214. Gin Straight

214. Gin Straight - Hero

Sometimes, mixology is hard. Other times… not so much. Jerry has a number of “cocktails” that are very easy to make. Such as this one.

As for news, here is a mix of two things I hate and it makes me very sad but I guess you might be interested in this.

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111. Gin Cocktail


It’s time for another twofer! The first is this Gin Cocktail, and the second (tomorrow’s) will be the Fancy Gin Cocktail, which is the same but served slightly differently. I’m not entirely sure why these count as two separate drinks, but I guess he can do what he wants.

While this will not be keyword-y and punny, the big news story of this week is of course the Brexit, with continuing ramifications as the days go on. In short, Britain voted to leave the European Union soon, causing stocks and currencies to tumble, and generally uncertainty and despair. Also a sad commentary on what “real” people think about politics. However, I learned today that the vote isn’t actually the final word on this — they could hold another vote, or just… not do it. Apparently. Not that that wouldn’t also cause many issues, but it’s an interesting thought. So, uh, drink gin and contemplate.

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143. Gin Sour


There are a large number of drinks in The Bartender’s Guide that are modifications on other drinks that he lists, and there are also some pretty classic ones. The Gin Sour manages to be both. I stupidly didn’t also make the Gin Fix (141) which is literally the exact same as this, but with seasonal fruits on top (and no lemon juice). I probably will wait a while to make that one, though, so you can just imagine it for now. In terms of sours, I’m much more used to whiskey and amaretto sours, but it stands to reason that you could make them with other spirits as well.

I couldn’t find anything super relevant for Gin or Sour on the news front, but I did find this cool article from The Daily Beast from a few weeks ago talking about the rise of gin‘s popularity in 1700s England. They equate it to meth, in that everyone was making it in their basements, and it was causing all sorts of trouble in society (more crime, obviously more drunkenness, etc.) Everyone developed a taste for it on the continent, and it was cheap and easy, so they brought it back. A fun quick read, and I’ll work on getting more punny news articles next week.

Gin Sour Ingredients

143. Gin Sour

(Use small bar glass.)

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  • ¼ of a lemon.
  • 1 oz of water
  • 2 oz of gin.
  • Press the juice of the lemon in the glass. Fill two-thirds full of shaved ice. Stir with a spoon. [Technically I’m combining two recipes, the Gin Fix and the Gin Sour, to make the one understandable without the other. Don’t worry about it.]

Gin Sour Process

Tasting Notes:

BN: This was pretty good. It’s pretty sweet (I wonder if a tablespoon might have been smaller back then and I therefore put too much in), and I’m not the hugest gin fan. The herbal notes of the gin, though, might distract from how sweet it is (a good thing), so maybe with another spirit it would be too much. If I made it again, I’d like something to cut it, maybe a bitters?

PiC: I liked this. It tastes like what I might imagine a lemon drop martini would taste like, or one of those lemon drop candies. It’s a little medicinal (the gin, probably). I’d drink this — but I’d like a sugar rim on it! [BN: Jerry Thomas actually does do this for some drinks, which he calls “crustas.” Stay tuned!]


The Hubble 25 – The HST’s 25th Anniversary


I learned today that this past week (the 24th, specifically) was the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. Which is pretty awesome! 25 years of giving us cool images like the one at the end of this post (which are public domain, so I can use them. Thanks, NASA!) So, in honor of space, NASA, and all of that good stuff, a drink! Mainly created because the St. Germain bottle is kind of star-shaped. I originally wanted something with champagne (bubbly is like sparkles are like stars) but then decided the champagne would overpower the St. Germain.


The Hubble 25

  • 1.5 oz gin
  • 0.5 oz St. Germain
  • ~10 shakes lime bitters
  • 6 oz club soda (this is a Soda Stream, clearly, but normal stuff will do too)

Combine first three ingredients in a rocks glass. Add ice, and fill the remaining space with the club soda. Enjoy, while staring a) up at the sky or b) at pictures of space on your computer.


Tasting Notes:

BN: Well the fact that this came out clear was a surprise to me. I guess there are clear cocktails, like gin and tonics, and vodka sodas, and so on, but it’s sort of an odd experience looking at it, nonetheless. I can’t decide if I like it. I guess it’s like a big lens, like the one on the Hubble? And it didn’t work exactly as expected, like the Hubble. There we go, justification! Tastewise, I liked this. The gin melded with the St. Germain really well, and though it wasn’t a super strong flavor it was a nice floral note. Nothing too intense, but very drinkable.

PiC: It’s not the most visually arresting cocktail, for sure. It kind of…tastes clear? But not in a bad way. It doesn’t taste like water, it’s just very neutral tasting. I like it. It highlights how good that gin is, and the St. Germaine adds a hint of sweetness that really works well with it. I can’t really taste the bitters, but it’s good.


The Hubble mosaic unveils a collection of carved knots of gas and dust in a small portion of the Monkey Head Nebula (also known as NGC 2174 and Sharpless Sh2-252). The nebula is a star-forming region that hosts dusky dust clouds silhouetted against glowing gas. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The First Round Upset – March Madness

March Madness 1

It’s that time of year again! The time of year where I pretend to care about sports, and more importantly basketball, when all I really care about is gambling and looking at statistics. Or something. In any case, although my alma mater is already out of the running (it was not, sadly, a first round upset), I’m enjoying this wholeheartedly so far. Lots of upsets, lots of weirdness, and great close games.

So what better way to celebrate than to drink! Although this particular cocktail came out pretty well, its connection to March Madness is a bit of a stretch… Basketball… The ball itself… Round, and kind of orange… Oranges! And, well, that was it.


The First Round Upset

  • 1.5 oz gin (I used this amazing gin we found in Prince Edward Island, which is smooth and not super-junipery. If you’re ever there, go here!)
  • 3/4 oz amaro (It was in a jar, but I swear that’s what it was)
  • 4 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3 dashes cardamom bitters (not pictured… reason to be discussed below)
  • orange peel

Combine elements in a mixing glass and stir. Pour out (strain if you haven’t strained the orange juice already) into a martini or rocks glass, and garnish with the peel for a little extra bitterness.

March Madness 2

Tasting Notes:

BN: I liked this! In the end, that is. I first pulled it together without the bitters (as pictured in the ingredients shot) and it was just a little too sweet. This may be because of the drink, but I actually have a sneaking suspicion it was because of the oranges. One of the ones I juiced was super red and I think a lot sweeter than you would normally want a plain orange to be (I don’t think it was a blood orange…). The drink needed something to cut that sweetness, and my thought went to the cardamom bitters I don’t generally use enough. When I added them in it was much better, and with a more complex flavor. Still would have liked a little more bite, I think, but it was a pretty nice drink overall.

PiC: This is very drinkable. It’s super tasty, but could maybe use a tad more punch. Maybe the orange that was used was a bit sweet? I do like it, though, and the aftertaste of the bitters adds nice complexity.

The Sagetini – Thanksgiving

Sagetini Happy Turkey Day! In honor of the day — and the best part of the meal, stuffing — I have made a drink based on sage, which is the primary spice in stuffing. And is delicious.

Interesting note in the preparation of this drink: I wanted it to be like a martini and even though it’s not, it’s still very small. You might want to double it to make it more of a normal size, but keep in mind that then there’s a lot of alcohol. Not the worst thing after a day of eating, but still. Why are martinis usually the same price as other cocktails? They’re so alcoholic, so you’d think they’d cost more. I’m confused. Anyways, on to the drink.


The Sagetini

  • 2 oz gin
  • a bunch of fresh sage (I used all but one of the leaves in the picture above, and that one I used as a garnish. so 10-15 leaves?)
  • .5 oz simple syrup
  • 7-8 dashes orange bitters (to taste, and if you don’t have bitters you can substitute triple sec)

Muddle the sage in the bottom of a mixing glass. Muddle it real good! Pour in the remaining ingredients, stir, and strain into a chilled martini glass. You can double strain if you want to get rid of all the herb bits but I kind of like them. Garnish by floating a sage leaf on top of the drink. Sagetini 2 Tasting Notes

BN: I really liked this. I was worried a little about how simple it was, but the orange and sage worked really well with the gin, and it had the right amount of sweetness to counteract the fact that I don’t like gin. I loved the way it looked, with such an interesting shade of green and the floating leaf (though it does slowly sink which is a little awkward) and would be interested to see how a full-sized version would hold up. Not that I meant for this to be a mini size, but that’s how it turned out. I would make this again!

PiC: I appreciate that this is probably a good drink, even if I don’t like it – too alcoholic for me. Still, I can tell it has the right amount of sweetness to temper the gin-ness, and the sage is a nice flavor. In summary, it’s probably perfect for your more boozy relatives (read: most of mine) pre-turkey dinner. Sagetini 3

The Kobayashi – The Usual Suspects

The regular perpetrators.

I’m out of town this week, for my brother’s wedding! So, this is a quick update from the road.

19 years ago today, The Usual Suspects was released! Last year, the Partner in Crime and I watched this, for her first time, with a friend. For that event, I made a drink (two actually, but the first was bad), and I’ve updated it and hopefully made it better for this year. It’s a little bit Japanese, but maybe not. It’s that sense of mystery that keeps it going. Just like the character in the movie! Or something.

I was alone for this one, so apologies if the camera work isn’t as good. Also, I was the only one to taste it. Might it be horrible for anyone else but me? It certainly might.

Kobayashi Ingredients.

The Kobayashi

  • 1.5 oz gin (the only one I even vaguely enjoy is Hendrick’s, but to each their own.)
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce (yup.)
  • 1 tsp ginger simple syrup (gotta use it somewhere. Again, it’s from this recipe.)
  • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice (mine wasn’t fresh. Yours should be.)
  • tonic water
  • crystallized ginger slices (for a garnish)


Put everything except the tonic water in a rocks glass with ice. Fill up the glass with tonic, and garnish with the crystallized ginger!

Tasting Notes:

BN: This certainly had good flavors, but it was a little weird. However, I don’t really know if that was, say, the slightly flat tonic water (okay it was a little old, but I’m pretty sure it would be good with more fizz) or the fact that I don’t actually like gin… You’ll have to let me know what you guys think, because I’m not an impartial observer. Still, I think the flavors mesh well and it works overall.

PiC: I wasn’t here. I didn’t drink this. STOP ASKING ME QUESTIONS.

Kobayashi Close Up