Monday, August 29, 2011

Three New Summer Cocktails (or Sippin' on Gin and Cukes*)

This summer we've been enjoying a rotation of three cocktails that we've never made before. It was high time for some new drinks. The margarita lost her appeal years ago, followed by the mojito. Pierce Brosnan ruined the mojito for me. He ordered one in Die Another Day and his affected Latin accent zapped allure right out of the drink. Plus, it's rare to find a mojito that compares with  Honga's, especially the PiƱa one. Mmmm.

The number of ingredients in a cocktail is inversely proportional to my enjoyment of same but correlates to hangover intensity. The reason for the latter has to do with sugar. I love the eight-ingredient make that ten-ingredient Mai Tai but there's just too much juice in there. Makes my head hurt. Three is the magic number of ingredients in the Summer of 2011 cocktails.

They are...

Hendrick's Gin and Tonic. What I love about it: the cucumber garnish and essence in the gin itself makes for a very clean drink. If spas had bars they would all serve these.

To make a HGT: fill a 10 ounce glass with ice. Pour in one shot of Hendrick's. Top with tonic. Stir gently. Add three round, thin slices of English cucumber. Serve and enjoy.

I've been meaning to dig out a tool one of my cooking school teachers gave me - it's a channeling tool, used commonly to remove dark green ribbons from a lime. You can also use it to carve out the edges of a cucumber so that, when you slice it, the circles have fancy ridges.

The Dark and Stormy - What I love about it:  the spicy kick of ginger. Spend any time in the Caribbean, or pal around with anyone who has, and you'll end up with one of these in your hand. This was the case when we bare boated a few winters ago in the BVIs. That trip set us off on a goose chase for a sufficiently spicy ginger beer. Goslings, sold in Chitown at Binny's, does the trick tho not quite as well as some of the Caribbean microbrewers.

To make a DNS: Fill a 10-ounce glass with ice. Pour in a shot of Goslings Black Seal dark rum, then fill the rest of the way with Goslings Ginger Beer. Squeeze a wedge of lime into the glass, then drop the wedge in. Stir gently and serve.

Moscow Mule - What I love about it: the simple 1-2-3 proportions. And the lime. I am a sucker for a fresh squeezed lime juice.  Also, the vessel. If you wanna be truly authentic about you drink out of a (fairly large) copper mug. A drink with a dedicated vessel? Awesome.

To make an M2: Search online for a copper mug. Quit when you realize it's silly/extravagant/stupid to make said purchase. Make a mental note to buy them as a hostess gift for someone. Squeeze lots of limes, like a dozen. You drink M2 in the company of lots of friends, so you're going to need lots of juice. Fill any sized glass with ice. Top with one shot vodka, two shots of fresh lime and three shots of ginger beer. The proportions are 1-2-3. Stir and enjoy.

* If only Dynamite Hack would do a version of this song, clad in crisp country club whites holding Gin and Cukes!

That's all.

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