ragbag asked: is there another decent mixed drink that uses gin? is there another decent mixed drink that uses tonic? or are gin and tonic the most monogamous ingredients in the universe?
(please keep in mind: <i>decent</i> is the key word word here)
For once, Raynor, I trump you in the historical trivia division. Gin was actually the only thing people put in cocktails back in the bad old days. Referring to my copy of Duffy’s Standard Bartender’s Guide (Garden City edition, June 1940), we find a mere two pages of vodka-based cocktails. That’s all! No one wanted vodka! The only people in America in 1940 that drank vodka were Russians, Henry Roth, and Communist Hollywood screenwriters who’d go on to testify in front of HUAC fifteen years later. Everyone else drank gin, with the exception of the people that drank bourbon. And all of those people were cross-eyed Lost Causers from twang-holes like Louisville, Orlando and Alpharetta, Georgia.
But back to Duffy’s, it’s pages and pages of gin-based recipes. So there’s a ton of decent gin-based cocktails in the world, and even though I don’t like gin all that much — I think it tastes like Christmas trees — here’s a few drinks I’d whip up for you if you came by S. 12th for the Mexico-Nigeria match:
The Racquet Club. I am not allowed in racquet clubs anymore because of my radical socialist political beliefs and uniformly poor personal hygiene, but they can’t stop me from mixing their oh-so-precious bourgie clubhouse cocktail drinks in the comfort of my own home.
- 2/3 English gin
- 1/3 dry vermouth
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Stir with ice and strain into highball glass.
Princeton. I am not allowed at Princeton anymore because of my radical socialist political beliefs about the presidency of Woodrow Wilson and uniformly poor personal hygiene, but they can’t stop me from mixing their oh-so-precious Cap and Gown Club cocktail drinks in the comfort of my own home.
- 1 jigger dry gin
- 1/3 jigger port
- 2 dashes of orange bitters
- Stir with ice and strain into a highball glass. Serve with a twist of lemon peel.
Monte Carlo Imperial. I am not allowed in the Monte Carlo anymore because…no, actually, that’s not true. I really like the Monte Carlo. It’s on 3rd Avenue North near Target Field, it’s a great place for a drink before or after a ballgame, it has tin ceilings and they serve a Madison-style Plaza Burger, and it’s where I once witnessed the greatest taxicab driver/parking lot attendant kerfuffle of my lifetime.
- 1/2 dry gin
- 1/4 lemon juice
- 1/4 white creme de menthe
- Shake well with ice and strain into a highball glass. Fill with Champagne.
So there’s three, all thoroughly decent. As far as tonic is concerned, I never use it. I prefer soda water and simply take my chances with malaria.