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A Gin Cocktail Odyssey, Act III: Thoroughly Modern Mixing

A Gin Cocktail Odyssey, Act III: Thoroughly Modern Mixing



We’ve talked about some of our favorite classic and rediscovered vintage cocktails over the last couple weeks, and hopefully you’ve had a chance to mix up some of those libations of yesteryear at home. But as much as we love sipping on the established classics, reading about obscure histories, and unearthing forgotten recipes, we may love trying out new drinks from our favorite bartenders and playing around with original drinks at home even more. As Mish covered extensively in his survey of modern gin styles, there are a LOT of different kinds of gins out there these days, and it can be a little overwhelming at times. But even with tons of different styles and flavor profiles out there, Gin remains the most mixable of spirits, and great new cocktails are being dreamed up all the time with gins of every different stripe. Here are a few of our favorite modern cocktails, many of which utilize different kinds of gin in interesting ways.


Remember the Alimony


This is a wonderfully simple, stirred number from New York City’s Dan Greenbaum, who first served it at the now shuttered The Beagle. London Dry Gin takes a rare backseat to light Fino Sherry and the artichoke based Amaro, Cynar. Simple preparation with complex taste, and the lower ABV means you can go ahead and have that fourth one.

Remember the Alimony

1 1/4 oz Fino Sherry (Lustao)
1 1/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater

Stir with ice in mixing glass and strain into old fashioned glass over a large ice cube. Express oil from orange twist and drop in drink.


White Negroni | Negroni Bianco

We talked a couple weeks ago about the undeniable star status of the Negroni, so it should be expected that variations on the format will occur. This variation (and the variations on the variation), from London’s Wayne Collins, has become a minor classic in its own right, popping up at bars all over alongside the famous original. The gin element stays in place, but Campari is replaced with the gentian-forward French aperitif Suze, sweet vermouth’s spot is taken by floral Lillet Blanc, and the proportions are tweaked.

White Negroni

1 1/2 oz Gin (Tanqueray)
1 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz Suze

Stir with ice in a mixing glass and strain into old fashioned glass over a large ice cube. Express oils from lemon twist and drop in drink.

(For a lighter, less bitter take on the White Negroni, try equal parts Gin, Cocchi Americano, and Dolin Blanc, with a couple dashes of grapefruit bitters and an orange peel garnish.)


Too Soon?

This delicious gin and Amaro sour comes courtesy of New York bartender Sam Ross, who has also brought us modern classics such as the Penicillin and the Paper Plane. Cynar makes another appearance here as a split base with Gin, while fresh lemon and simple syrup complete the sour template. Maybe the most interesting component is the two small orange wedges, which are shaken with the drink, lending not only a bit of orange juice, but some lightly bitter flavor from the zest as well.

Too Soon?

1 oz Gin (Four Pillars)
1 oz Cynar
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Two small orange wedges

Shake all ingredients with plenty of ice, and double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.


Laura Palmer

Named for the doomed prom queen at the center of David Lynch’s cult favorite tv show, Twin Peaks, this seemingly innocent cocktail has plenty of dark intrigue floating just below the surface. The drink was first mixed up by Charles Russo at San Francisco’s Blackbird, and uses St. George’s own cult favorite, the formidable, Douglas Fir heavy Terroir Gin, to set the stage for light and floral Lillet Blanc and the brooding complexity of Benedictine. Sink a dark brandied cherry in the drink, because symbolism isn’t dead, and be whisked away to a place both wonderful and strange.

Laura Palmer

2 oz St. George Terroir Gin
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1/4 oz Benedictine
1 Luxardo Cherry 


Stir ingredients with plenty of ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with brandied cherry.

Alternatively, try our slightly more herbaceous version of this lovely cocktail here. 


Oh, My Word!

The Last Word is another oft-riffed upon old drink that has created, like the Negroni, many successful spin offs. This lesser traveled variation comes from Sother Teague of New York’s much lauded Amor y Amargo, and in keeping with the bar’s policy, contains no citrus juice. Nineteenth century favorite Old Tom Gin (an old sweetened style of gin) makes a welcome appearance here, splitting the equal parts formula with Amaro Montenegro as well as the original Last Word ingredients, Green Chartreuse and Maraschino liqueur. A couple dashes of lime bitters step in for the lack of citrus, balancing out this cheeky variation.

Oh, My Word!

3/4 oz Old Tom Gin (Hayman's)
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
2-3 dashes Lime Bitters

Stir ingredients with plenty of ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Express oils from lemon twist and drop in drink.


Whistleblower

I made this drink initially because, as I inch closer to 30, I find my apartment filled with ever more La Croix, and it only seemed natural to start incorporating it into my drinking. Grapefruit flavor seemed the best bet, so I went from there. At first I used the Scandinavian caraway-centric spirit Aquavit as a base, before replacing it with St. George’s unusual Dry Rye Gin, which ended up making a much more interesting drink. The Dry Rye has an unaged rye base, giving the spirit a hefty, whiskey like character, balanced by a thorough whopping of Juniper. Although not a regular gin by any means, it works surprisingly well, and can really shine in cocktails as long as you don’t just treat it like regular gin, or regular whiskey for that matter. For this drink, I added some Yellow Chartreuse, lemon, honey syrup, Cardamom Bitters and topped it all off with the ever lovely grapefruit La Croix, and I found myself with a new favorite summer cooler to keep me trucking through whatever whistle is blown next.

Whistleblower

1 1/2 oz St. George Dry Rye Gin
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz honey syrup (two parts honey, one part warm water, mix well, cool)
6 dashes Cardamom Bitters
Grapefruit La Croix (about 4 oz)

Shake all ingredients except La Croix with plenty of ice and open pour into Highball glass. Top with La Croix and garnish with long lemon twist.

Want to learn more?
- more about gin?
- more about gin cocktails?
- more about cult gins?

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