Looking to learn how to make a classic Eastside Cocktail at home?
Our quick and easy Eastside Cocktail guide offers a list of the world’s best gin brands, must-have bartender tools and equipment, history of the popular gin cocktail and a recipe for a classic Eastside Cocktail.
This homemade Eastside Cocktail recipe features premium gin, lime juice, fresh mint, cucumber slices, simple syrup & lemon bitters.
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Eastside Cocktail History
The Eastside Cocktail was created in 2004 by bartender George Delgado at Libation in New York City. It was originally served as a long drink, then Christy Pope took the recipe to the acclaimed cocktail bar Milk & Honey where the straight-up version was popularized.
The popular drink is a riff on the Southside using cucumber, an ingredient originally inspired by Hendrick’s Gin having recently launched when the cocktail was first created.
Refreshing and a summertime favorite, while also useful in warding off scurvy (as the British Navy found in the 1800’s), this easy homemade gin drink can be enjoyed year-round.
Best Selling Gin
Gin has certainly enjoyed a boom in popularity at cocktail bars in recent years. You’ll find fantastic premium gins distilled from Scotland to Muskoka. Here are some of the world’s best selling gins and some of our local small batch favourites:
- Malfy Gin: is an Italian brand inspired by the scenic Amalfi Coast. Malfy produces a classic dry gin as well as flavoured bottles featuring lemon, grapefruit and blood orange.
- Gordon’s Gin: The world’s top selling gin brand is owned by Diageo. The brand’s pink iteration has undoubtedly helped to fuel its success. Gordon’s has also unveiled a line of new innovative products including two “ultra-low-alcohol” pre-mixed gin and tonic sparkling beverages and Gordon’s Gin-infused popsicles.
- Bombay Sapphire Gin: Bacardi-owned Bombay Sapphire is one of the worlds best-selling gins. Bombay Sapphire kicked off a new limited edition range with the launch of a gin inspired by summer in the English countryside.
- Tanqueray: Diageo-owned Tanqueray launched a new marketing campaign developed to shift consumers’ attention from “gimmicks” to flavour and unveiled a range of bottled ready-to-drink gin and tonics, made with its London Dry Gin and Flor de Sevilla Distilled Gin.
- Beefeater Gin: Pernod Ricard’s flagship gin brand is Beefeater. The brand launched strawberry-flavoured Beefeater Pink in 2018 and further expanded its portfolio with the debut of a new blood orange-flavoured gin.
- The Botanist: is produced by Bruichladdich Distillery on the Isle of Islay in Scotland. The famous Islay Scotch Distillery produces an aromatic gin whose ingredients are sourced locally.
- Aviation Gin: is an American dry gin produced in Portland, Oregon. Canadian heartthrob from Vancouver, Ryan Reynolds is one of the distillery’s owners, swoon!
- Edinburgh Gin: This craft distillery in Edinburgh produces a parade of flavoured gin bottles including rhubarb & ginger gin, raspberry gin, bramble & honey gin, black currant & anise, strawberry & pink peppercorn and pomegranate & rose.
- Dillon’s Distillery: This Beamsville producer makes small batch gins including rose gin, cherry gin and strawberry gin.
- Muskoka Brewery: This Ontario craft brewery produces a London Dry and spicy pink peppercorn gin.
Travel to Taste the World’s Best Gins
There’s no better way to familiarize yourself with the Eastside Cocktail then by planning a vacation to visit the world’s best gin distilleries.
The world’s most famous gins can be found in the United Kingdom as well as neighbouring Ireland. The booming gin trend has produced a high demand for premium gins produced by distilleries in Canada and America.
We’ve visited a handful of gin distilleries in Britain as well as a chic gin cocktail bar at the Shangri-La Hotel in Taipei. The gin craze has officially travelled from England to North America, Asia and beyond!
In Scotland we visited Edinburgh Gin for a tour and tasting before enjoying a road trip to the Isle of Islay, which is best known for its famous Islay whisky distilleries. One of the best things to do on the Isle of Islay is pay a visit to Bruichladdich Distillery, which produces its signature whisky as well as Botanist Gin.
In Brighton we visited a tiny micro-distillery called Brighton Gin, one of the best things to do in Brighton for G&T fans. We also stayed at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire to sip our way through the jaw-dropping home of renowned Bombay Sapphire.
Looking to plan the ultimate road trip of Canada to discover the best gins?
Our favourite Canadian gins include Ungava in Quebec, Tawse and Dillon’s in Niagara, Muskoka Brewery in Ontario cottage country, Kinsip House of Fine Spirits in Prince Edward County, North of 7 in Ottawa, Dixon’s in Guelph, Eau Claire Distillery in Alberta, Blackfox in Saskatoon, Ironworks Gin in Nova Scotia and Long Table Distillery in British Columbia.
Best Bartender Tools & Cocktail Equipment
Before hosting a swanky Eastside Cocktail soiree you’ll need to ensure you have the best bartender tools and cocktail equipment.
- Cocktail Kit: cocktail kits are the perfect gift for newbie mixology fans as they include basic bartender tools like a jigger, shaker and spoon.
- Cocktail Shaker: a bartenders best friend. Purchase a premium cocktail shaker to muddle or shake up your favourite pink gin cocktails.
- Cocktail Glassware: make sure your bar is stocked with a selection of unique glassware to show off your favourite cocktail creations.
- Hawthorne Strainer: this unique strainer features tightly wound coils and perforated holes. It keeps ice and other large ingredients like lime wedges in your cocktail shaker rather than in the glass.
- Bar Spoons: slender and long bar spoons are a must-have when stirring drinks.
- Bottle Opener: easily open bottles of beer or cider with the flick of your wrist or purchase a corkscrew for fine wine.
- Pouring Spout: once you’ve opened a new bottle of gin insert these affordable pourers to make cocktail assembly a breeze.
- Cutting Board: purchase a petite cutting board for your bar to slice garnishes or citrus wedges like lime, orange, lemon or grapefruit.
- Ice Bucket: chill bottles of gin quickly in an ice bucket or keep by the bar when muddling gin mixers into cool creations.
- Ice Crusher: fans of the Mint Julep love an ice crusher.
- Ice Cube Kit: we suggest purchasing a selection of ice cube trays. Silicone styles are our favourite as they’re easy to clean and are available in various shapes and sizes.
- Jigger: use a jigger to accurately measure spirits, juices, syrups and shrubs.
- Juicer: invest in an electronic juicer or buy an affordable hand-held to easily juice fresh citrus like lemons and limes.
- Muddler: fans of the Mojito love a sturdy muddler to mix mint and lime. Muddler’s are handy for any cocktail featuring ingredients that need a pounding like fresh herbs or citrus wedges.
- Citrus Peeler & Zester: adorn your craft cocktails with a thick citrus peel or finer ribbons of lime or lemon zest.
- Rimmer: Bloody Mary and Caesar lovers should outfit their bar with a handy rimmer for salting and sugaring glassware.
Eastside Cocktail Ingredients
Our quick Eastside Cocktail is made with fresh and healthy ingredients:
- Gin: we suggest using Bombay Sapphire, The Botanist and Aviation Gin.
- Mint: the drink is muddled and garnished with fresh mint leaves.
- Cucumber: we prefer to use slices of fresh English cucumbers.
- Lime Juice: we always suggest juicing fresh limes as you’ll taste the difference. Do not use store bought lime juice!
- Simple Syrup: you can easily make homemade simple syrup, which is prepared by heating equal parts water and white sugar.
- Bitters: add a few dashes of bitters to round out your Eastside cocktail. We suggest using Lemon Bitters or classic Angostura Bitters.
Eastside Cocktail Tips
This refreshing Eastside Cocktail recipe is easy to make at home, ready to serve in under 5 minutes.
We love serving this cucumber mint lime drink in the Summer. The refreshing gin cocktail is a crowd pleaser at garden parties, family barbecues and cottage cocktail hours.
If you find the drink too tart feel free to add additional simple syrup or a splash of cucumber juice.
The recipe below serves one person. If you’re hosting a large gathering feel free to multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and muddle the drink in a punch bowl or jug rather than a cocktail shaker.
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Best Eastside Cocktail Recipe
Eastside Cocktail Recipe
- Cocktail Shaker
- Shot Glass
- Coup Glass
- Cocktail Muddler
- 8 Mint Leaves
- 2 Cucumber Slices
- 2 oz Gin
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 1 oz Simple Syrup
- 2 dashes Lemon Bitters
- Slice of cucumber and mint leaf garnish
- Muddle cucumber and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker.
- Add gin, lime juice, simple syrup, lime bitters and ice. Shake for 30-45 seconds until well combined.
- Strain into a chilled coup glass. Garnish with cucumber slice and mint leaf.
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