|Please, come have a drink with me!|
The new year is upon us, and I hope it's not cliché but I'm making quite a few resolutions for the first month of the year. Mostly about cleansing my system: I am giving up alcohol, meat, dairy and sugar for two weeks, and the two following weeks will be a slow re-entry back to those things. I have never, ever given up sugar and to be perfectly frank, I am petrified. I am also working on other things in my life, both physically (be more active in the winter) and emotionally (be more grateful). I often don't give New Year's too much sway in my life, but this year I'm feeling it a bit more. I really, really want to be a better me. There's no quitting involved here, but there is a pause I feel is necessary.
But! I've still got one more day to revel in the indulgent things. And they are really good things. A while back the really great people at No. 3 Gin London Dry Gin sent me a spectacular present. Not only a bottle of No. 3 Gin, but bonus, The King's Ginger, an amazing ginger liqueur. They wanted to know if my Calamondin Cocktail would suit the No. 3 well. I have good news, it did all that and more. The No. 3 Gin is a really fine gin: smooth, herbaceous and warm with a piney juniper bite to it. It makes a mean dry martini, but it also mixes well, which to be honest, I was surprised by.
|It really makes you want to kick back...|
[Please note: I loved receiving these gifts, but my opinions are my own. If it wasn't good stuff, I wouldn't be talking about it.]
This is a drink that is sure to satisfy the preserver and drinker alike. After you've made candied citrus peels, you are left with a lot of lovely citrus-y syrup, thick and very sweet. I find it a lovely thing to put in a cocktail, but sparingly. This is not a simple syrup. If you don't have candied citrus syrup (which you may indeed not) use a nice soft marmalade instead. If you have a firm marmalade, heat it up a bit before using it to soften it, and keep the chunks in. The bitter-citrus-sweet of a marmalade added to a drink is a natural! In this situation, it marries well with both the ginger and the gin.
Maybe it's my impending cleanse that's making me think thoughts like this, but I sat down and really thought about how this drink made me feel. This macrobiotic book I like always tells you to be thoughtful about how the food feels or makes you feel. Well, this drink made me feel warm, a swell to the chest, my throat felt warm and my forehead tingly. Isn't that what a cocktail ought to do? (It might have helped that I was watching Ernie Kovacs at the time. Have you ever? Watching even a few minutes will make anyone feel a tad altered. I do think Ernie would have approved.)
1 ounce of No. 3 Gin
1 ounce of The King's Ginger
1 spoonful of candied citrus syrup (between a teaspoon and tablespoon, depending on your tastes) or a simple marmalade
Mix the gin, the King's Ginger and the syrup in a tall glass of ice and stir well. Strain into a small coupe glass. I like to top it with a splash of soda water, but you could pass on this. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger, candied citrus, both, or just a slice of orange peel. This will make one or two small cocktails, depending on your glass size. Mine are ridiculously small, but I like that. Trying to keep it together here, people.
This is a standard Gibson, but I used slices of pickled red onions for it, instead of pearl onions. There are a million recipes for pickled red onions, but here's one from David Lebovitz or Simply Recipes, two fine resources. You should always have them in the fridge. They are a sandwich, and cocktail, staple.
The Preserver's Gibson
1 ounce of gin
a whisper of vermouth
a few thin slices of red onion pickles
Mix gin and vermouth in a large glass of ice. Stir that up! Strain into a nice martini glass, and garnish with some pickle slices. Sometimes I slip in a little bit of the brine.
* Did you see that quart jar of gin cordial? A dear friend with fabulous taste gave that to me for the holidays. It's a gin cordial with clementine, kumquat, coriander and black pepper. Wow! I think she based it on this recipe from the always inspiring Melissa Clark.