My guide to drinking Gin in the Spring–with classic tipples. The snow is beginning to melt and soon green will begin to appear. Spring is upon us and its time to shake off the hibernation cobwebs and load up on energy and excitement as the mating period is about to begin! Here are five classics gin cocktails with my recommended ratios that I believe are best suited for Spring:
The Bees Knees-originated during our prohibition in the 1920s. The phrase “bee’s knees” was prohibition-era slang for “top notch”. Citrus & honey were often used to mask the cheap smell & taste of bathtub gin; believed to be the favorite of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I recommend a rye-based or aged gin that adds a bit of “weight” to the mix. If you have a a sweet tooth and have a Winnie the Poo fondness for honey, try it with the craft honey-heavy gin, Bar Hill.
2 oz of gin
0.5 oz of Runny Honey*
0.5 oz of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Shake ingredients over ice and serve in a coup.
*Runny honey is a British mixologist term for diluted honey (1:1) water to honey. Caution: do not make massive amounts of Runny Honey ahead of time; water is introduced to honey it will inevitable combine with yeast (naturally in the air) and start the chain reaction of converting the sugar to alcohol making a prehistoric mead…or maybe you want to do this intentionally…
Created by Harry MacElhone of Harry’s New York bar in Paris sometime in the 1920s. The name derives in honor of the work of Dr. Voronoff, who attempted to delay the ageing process by transplanting monkey testicles…eh…cheers! A fine example of an absinthe cocktail that is well balanced by sweet and citrus. Any strength of juniper gin can work in this cocktail, but I would tend to go to a heavier juniper gin.
1.5oz of gin
0.25 oz absinthe
½ orange fresh-squeezed
Heavy dash of real grenadine
Shaken over ice and strained into a coup glass
Corpse Reviver #2
The most popular of the Corpse Reviver cocktails, intended to be a “hair of the dog” hangover. First published in 1930 in Harry Craddock’s Savoy cocktail book with these instructions: “to be taken before 11am, or whenever steam and energy are needed.” I recommend a heavy juniper gin.
1.0 oz of gin
0.5 oz of Lillet Blanc
0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
0.5 oz of Cointreau
Dash of absinthe
Shaken over ice and strained into a coup
Ramos Gin Fizz
The secret recipe of the Imperial Cabinet Bar in New Orleans that was created in 1888. Over 20 bartenders were working at once, making nothing but this cocktail and still struggled to keep up with demand. The wildly popular & profitable bar like many fine institutions, however, met its end with American prohibition. At the onset of prohibition, Henry Ramos’ brother as a “screw you” to the government, published the secret recipe in a full page advertisement. This is a remarkable classic drink with the perfect balance of sweet and sour and a fluffy mouth feel. The longer you shake the ingredients without ice and then with ice the better-10 minutes should yield a wonderful drink and a great arm workout.
Any strength of juniper gin can work in this cocktail
1.5 oz of Gin
0.5 oz of fresh-squeezed lemon
0.5 oz of fresh-squeezed lime
0.5 agave nectar with drops of orange blossom water added
0.5 oz egg white
1.0 oz double heavy cream
Dry shake all ingredients, then add ice and shake
Pour over ice and top w soda in collins
Created sometime between 1911 and 1915 by Chinese-born Ngiam Tong Boon at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel, Singapore. There is huge debate over the original name and ingredients, and not even the Raffles Hotel knows for sure. Gin, Cherry Brandy & Benedictine are certain and the cherry brandy is primarily what distinguishes it from other slings. Such a famous creation that so few have actually tasted.
Recommend a heavy juniper gin or rye-based gin
1.5 oz of gin
1.0 oz Benedictine
0.5 oz Cherry Heering
0.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon
Stir in highball glass filled with ice and top w/ soda
2 dashes of orange & angostura bitters