next time you're hosting guests; we’re pretty sure it will quickly become "their drink."

Mohan shares that there are three ways to prepare different gin cocktails: with egg whites, stirred, or shaken. Here, breaks down each method:

Egg Whites: Traditional egg white cocktails are amazing with gin. This is a specific preparation using egg white, citrus, simple syrup, and gin. When using egg white you must dry-shake everything first to emulsify the contents in the tin, also causing friction which will make the egg OK for drinking. After dry-shaking, you shake vigorously with ice until the tin is very cold. Strain and serve up or on the rocks depending on the drink. Some classic gin egg white cocktails are a Sloe Gin Fizz, a Singapore Sling, and a Silver Fizz.

Stirred: Another way to prepare a gin cocktail is by stirring it. This is done for aromatic cocktails. Cocktails that are all alcohol components should not be shaken, they should be stirred. Stirring the cocktail doesn’t bruise the alcohol and gives you better control over how to dilute the cocktail properly to maintain its balance. Place components of your drink in a pint glass, place in four to five Kold-Draft ice cubes, and use a stirring spoon to stir the drink until properly diluted. This type of drink is stirred for a longer or shorter period of time depending on the components in the cocktail and if it will be served up or on the rocks. For example, if there is a lot of sweet vermouth or some other wine-based spirit in the drink you are stirring it will dilute more quickly than if you just have hard spirits. Examples of these cocktails can be a Negroni or a Martinez.

Shaken: The last way to prepare a gin cocktail is the most general way of just having your shaken drink. This cocktail will consist of citrus and sweetener along with the spirit and more fruit depending on what the recipe is. In this category you have four shakes to use to get the drink properly diluted depending on if it will be served up or on the rocks. A long and hard shake is when a drink will be shaken for a long period of time vigorously because it will be served up. A medium shake is when the drink is shaken at a medium strength for a medium length of time and it will be poured over ice. A soft short shake is used for when a cocktail will be shaken gently to be poured out in its own ice, not over new ice. Last is the dry-shake or whip-shake (which was mentioned when shaking with egg), which is used to quickly get the ingredients emulsified if you are just pouring the drink over crushed ice like you might do with a gin smash or a Bramble.