The Foghorn is a refreshing mix of gin and ginger beer, and I think it qualifies as a great substitute for gin and tonic if you don’t like the flavor or bitterness in tonic water.
This post may contain affiliate links. This post is meant for those of legal drinking age.
What is the Foghorn?
One of the Waldorf Astoria’s oldest and more loved cocktails, the Foghorn is a twist on the gin and tonic, or you could view it as a Moscow Mule with gin instead of vodka. It’s a quite old drink and it can easily be made into a lowball by simply adding less ginger beer. Originally it used sweetened gin, a type of gin called Old Tom. Nowadays that style of gin is more obscure but still available, and most bars serve a Foghorn with dry or London dry gin.
The Foghorn relies on the interplay between ginger and gin, with the help of a bit of lime juice. It’s not overwhelming and it’s not a strong drink either. But it’s definitely a good way to showcase a good gin.
Foghorn Cocktail Recipe
A simple highball that's refreshing and offers a beautiful blend of botanicals and ginger.
- 2 oz gin
- 0.5 oz lime juice
- 4 oz ginger beer
- In a shaker combine gin, ice, and lime juice. Shake well.
- Strain into rocks glass half-filled with ice.
- Top with ginger beer, stir, add lime garnish.
- I used London dry gin, you can use just gin if you like it better.
- Expressing a bit of lime into the drink will add a lot of flavor.
When is this drink best ?
Since it’s a highball, I think Foghorn works great at any point. It’s refreshing, relaxed, casual, and really doesn’t get overwhelming. This can easily be in your hand at home relaxing, in the backyard, accompanying dinner, or just whenever you like it, really. None of the flavors lean one way or the other, so I think this could be served year-round. Maybe more in the wintertime, since it’s such a pale drink.
My thoughts on Foghorn
It’s a very light drink, and does not have a strong flavor. The ginger beer is a bit too subtle for my taste, but it actually made the gin palatable for once (I don’t really like gin). The lime juice is a nice touch, and I think expressing the lime onto the drink before stirring would help even more. Overall a very light, unassuming drink. Great sub for gin and tonic.
If you like Foghorn, you might also like…
Gin and tonic – a classic, just like the Foghorn but uses tonic water instead
Anejo Highball – also relies on a lot of ginger beer, but with rum instead
Caribeno – very light, rum-based, coconut water ties everything together
Floradora – a Foghorn with raspberry syrup
Vodka Press – vodka, Sprite, club soda
Notes, substitutes, and tips
Traditionally, you’d use Old Tom gin here (sweeter, and light amber in color). But modern renditions use dry or London dry gin. I used London dry gin, you can use whatever kind of gin you prefer. Make sure it’s a gin you really like since it’s going to shine here.
A flavored gin might work great here, especially to give this somewhat plain highball a bit of a boost.
This is not a sweet drink. The only sweetness comes from the ginger beer, which isn’t terribly sweet to begin with. If you think this needs some help, consider adding 0.25 of simple syrup.