Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Today we talk about one of my favorite drinks, GIN.

Gin is one of those alcohols that you either love or hate. I honestly hated it for a long time, mostly because I was only exposed to low quality Gordon's while drinking at the Army E-Club at Katterbach. Nothing says headache like a bad Gin Hangover.

But later in life, my friend Mike introduced me to Bombay Sapphire, and it was all downhill from there. The combination of 10 ingredients (almond, lemon peel, licorice, juniper berries, orris root, angelica, coriander, cassia, cubeb, and grains of paradise) all come together to make an elixir that can be quite refreshing.

From Gin and Tonics (little tonic water for me)to Gimlets, Gin Fizz (Hate) to Salty Dogs (loves me some Grapefruit)...Gin is just a great all round mixer.

My personal favorite though is a Dirty Gin Martini (extra dry with three olives), and to get more specific....only as my wife Debi makes them.

In fact, last night I asked her to make me one out of the blue and of course (being the great wife that she is) went out and bought a new bottle of Bombay and made the best ones I have had in a long time.

Of course, like many drinks, her recipe is secret...but here is a good ol'standby.

Standard gin martini

Many contend that the gin martini is the only mix fitting to wear the name "martini," and all other cocktails are impostors. We love a good gin martini, but we say "hogwash" to the naming issue.


* 6 ounces of freezing Bombay Sapphire or Mercury gin.
* 5 drops of Noilly Pratt dry vermouth.
* 2 small twists of lemon rind.
* 2 Picholine olives.

The mix

* Fill a glass martini shaker about 3/4 full of cracked, clean ice.
* Pour your gin into the shaker and let stand for sixty seconds. Count down from sixty to zero.
* Approach your shaker with caution, and lovingly apply the lid.
* Shake, shake, shake. About fifteen, vigorous, diagonal shakes should do the trick.
* Put that shaker down and get two well chilled martini glasses from the fridge or freezer. Allow the shaker to rest for about another sixty seconds.
* Into each glass drop two drops of vermouth (the fifth drop is just for good luck).
* Each glass gets a twist and an olive (the olive is optional--though we love em).
* Strain your very chilly gin into each glass.
* Chink and enjoy.

We use various glasses at our house, but this is my favorite. It's more stable, keeps the drink colder and you don't have any diluting after effects of water on a frozen glass.

Finally, regarding the picture that opens this blog. It's entitled Gin Lane and is by an artist named William Hogarth. It's commonly associated with the companion piece Beer Street and would make a great print for any bar. I had seen this print several times before and it came up when I went to Wikipedia on Gin. While this one of my favorites by this is not THE Favorite. That is reserved for his work called "Four Times of Day", most particularly "Night". Why is that my favorite, well BROTHER Hogarth depicts drunken Masons going home after lodge in London. I love the characters and I personally like the plate better than the painting. It creates a snapshot in history and is a great conversation piece amongst the brothers. What's everyone else's opinion?

1 comment:

  1. Gin is a real man's drink, from a time past. Taste like a X-mas that still plugged in. I agree though, skip the cheap stuff and it will treat you well. Can't go wrong with Bombay Saphire or Tanq.


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