Don’t get us wrong — we’re not going to turn down a cold one when offered. But there’s something about a classic cocktail that feels different. The frosty glass, the nuanced flavors, that big ol' ice cube…it just makes you want to put on some heels and wait for Clark Gable to turn up.
We’re not the only ones either. Once eclipsed by contemporary cocktail menus (lychees, anyone?), classic mixology is on the rise, with one spirit in particular making a comeback: gin. Thanks to the renaissance of 1920s fashion and speakeasy-style bars, old-school gin cocktails are suddenly everywhere. And with good reason.
Not only is this spirit one of the most versatile ingredients in the liquor cabinet, it’s got quite a scandalous past. From the medicine cabinets of 17th century Amsterdam to London’s notorious Gin Lane to the bathtubs of Prohibition-era New York, gin is one cat that keeps coming back.
To celebrate the return of “Mother’s Ruin,” we’ve picked three of our favorites cocktails and bring you a step-by-step guide to enjoying these libations. Simple and delicious as they are, we like the fact that they’ve got history. Get out your shaker, dim the lights, and have a drink with the past.
Legend has it, The Gibson was created in the hallowed halls of The Player’s Club, when a world-weary patron asked the bartender to improve on the martini. The differences are subtle, but the divide is huge. We’re not taking sides (though Roger Sterling would), but we definitely like this combo in an elegant mood. Like the little black dress and the deep red lip, The Gibson is a frosty-cool classic that never goes out of style.
2 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 or 3 cocktail onions for garnish (or five, if you’re kinda hungry)
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass, or bottom half of a shaker. Top with a handful of ice cubes.
Stir well with a cocktail spoon.
Pour into a chilled martini glass...
...and drop in your garnish.
Stirred, not shaken.
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