Cocktails. The word itself evokes images of bartenders spinning around boston shakers in darkened rooms well after the sun’s gone down.
A fine balance of chemistry and art, elusive to the average person who just wants an evening winding down.
But what if it wasn’t that complicated?
What if you could channel the spirit and class of the English tennis club or the hip, cool bars of Camden into your downtown backyard?
Well, with this elegant gin and lemonade blend, you most certainly can!
The London Lemonade is the perfect drink for the summer of 2023, whether you’ve never made a cocktail before or you’re a seasoned pro!
What Is A London Lemonade?
Tracking down the exact genesis of this cocktail is a tricky task, owing to its simplicity and widespread popularity.
R. Whites have been producing Lemonade in South London since 1845 and the classic, juniper-infused base spirit has been around much longer than that. Generally an easy mix of gin and lemonade, the London Lemonade suits any occasion, but really comes into its own on those sunny, chilled-out afternoons.
Perfect in a beer garden after a long day in the office, after a few games of soccer in the park, or while sharing a lovely alfresco dinner with that special someone, the London Lemonade not so much screams but gently whispers classy English summer afternoon.
How To Make A London Lemonade in 3 Simple Steps
It’s a simple but timeless blend. 1 part gin, 2 parts fresh lemonade. We recommend starting with the following:
Step 1: Make the Lemonade
While it’s easy enough to cobble this one together using shop-bought lemonade, we’d urge you to give making your own a go. Just slowly heat some water in a pan with the zest of 4-6 lemons, and a tablespoon or two of sugar until the sugar has fully dissolved. Then leave it to cool and mix in the juice of those lemons and the right amount of soda water to give it your perfect level of fizz and sparkle. We’d recommend doing this at least 2 hours before making the drink so your fresh lemonade has plenty of time to cool down in the fridge for maximum refreshment. Just putting in that little bit of extra time and effort to make your own lemonade will take this drink from a simple spirit and mixer to your perfect summer spritzer.
Step 2: The Killer Recipe
The London Lemonade is a perfect 2:1 ratio of lemonade to gin. We’d recommend starting with the following:
2 ounces Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin
4 ounces fresh, homemade lemonade
Starting with the gin, Bombay Sapphire is the perfect middle-shelf gin to get you started with this refreshing gin and lemonade cocktail. It keeps the English heritage and classy touch in the drink without breaking the bank. It’s a high-quality gin with a great palate at an affordable price point. Build in a highball glass with ice and give it a light two or three stirs with a bar spoon.
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, or you just want to add a different edge to this timeless classic, consider using a flavored gin. Strawberry gin can add a slightly sweeter edge while elderflower flavor doubles down on the cool, easygoing, refreshing vibe of the London Lemonade.
Step 3: Garnish and Enjoy
Nothing too fancy with the garnish. Just a lemon wheel on the rim of the glass will give this gin lemonade sparkle the classy finishing touch it needs. However, if you’re using a flavored gin, then throwing in some strawberries, juniper berries, or even a sprig of fresh rosemary will bring in some totally new tastes and textures to complement the zest and tang of the fresh lemon.
Alternative Gin Lemonade Cocktails
Gin and lemonade go together like peas in a pod, so it’s no surprise to see a multitude of different ways in which you could spin this drink to suit your fancy.
Twists on the London Lemonade
The simplicity of the London Lemonade here is its greatest strength. If you want to swap the base for some vodka or some bourbon then do it, it’ll add a totally new flavor to this classic drink. Some dry or even sweet vermouth would give you a Martini London Lemonade, adding an entirely new James Bond-esque feel to the cocktail. There really are endless options with this one so don’t be afraid to experiment and mix it up a bit, it’s all personal preference after all. Even tequila tastes great in it.
Okay, this one is a bit cheeky, we know it’s not lemonade. But, a combination of gin, fresh lemon juice, and champagne is an absolute winner. It packs a serious punch, but it’s just as cool and refreshing as the London Lemonade. If you’re feeling like taking the London lifestyle to the Monaco harbor, then try a French 75.
I started bartending in 2017, just 4 days after my 18th birthday, at a cocktail bar in my hometown. I immediately fell in love with the art and science of mixology and have since worked in bars across Yarm, York and Liverpool in England.