Bees_Knees

How to Drink Gin in the Spring

Bees_Knees

Photo by Flickr user Ashley Moore

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:

Bees Knees

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…

Monkey Gland

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

Singapore Sling

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

How to Drink Gin in the Winter

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Photo by Flickr User Raymond Shobe

Some drinkers believe that gin and other clear spirits are best enjoyed during warm, sunny weather and that darker spirits such as aged rums and whiskeys are best drank in the winter. These people are amateurs and should be tarred and feathered, or at the very least ignored.

The following are the Gintenders suggestions and his recommended proportions on classic gin cocktails that are perfect on cold nights…some are better known then others, but all when mixed with the right gin are delicious. And all along with over 70 gin combinations are available at Wisdom.

The Alexander

Created sometime before 1917. Although the Brandy Alexander is a famous variation, the original was certainly based on gin. The Alexander was a prohibition favorite because the other ingredients could mask harsh “bathtub” gin.

1.5 oz gin (recommend a heavy juniper gin, rye based gin or aged gin for this creamy delight)
0.75 oz crème de cacao
0.75 oz of heavy cream
Shake over ice and strain into coup
Garnish: nutmeg

The Bijou

Originated in the 1890s is believed to have been created by Harry Johnson. “Bijou” translates to “jewel” in French; gin represents diamonds, sweet vermouth-rubies, and Green Chartreuse-emeralds. This drink is a bold a high proof concoction, not for the faint of heart. The Gintender recommends dialing back the chartreuse to better balance the drink.

1.5 oz of gin (recommend a bold juniper gin)
.3 oz of Green Chartreuse
.5 oz of Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of orange bitters
Stir ingredients over ice and strain into a coup glass
Optional garnish: lemon zest

The Martinez

Now believed to be the precursor of the Martini, the first known recipe for this drink appears in “The Modern Bartender” from 1884. It is debated whether it originally called for Oude genever or old tom gin-which are about as far opposite on the gin flavor spectrum as one can get. Some believe that a man named Julio Richelieu created the drink in 1874 for a goldminer in the Californian town of Martinez, the Gintender just believes it is delicious.

1.5 oz of genever Oude (or any style of gin)
1.5 oz of Cinzano Red
Dash of Cointreau
2 dashes angostura bitters
Shake over ice and strain into a coup

White Lady

Created by Harry MacElhone in 1919, and then recreated by Harry in 1923 as proprietor at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France. This drink uses eggwhites which makes some squeamish due to salmonella fears…please decide for yourself. Why use raw eggwhites at all in a cocktail? Their impact on taste is negligible, but they do add a rich, silky, foam texture which is impossible to mimic.

1.5 oz gin (recommend a heavy juniper/spicy gin or rye based gin)
0.5 oz Cointreau
0.5 oz of fresh squeezed lemon
1.0 oz egg white
Dry shake all ingredients, then add ice and shake again. Strain into coup glass

Clover Club

One of the best known gin cocktails whose origin is shrouded in mystery, this cocktail may have originated at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia.
Believed to have been around since 1909.

1.5 oz gin (recommend a medium to heavy juniper gin)
1.0 oz dry vermouth
0.25 oz of fresh squeezed lemon
0.25 of grenadine or Guyot crème de cassis (black currant liqueur)
0.5 oz of egg white
Dry shake, then shake over ice and strain into coup