Wines are often described in terms of layered flavors, the first tastes you sense and then the ones that linger. I find it harder to achieve that complexity with cocktails but sometimes you really can achieve it.
This Gin Mojito may strike some as a serious cocktail sin. Mojio = Rum is a standard equation in the cocktail world.
Well, this drink will take you to a different world. It’s based on something called a Gin Cup in The Little Book of Gin Cocktails, but I’ve seriously modified it by drastically increasing the amount of sugar syrup. The result is fun. Your initial sip gives you a shot of very sweet mint flavor. Then the gin kicks in, overpowers, and dominates. You’ll actually get a little sense of gin heat and spice.
Gin is the perfect base for this cocktail. Gin’s distinctive flavor simply cannot be suppressed. Here, the sweet mint flavor gets a head start — the hare — but good old gin — the tortoise — eventually wins out. This race occurs right in your mouth, and you are the winner.
Yield: 1 drink
- 2 ounces sugar syrup
- 10 mint leaves
- Crushed iced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 ounces of gin
Put the sugar syrup in a flat-bottomed cocktail glass and add the mint leaves. Muddle until the leaves are thoroughly crushed. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the lemon juice and gin. Stir gently with a spoon.
Drink and be ready for a second round.
Source: Brian O’Rourke
Suzen is crocheting and she’s pulling on the yarn so fast it’s making a purring sound. There is a serious look on her face.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Nothing,” she says, not looking up.
Well, something is wrong and I have to help.
Suzen was recently diagnosed with PAD. While it should not prove fatal, it can be quite painful. Fortunately, she is not alone. Millions of Americans unknowingly suffer from PAD. I’m looking for a support group.
Oh, what is PAD? It’s Pre-Party Anxiety Disorder.
We’re giving a party this weekend to celebrate the winding down of summer. No sooner had Suzen issued the last phone call invitation then it began.
“What are we going to serve? What if the hurricane hits? I can’t do the focaccia again because Alice had it here last month.” And on. And on.
Being a systems kind of guy, I sat with her and we’ve worked our way through the menu. Dish by dish. She’s calmer but wants something different at each step along the way.
And as bartender, she wanted me to come up with a good gin drink. Well, I did, and I tested it last weekend. Testing seemed to start out well.
“This is a good drink,” she said.
Then it stopped being well.
“It has the goop in it, doesn’t it?” she eyed me and I had to look away. She’s referring to coco lopez, that coconut stuff in pina coladas.
“I haven’t served you that in five years,” I said in defense.
“I hate it. You know that. Stop trying,” she said warmly. Something about coco lopez clogging the arteries although I think that is an urban myth. How can anything so tasty be bad for you?
Back to my cocktail bookshelf. I wanted something summery with no coco lopez. I even vowed not to have any sugar syrup. Suzen’s cousin Karen was in the kitchen as I was testing, came up to me, and announced, “You make everything too sweet. You make my teeth hurt.” I bit my tongue and did not tell to find a better dentist.
This is a great gin drink, tropical with juice flavor and vibrancy that is ideal for a party. This recipe is for 3 drinks. It easily scales to a pitcher.
The recipe is British — where else would you find a gin recipe? The Little Book of Gin Cocktails was published in 2000, just as the current rash of great cocktail books began. I love this book because it is a bit pre-trendy, avoiding some of the wilder ideas and additions. This drink is perfect example. Just gin and juices.
Oh, Suzen likes it. And I can vouch that it reduces anxiety. Try it for your PAD, too.
Yield: Serves 3
- 12 ice cubes
- Sugar for rimming
- 6 more ice cubes
- 6 ounces gin
- 4 ounces lemon juice
- 4 ounces passion fruit juice
- 2 ounces orange juice
- Soda water
Crush the ice cubes and place in a bowl.
Juice the lemons and reserve the lemon halves. Run a lemon half around the rim of a cocktail glass, then dip the glass into sugar. [See my recent post for Citrus Sugar for rimming!]
Put the gin and juices in a cocktail shaker. Add the 6 ice cubes and shake vigorously until cold.
Pour into the prepared glasses. If you want garnish with a slice of lemon.
Be prepared for compliments and requests for more.
Source: Little Book of Gin Cocktails by Hamlyn