If you're looking to know your London Dry from your Navy Strength or Old Tom and need some help choosing from the thousands of gins out there... GreatGins might just be the tonic.

GreatDrams GinspirationThis article originally appeared on GreatDrams, click here to view the original

As I’m sure you all know, gin is the cocktail spirit de jeur for many a mixologist in London, the UK and beyond. Berkley Group’s St. George Magazine asked me to put together my ideal gin cocktail, so I created The GreatGins Ginspiration

Gin is moving away from the image of little old ladies with their purple washes and knitting set beside a glass of G&T and towards a fresh new, youthful look, with innovative botanicals and flavours being experimented with.

People are in search of a drink that will bring them together with their friends instead of alcohol being the focus for the entire evening. Gin allows this through its versatility, being a key ingredient of many cocktails and also being enjoyed on its own.

There has been a rise in craft gins as well as a new spirit instilled into some of the regulars, with brands like Hendrick’s and one of my favourites, Bombay Sapphire embracing younger audiences.

Different variations of gin are also experiencing a new lease of life, with vintage recipes for things like Old Tom Gin and Sloe Gin making an appearance in bars and supermarkets all over the UK.

For my The GreatGins Ginspiration cocktail however, I chose to go rogue, to go bold and to go strong. 

I love a martini, and I clearly love Scotch, so figured I would make a Smokey Martini using:

100 ml gin
25 ml Lagavulin 8 Year Old Limited Edition
5 ml Bowmore 12 (mostly for the colour as the Laga is so light in hue)
Bacon to garnish

The method is simple, just pour all into a big glass (remember to freeze the gin first), then stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a second glass and garnish with some crispy bacon.

This twist on the classic martini is not for the feint hearted, The GreatGins Ginspiration itself is super-strong, as you will see from the quantities above, so make sure you’ve eaten first and are in a comfortable place! BUT power aside, it stands up to the best of the best cocktails out there, once you’ve mastered the simple version I made above head to Duke’s in Central London for a professional version.