The second annual Ginvemberfest bash was bigger and better than ever. Thanks to everyone who made it out!
But most interesting about this year’s event was this year’s cocktail menu. In prior years my Gin cocktail menus have tended to by lopsided: too many cocktails for folks who don’t like gin -or- too many short and strong drinks with no ice. This year I strove to obtain a balance between the two. The “short and strong” vs. “long and iced” distinction was made long before I even began my research. I used it as kind of a guiding principle so that when I inevitable came up with a cocktail list which 17 short, strong, shaken cocktail that were 95% liquor [ask The Gin Wife, she’ll confirm that is what I originally came up with] that I had a way to talk myself down.
I then compiled a list of every cocktail I could find in my series of cocktail books, my favorite blogs, and even the back of my mind [Arsenic and Old Lace, I knew I wanted to make] and again tried to focus on what I could make with a vast archive of gin, and only two new ingredients.
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Bartenders in an ideal world should be like the librarians of the bar. Well-educated gatekeepers, masters of the Dewey Decimal System of the bar. Unrequited love? How about Whiskey. First date? Perhaps a fine Riesling. I fear that without having the guts to ask the bartender to make me “something new” I’d still be drinking Midori sours and Jack and Cokes.
My most recent gin cocktail discovery was the result of such a request. I told the bartender at a “speak-easy” in Queens that “I like Gin, and I want something exotic.” He went behind the counter and spent almost 5 minutes making my drink and returned to me with an “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
1.5 oz. gin (Plymouth gin is often specifically named)
.5 oz. Pastis
.5 oz Creme De Violette
.25 oz.Dry Vermouth
The juniper was up front, but the drink finished with hints of a floral fruitiness, likely the result of the Creme De Violette. It was garnished with a sliver of lemon rind. Its an elegant drink, and one that I think could be making a comeback (along with the Aviation) due to presence of a true Creme De Violette on the market for the first time a decade (their words, not mine).
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