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April 11, 2006

Eat Your Heart Out—April 11, 2006

This week I am going to be doing a lot of drinking. However, before you hand me a vodka and tonic, I should warn you that it is not all celebratory drinking. Yes, I did turn in the first draft of my B.A. paper, so that is something to get excited about, but I am also getting all of my wisdom teeth taken out this week, so anything that enters my mouth will undoubtedly come through a straw. This week’s column, therefore, is dedicated to all sorts of libations.

Many of the old standards, such as the gimlet or the sidecar, are classics for a reason: They simply work well, with a fine balance of sweet and tart (especially in this day and age of vanilla vodka mixed with chocolate liqueur, which tastes like a milkshake but always ends up cloyingly rich in the stomach). But I’m going to focus on the Tom Collins—another classic—and the Judgette cocktail, which just has the best name. And as for non-alcoholic drinks, who doesn’t like lassis?

So grab a glass and propose a toast, be it to yourself or to others. It’s time to drink up.

The alcoholic drink recipes come from or have been adapted from The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide (Broadway Books: 1998) by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst or The Savoy Cocktail Book (Pavillion Books: 1999) by Peter Dorelli. The non-alcoholic Mango Lassi is my own creation.

The Judgette Cocktail

1 oz. peach brandy

1 oz. gin

1 oz. French vermouth

a dash of Rose’s lime juice

Shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a chilled glass.

Mango Lassi

1/2 cup full-fat yogurt

1/2 cup chopped mango (as ripe as possible)

a few ice cubes

a tiny pinch of salt

a drop of lime juice

Pulse all ingredients in a blender until smooth. If desired, strain through a fine meshed sieve. Serve in a tall glass.

Tom Collins

2 oz. gin

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon powered sugar

cold club soda

maraschino cherry

lemon slice

Combine the first three ingredients in chilled glass; stir well. Add three to four ice cubes; top with club soda, stirring gently. Garnish with lemon slice and cherry.