Add a touch of naval glamour to your party with these classic gin cocktails. Compiled by Gabrielle Jaffe

Think cocktail and the first image that probably comes to mind is a fancy London bar, or perhaps a tuxedoed James Bond nursing a martini.
Actually many of the classic cocktails that prop up bar menus around the world were first invented at sea.
We spoke to Sean Harrison, the master distiller at Plymouth Gin – a brand whose history is intimately connected with the navy and the invention of classic cocktails – to get the lowdown on four fabulous gin mixes:
This naval recipe dates back to 1867. A combination of Plymouth Gin and Rose’s Lime Cordial was drunk on board ships in the vain hope of staving off the scourge of all sailors and explorers – scurvy.  The name is often dubiously credited to a Naval Medical Officer called Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette. Others attribute the name to the short sharp wood working tool or knife used to open barrels, also called a gimlet. However it came to be, its popularity spread beyond the confines of British Navy vessels and into bars where it is still sold today all around the world.
45ml Plymouth Navy Strength Gin
15ml Roses lime cordial
Lime for the garnish
1. Stir the gin and lime cordial with ice. The Navy Strength gin will require more stirring than the original
2. Strain into chilled V-shaped glass
3. To make the garnish, slice a ring from a fresh lime. Cut out the rind and pulp in the centre, so that you are left with one long thin strip of peel. Twist the peel into a corkscrew shape.
Invented by a doctor who made remedies from the indigenous flora and fauna of Venezuela, Angostura bitters proved to be a handy remedy for seasickness. British sailors added it to their gin rations with a splash of water. Pink Gin, as this mix became known, soon spread across the British Empire as a tonic for tropical stomach complaints. Today it makes for a beautiful, warm-coloured aperitif.
50ml Plymouth Navy Strength Gin
1 large dash of Angostura bitters
Lemon for garnish
1. Add the bitters to an empty mixing glass. Then add ice and stir for 10 seconds.
2. Swirl and strain off the excess water and bitters, then add the gin and stir again like a martini.
3. Serve without ice in a v-shaped glass. Add a lemon twist garnish (see step three of the Gimlet above for how to create this garnish).
By the late 19th century, cocktails weren’t just being mixed at sea – bartenders back on dry land were carefully crafting drinks for fashionable society, including one that would become perhaps the most classic cocktail of them all: the Martini. Some of the first recipes for martinis, listed in bartender’s guides from the early 20th century, which have now become mixologists’ bibles, specify Plymouth Gin by name in the ingredients.
50ml Plymouth Gin
Dry vermouth, to taste
Olives for garnish
1. Stir the gin and vermouth with ice. Use as much vermouth as you find preferable – 15ml of it is a good start.
2. Strain into a chilled V-shaped glass.
3. Garnish with three olives on a toothpick.
Drinking has a long history of bringing people together to share experiences and stories. The ‘Gin Pennant’ was a triangular green flag with a white cocktail glass emblazoned on it, which was hoisted on the halyard of any ship that wished to invite officers from other nearby vessels to join them for a drink. Invented by Plymouth Gin, the modern day Gin Pennant cocktail pays homage to this convivial naval tradition with a light and refreshing tipple that is perhaps best served off the back of a boat.
35 ml Plymouth Gin
15 ml Plymouth Sloe Gin
15ml Antica formula
10ml fresh lemon juice
10ml fresh orange juice
5ml sugar syrup
75ml soda water
Sprig of mint
Wedge of lemon
Orange twist for the garnish
1. Mix all the liquid ingredients together.
2. Pour into a copper tankard over chipped ice and stir.
3. Garnish with a sprig of mint, a thin wedge of lemon and a large orange twist.

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