Like a lot of people in lockdown, I’ve gotten more into drinking. Not in the sense that I’m drinking loads (it’s honestly, probably about the same), more that I got a large delivery from a home bar supply company because I want to be able to make more drinks and make them right, even if the term “mixologist” makes me want to drink King Cobra and burp aggressively in the face of people who use mustache wax (if you use mustache wax and you’re a regular here, don’t worry, I’m sure you’re one of the people who can pull it off and I won’t burp in your face). Drinking in public is just this weird mixture of being/presenting yourself as classy/trashy/pretentious, with all the (lack of) self-awareness implied.
Rather than blather on about the topic, I’m going to jump straight into making a drink and documenting it. I’m going to make a Gordon’s Cup, which is a pretty recent drink invented at Milk and Honey, which was one of those insufferable speakeasy bars in NYC. Now, there are aspects of “speakeasy culture” that I think are good – there was a Code of Conduct that basically said don’t be a dick, especially to our neighbors – it’s more of the “we get to decide if you’re cool enough to come in and you have to be in the know to find out about it”, it’s just too Cool Kids Club for me, plus it gets too steampunk-adjacent and anybody who says they’re into Jazz without having any, say, Miles Davis, is questionable. Anyway, the guy who ran Milk and Honey, Sasha Petraske, was some kind of bartending savant who mysteriously died at 42 three months after he got married (what little research I’ve done points toward dude doing a ridiculous amount of coke) and before that happened, he made this cocktail!
That’s all the stuff I needed to make the drink, except for the juicer, which I put out there and then realized that I didn’t need! Also, the glass isn’t there because it was in the freezer, chillin’. The glass will show up later, I promise.
So, basic recipe:
3/4 oz simple syrup (sugar-infused water, mas o menos)
4 cucumber slices
4 lime wedges
Put the above into a container, and “gently” muddle it. This basically means “crush until the juices come out”.
2 oz London dry gin (there are way more types of gin than you think there are and historically “gin”, especially in the Western Hemisphere, was not what we call gin now)
Add the above to the muddled mixture and shake the living hell out of it for 10-15 seconds.
Chilled double rocks glass
Ice for the aforementioned glass, either one giant cube/sphere or a bunch of cracked ice, your call
Double-strain (really you could just single-strain it, it’ll just take longer) the shaken liquid into the glass.
4 more cucumber slices
2 more lime wedges
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
Garnish the drink with the above, just get the fruit in the glass in a way that’s pleasing to you, then sprinkle the spices over the top of it.
This is quite a tasty drink! It’s sweeter than I was expecting, which, it’s almost a 2:1 booze/sugar ratio, so I should have realized that. The sugar really hits you up front, then recedes into a wonderful combination of gin/lime/cucumber, with the salt and pepper dancing in and out of the evolution of the sip. It’s very brisk and light and refreshing and changes over the course of the whole drink as the dilution from the ice and the added flavors from the garnish shift the ratios.
I also made a Gordon’s Breakfast, which is intended to be the “brunchier” version, with the only changes being that you add some Worcestershire sauce and then twice as much hot sauce (the original recipe calls for Cholula, I used Valentina) when you add in the gin and ice.
I also used cracked ice on this one as I’d used my last large sphere on the Gordon’s Cup. I used the Valentina extra-hot, which may have been a mis-step as this drink was preeeeetty spicy and it might have drowned out the Worcestershire a little too much; however, it was still delicious, you still get all the notes from the Cup plus the spice and the umami, and it beats the shit out of a Bloody Mary, which still seems like an excuse to cram as much ridiculous shit at the top of a glass of tomato soup.
Anyway! Talk about booze!