Classic cocktail making for beginners

Classic cocktail making for beginners

We are often asked about classic cocktail making for beginners so use this blog to master these easy gin cocktail recipes, from an elegant Martini to a tasty Tom Collins. The dictionary defines "classic" as: serving as a standard of excellence, of recognized value; simple, elegant, not greatly subject to changes in tastes or fashion; demonstrating enduring quality; remarkably and instructively typical.
So, get creative with your Secret Garden Lemon Verbena and Wild gins part of our luxury gin range made on site at our Distillery Garden just outside Edinburgh.

The Gin Martini


With its basic ingredients and an air of refined panache, the Martini is a classic cocktail that cannot be outshone by the latest trends. from James Bond widely recognised as “shaken not stirred” to Ernest Hemmingway's pronouncement in A Farewell to Arms, “I’ve never tasted anything so cool and clean...They make me feel civilized,” this gin-based cocktail has been and will continue to be an iconic staple of the cocktail cosmos.

What you will need:

  • 60ml Secret Garden Lemon Verbena Gin
  • 10ml Dry Vermouth
  • Juice of 1 lemon 

Build into glass, mix and serve with olives as a garnish

The Gimlet

"Mad Men” fans may recognize the gimlet as Betty Draper’s drink of choice, but her own generation likely knew it from Raymond Chandler’s 1953 novel The Long Goodbye. “A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else,” Terry Lennox tells detective Philip Marlowe. “It beats martinis hollow.”

 Indeed, that is how the recipe is originally set down in the famous Savoy Cocktail book of 1930. Here are The Secret Garden Distillery we believe fresh lime juice makes an even better Gimlet. Enjoy this cocktail with our London Dry Gin- Wild, for a well-balanced elegant drink.

What you will need*:

  • 50ml Secret Garden Wild
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Stir in sugar syrup or sugar and sweeten to your taste.

 Shake with ice and serve in a coupe and garnish.

*Chill your glass prior to serving. 

The Tom Collins

The first recorded Tom Collins recipe is from the second edition of Jerry Thomas' book, “The Bartender's Guide”, published in 1876. Today, the original recipe is followed almost precisely around the world, however now we have a family of Collins-  6 variations on this classic cocktail from Ron to John.

What you will need:

  • 50ml Secret Garden Lemon Verbena
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 25ml sugar syrup
  • 125ml chilled soda water

Shake all ingredients (exc. Soda) with ice and serve in a hi-ball. Top with soda and garnish.

The Bees Knees

 Many believe that the Bee’s Knees cocktail was invented during Prohibition in the United States. The lemon juice and honey syrup were formerly used to mask the flavour of strong bathtub gins. Nowadays, this sweet, citrus cocktail is a staple for all bartenders around the world. This recipe uses our premium Wild gin made with an organic gin base.

What you will need:

  • 50ml Secret Garden Wild gin
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey

 Shake with ice and serve in a coupe and garnish with a lemon zest strip.