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 weeks 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 Im going to focus on the Tom Collinsanother classicand the Judgette cocktail, which just has the best name. And as for non-alcoholic drinks, who doesnt like lassis?
So grab a glass and propose a toast, be it to yourself or to others. Its 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 Roses lime juice
Shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a chilled glass.
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.
2 oz. gin
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon powered sugar
cold club soda
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.