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Beat the heat with this always-refreshing Sparkling Orange Lemon Gin Cooler Cocktail! Made with 5 ingredients, it’s an easy sipper for summer with layers of bright citrus flavor.
Make your summer cocktail sparkle!
Your search for refreshing summer drinks isn’t complete without this Sparkling Orange Lemon Gin Cooler Cocktail. It’s a gin cocktail made with orange juice and lemon juice, and finished with sparkling water. You won’t be able to get enough of the fresh and bright flavors!
The layers of freshly squeezed citrus juice topped with bubbly sparkling water are what make this summer cocktail feel extra special. Just like my Boozy Watermelon Punch and Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade, every sip is well-balanced and goes down easy. It’s a must-have drink when you want to cool off in the summer heat or wind down during the backyard barbecue.
Inspired by a classic cocktail
I find a lot of inspiration for cocktail recipes in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book. This gin and orange juice cocktail takes after the Orange Blossom Cooler from page 202. It’s made with almost all of the same ingredients but I added lemon juice and simple syrup for easy sipping and extra brightness.
What juice goes with gin?
Maybe gin and tonics aren’t for you… that’s ok! You can pair gin with all kinds of mix-ins, including fruit juice. Orange juice, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, and lime juice pair especially well with gin. They add a refreshing quality to the otherwise botanical spirit.
And if you’re slowly introducing yourself to gin, learn how to enjoy it the right way by using this guide, 8 of the Best Gin Mixers, from Vinepair.
Ingredients you need
The 5 ingredients in this orange gin cocktail are fruity and simple. Once they come together, they transform into a refreshing and sparkling summer drink! Here’s what you need:
Use the orange juice you like, whether that’s freshly squeezed or store-bought. I prefer to squeeze fresh oranges with a citrus reamer myself. But, if you’re craving an orange cooler drink in a hurry, store-bought is a-ok. Simply is my go-to brand!
If you opt for freshly squeezed, juice 2 to 3 valencia or tangerine oranges 1 to 2 days in advance. Keep the juice in a sealed container in the fridge, then pull it out whenever you need fresh OJ for a refreshing summer cocktail!
Gin is a clear distilled spirit made from juniper and other botanicals and aromatics, like angelica root, citrus peel, lemongrass, and herbs. These ingredients give the spirit a unique flavor profile, with piney, evergreen notes. You can find it in endless cocktail recipes, like the Negroni, French 77, and Corpse Reviver No. 2.
In this gin cooler recipe, stick with a mid-priced bottle of gin, like Hendricks, The Botanist, or Tanqueray. Splurging on a top-shelf brand would almost be a waste because the intricate flavors are hidden behind the citrus juices and syrup.
Lastly, this recipe calls for 1.5 ounces of gin in each of the two cocktails. If you prefer your gin coolers to be on the stronger side, add up to 2 ounces instead.
This liquid sugar syrup is easy to make from scratch and is a crucial ingredient for sweetness and balance. To make it yourself, heat a 1:1 ratio of white granulated sugar and water in a pot on the stove until the sugar dissolves. Set it aside to cool, then use it in cocktail recipes, desserts, fruit salads, coffee drinks, and more.
Fresh lemon juice adds another layer of brightness while helping to balance the entire cocktail. You can use bottled lemon juice if that’s what you already have at home, but freshly squeezed is always best!
Finishing the cocktail with fizzy water balances all of the flavors and helps each sip taste super refreshing. If you don’t have sparkling water, use club soda instead. Or, if all you have is tonic water, use it as a substitute but know that it will add a distinct bitterness to the drink.
Lastly, remember to only add the sparkling water until right before serving. Pour it in too early and you run the risk of missing out on the fizzy, sparkling bubbles.
Tips to make the best gin coolers
Make the best gin cocktail by following these helpful tips:
Shaken, not stirred
There’s a big difference between shaking vs. stirring cocktails. Shaking, which is the method you want to use in this recipe, properly aerates and dilutes the drink, and helps it become ice-cold. Stirring is the more appropriate method for spirit-forward drinks, like a Negroni or unflavored martinis because it slowly dilutes the drink and creates a smooth mouthfeel.
Use these cocktail-shaking tips when putting this recipe together:
- I like to shake the ingredients using a Boston shaker. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, use a sealed mason jar or any airtight container instead.
- Shake for about 30 seconds or until the outside of the shaker feels very cold.
- Always use fresh ice, not the freezer-burnt ice cubes at the back of your freezer because the flavor of the ice will make its way into the cocktail. If your ice tastes off, so will your finished cocktail.
Customize the flavor
Get creative here and mix and match the ingredients to delight your taste buds. Use any of these ideas for inspiration:
- Add a splash of fresh lime juice.
- A few drops of grenadine will add a delightful punch of pomegranate and a subtle red hue.
- Replace the orange juice with pineapple juice or grapefruit juice.
- Not a fan of gin? Use vodka, white rum, or silver tequila instead.
- Use blood orange juice for a darker hue.
Make it a mocktail!
Not into the alcohol? Simply omit the gin for a just-as-refreshing non-alcoholic orange cooler.
Make a big batch
This recipe makes 2 cocktails but you can easily make a larger batch when you need to serve a crowd. Perfect for summer pool parties and get-togethers, all you need to do is:
- Double, triple, or even quadruple the ingredients in the recipe card;
- Pour everything except the sparkling water into a pitcher and keep it in the fridge a few hours ahead of time or overnight.
- Add the sparkling water right before serving and enjoy!
🎉 It's time to cook! 🎉
Alright, friend! It's your turn to make this delish recipe for your next get-together.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ When you do, please leave a comment and star rating below so we can hear what you think! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Orange Lemon Gin Cooler Cocktail
- 4 ounces orange juice about 2 oranges
- 3 ounces gin
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- 1 ounces lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 4 ounces sparkling water
- Optional: orange wedges to garnish
- Shake all ingredients, except sparkling water, together.
- Evenly divide between two glasses filled with ice.
- Top with sparkling water, stir and enjoy!