The Gin Sling: 2 Ways to Make the Classic Sling Cocktail

Gin Sling Cocktail
Peter Harasty / Getty Images
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving

It is time to enjoy a mixed drink that is truly old-school! The Gin Sling is such a classic cocktail that it was an iconic American drink before anyone ever dreamed up the word cocktail.

The original slings would be made with gin, brandy, whiskey or rum. It was the way to mix up a drink almost decades before ​famous bartenders like Jerry Thomas stepped behind the bar.

A 'Modern' Gin Sling Recipe

In all honesty, this Gin Sling recipe is probably going to appeal most to modern drinkers. As you will see, it is a completely different drink than the traditional Gin Sling, but it has a lot of appeal to it.

There are many things to love about this Gin Sling. It is tall and refreshing with a perfect balance of sweet, sour, bitter and herbal. Quite frankly, it is a superb cocktail and a fantastic break from those easy gin and soda drinks like the Gin Rickey.


Steps to Make It

  1. Pour the ingredients (except soda) into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

  2. Strain into a chilled collins glass filled with ice.

  3. Top with soda.

  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.

A Few Tips for Making the Classic Gin Sling

  • When using lump sugar, muddle it with a little water first.

  • As with the other Gin Sling, replace the gin to create a Whiskey Sling, Rum Sling or Brandy Sling.

  • If you want to make a Hot [Insert Liquor Here] Sling, simply use hot water instead of cold.

A Traditional Gin Sling Recipe

It is finally time to enjoy the Gin Sling the way America's forefathers enjoyed it. As you can see, it is a  simple drink recipe and, frankly, is nothing more than diluting and sweetening a shot of gin. That said, for all its simplicity, it is a great drink.

In his book, Imbibe!, David Wondrich devotes four pages to the discussion of slings. It is a fascinating read for any cocktail history geek and many of the facts I've been slinging around are pulled from it.

Most interesting is Wondrich's note that other than the nutmeg, even Jerry Thomas had a hard time distinguishing the toddy from the sling. Whatever you do, don't forget the nutmeg! It is what makes this Gin Sling great.

To make this drink, dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in an old-fashioned glass with 1/2 ounce water. Add 2 ounces gin and a few ice cubes. Stir well and finish with freshly grated nutmeg.