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Gin and juice: the perfect cocktail! Our top 5 Oasis recipes!

Category: All about Oasis

7 mins

Gin is the current star and the new darling of micro-distillers. It’s not a new spirit, however, as it’s been a staple on ice or in fruity cocktails since the 17th century, no less.

How gin is made

Basically, gin is a neutral alcohol that must be made from juniper berries, hence its name. Cereals such as rye, barley, wheat or corn are also used in the first distillation, and even certain herbs such as coriander and angelica root. Afterwards, micro-distillers can choose to flavor this first grind by adding spices, flowers, herbs, fruits, etc. before re-distilling. The minimum alcohol content required for a gin varies from country to country, from 37.5% in France to 40% in the United States, for example.

Gin families

There are several types of gin, each with its own personality and manufacturing profile. Beware! Experts do not always agree, some limiting themselves to three or four families of gin, while others will speak of seven or even ten types of gin. Excluding some brands that are produced exclusively in one city, according to exclusive specifications, most gins sold on the shelf can be grouped into five mainstream categories:

London Dry Gin – This is a dry gin with natural flavors (juniper, coriander, angelica root, citrus peel) added during the first distillation. This type of gin has no flavors or coloring added in the second distillation. It is the classic of the classics used in the traditional martini, but also in several must-have cocktails.

Distilled Gin – This gin is distilled twice, with the addition of natural botanicals during the first distillation, then artificial or non-artificial flavors in the second distillation. Everything is added: citrus fruits, boreal herbs, ginger, black currant, cucumber, etc. The flavored gins that are currently setting the trend belong to this category.

Aged Gin, or Yellow Gin – This gin is becoming more and more sought after. Originally, aged gin got its golden color and woody aromas from being stored and transported in barrels. Today, this type of gin can also be obtained by macerating fruits in alcohol. Think of the Quebec gin Ungava, whose bright yellow color comes from the (secret) blend of boreal herbs used in its production. Enjoy it on the rocks, in citrus cocktails or with sparkling wine.

Old Tom Gin

These gins have the profile of a London Dry Gin, except that sugar was originally added. The bad tongues will say that it was to hide a rough distillation and/or poor ingredients. Old Tom would refer to the house origin of this people’s gin. Today, Old Tom’s are enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to the resurgence of cocktails and our love of retro. It is the perfect gin for an Old Fashioned, a gin punch or a lemon cocktail.

Sloe Gin

Despite its name, sloe gin is actually a liqueur, made from gin in which fruit such as sloe is steeped. Sloe gins are often aged in oak barrels. Because of their flavor, they are best enjoyed on the rocks to savor all their subtleties, but they are also suitable for gin and tonic or cocktails with sparkling wines, among others.

From medicine to “gin palace

It’s hard to imagine a spirit more Russian than vodka or more British than gin. And yet, the paternity of this more popular alcohol than ever belongs to Holland. Indeed, it is here that in the 15th century, the first version of a brandy based on juniper berries, called “Genever”, would have been created and consumed for its medicinal properties. The drink would make the jump to England two centuries later, when English soldiers participating in the Thirty Years War brought it back in their luggage. The English distillers modified the recipe to make it more playful and anglicized the name: “gin” was born!

Would gin have remained in the shadows without religion and politics, go figure. During the Wars of Religion, the very Protestant William of Orange, King of England from 1689 to 1702, forbade the importation of brandy, cognac and wines from the very Catholic France. Spirits lovers had no choice but to turn to other spirits and became infatuated with gin. The story goes that in London alone, one in four homes had their own still to make homemade gin! The popularity of gin would go through many ups and downs, as it was hit hard in the 1750’s by the exorbitant price of grain due to several years of poor harvests (note that this same grain shortage was responsible for the uprising of the French people, who ran out of bread and ended up guillotining Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette!)

Unlike the French king, gin survived and inspired the creation of more than 5,000 luxury “gin palaces” in 19th century Victorian England. During the same period, English soldiers in colonies such as India added gin to their malaria tonic, leading to the birth of the famous… gin-tonic.

Gin in Quebec

The first Quebec gin to be launched a decade ago, Domaine Pinnacle’s Ungava gin marks a historic turning point in the province’s micro-distillery industry. With its unique tundra-based botanical profile, it’s got the whole of Quebec talking. From then on, our microdistillers used boreal forest herbs to develop the uniqueness of our local gins. Berries such as cranberry, raspberry and cherry are not only found in our cocktail glasses, they are also used in the making of fruity gins that are gaining in popularity, especially in the summer. Gin also knows how to show off! Fans of novelties will want to discover blue gins made with pea flowers, which turn pink or purple before our eyes as soon as another liquid is added.

Over the past decade, Quebecers have become big gin fans. In 2020, sales of this spirit reached $379 million in Canada and more than doubled during the same period in Quebec. Our producers launch so many new gins that a total is risky and quickly outdated: let’s just say that there are currently more than 130 gins produced in Quebec, thanks to the relentless passion of more than 50 micro-distillers thirsty for experimentation and novelty. This is quite something for a spirit with more than five centuries behind it! Would you like to discover them? There is a distillery route called “Les gins du Québec”, which allows you to visit several of Quebec’s finest distilleries.

How to concoct a homemade cocktail

Of all the spirits, gin is surely the one that inspires mixologists the most with its multiple flavors that can transform any cocktail. A few ingredients, ice cubes, a skaker and you’re set! Gimlet, Negroni, Pink Lady, Blue Moon, Singapore Sling, etc.: the list of fruity gin-based cocktails continues to grow.

It must be said that gin likes to be mixed with fruit juices to brighten up our summers, and is a delicious pairing with orange, pineapple or berry juice, which are among the Oasis specialties. No need for an official recipe to create your own signature cocktail with a minimum of ingredients on hand.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 oz. of your favorite gin (from Quebec, why not!)
  • 10 oz of your choice of Oasis fruit juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish(s): fruit wedge, sprig of mint or rosemary, parasol, etc.

In a shaker, combine gin and fruit juice. Serve over ice with your chosen garnish(s).

For a sparkling version, simply add tonic. For a sweet version, add homemade or store-bought sugar syrup.

Prefer a recipe that has proven to be successful?

Here are our top 5 easy-to-make cocktails

  1. The classic: Smash Gin Basil


The Smash Gin Basilic is one of the cocktails in the mixology pantheon. Created in Hamburg in 2008, it is reminiscent of the popular mojito, with gin replacing tequila and basil replacing mint. Thirsty to try it? Here’s the recipe. Psst… Many others are waiting for you on our website, including new cocktails concocted by our own mixologists. Cheers!

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 3 oz of your choice of gin
  • 1 ½ oz of Oasis pineapple juice
  • ¾ oz. lime juice
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) club soda

For the full recipe it’s here!

  1. The Original: Blue Curacao Piña Colada

Most historians place the invention of the piña colada in the 20th century, around the 1950s, at the Caribe Hilton Hotel or La Barrachina bar, both in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While the traditional piña colada is based on white rum, coconut cream and fresh or frozen pineapple, there are multiple variations based on different alcohols, such as the Amaretto colada and Tequila colada. Here is an original version, based on curaçao and condensed milk.

Makes 2 cocktails

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. dry gin
  • 1 oz of blue curaçao
  • 8 oz. Oasis pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 lemon wedges or slices

For the full recipe it’s here!

  1. Apple Honey Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 45 mL (1 1/2 oz.) dry gin
  • 30 mL (1 oz.) Oasis apple juice
  • 20 mL (2/3 oz.) lime juice
  • 15 mL (1/2 oz.) honey
  • 2 basil leaves
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 slice of apple or lemon

For the complete recipe, click here!

  1. The Red Snapper

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of gin
  • 4 ounces of Oasis tomato juice
  • 1/2 ounce of lemon juice
  • 6 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 pinches of black pepper
  • 2 pinches of celery salt
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 1 stalk of celery

For the complete recipe, click here!

  1. The Greyhound Classic

Ingredients

2 ounces of gin
4 ounces of Oasis Ruby Red grapefruit juice

For the full recipe, click here!

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