Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Warm Days Call For Cool Gin Cocktails

A gin and tonic, that ever-so-English cocktail, is pretty much the perfect drink on warm days like we're having this week. The botanical bite of the gin, the slightly salty, metallic tang of the tonic with a squeeze of lime over ice is a nice refresher to sip in the back yard and pretend that the rains won't come back until October, that it's July in Portland instead of May.

Another favorite gin cocktail of mine is the gimlet, which, like a proper martini, cannot be taken seriously if it's made with vodka. Legend has it that the gimlet, like the G&T, was created as a way to get English sailors to consume citrus (the lime juice) to ward off scurvy. But really, stories like that, or the debate about how the gimlet got its name—the awl-like tool or Gen. Gimlette?—are just something to occupy the time as you sip and watch the droplets of condensation drip down the side of your glass.

These musings came about because my brother was in San Francisco recently and brought me a gift of gin from a new place in Sebastopol called Spiritworks Distillery. A young couple, American Ashby Marshall and her husband, Englishman Timo Marshall, are buying organic local wheat which they mill, mash, ferment and distill on premises. The result is a floral, botanical gin on the spectrum between Hendrick's and Aviation, which I personally think would make a lovely gimlet.

I may just have one in the back yard this evening and dream of those summer evenings in July.


2 oz. gin
1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup

To make simple syrup, in a small mixing bowl stir 1 c. sugar (or superfine baker's sugar) into 1 c. water until dissolved.

Fill cocktail shaker with ice, add ingredients, shake very well and strain into martini glass. Garnish with lime wedge.


Anonymous said...

Let's hear it for gin season! Here's another lime-a-licious gin cocktail we concocted a few summers ago, the Lime Wedgie:

Muddle in shaker or pint glass until mint is well crushed:
Handful of mint leaves
1/4 lime, cut in 4 wedges
1 tablespoon Rose’s lime juice
~1 oz. simple syrup
3 or 4 ice cubes

2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
2 oz. gin

Shake vigorously and strain into high ball or hurricane filled with ice. Slip in several lime wedges and top with a mint sprig.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Can't wait to try this one! (Michel's cocktails are always spectacular!)