Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for twopence
September 6, 2017 2:38 PM   Subscribe

As Brits eat through gin-flavoured yoghurt - 0.25% alcohol - and crisps, so the legendary drink revival gathers pace. Made in many places, from Viking islands and the Hebrides to Worcestershire and the South West, it's the return (post title) of "mother's ruin" - though, allegedly anti-ageing. There's good and bad gin festivals, and 'Breach of the Peace' (Buckfast), or add Irn Bru to make the 'Nedgroni', rhubarb crumble gin, 'magic' gin, marshmallow gin, and others. More substantive? Try ice lollies (4.5% alcohol), chocolate, popcorn, cupcakes, bigger cakes, cheese or cheesecake. Or watch gin and tonic battered fish being made (recipe), or try many recipes galore. Perhaps a tart or America's dish or add to tea? There's a gin truck! Previously, and with Christmas getting ever closer...
posted by Wordshore (50 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
ice lolly, you say.

posted by lmfsilva at 2:46 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


A group of gin fans have been left spitting out their sliced lemons in fury after a disastrous gin festival – where staff ‘didn’t know how to do a G&T’.

Seems like Metro.co.uk don't know how to do a G&T either. Proper G&T's are done with lime wedges, not lemon slices. Lemon slices are for finger-rinsing bowls between rounds of mudcrab legs.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:50 PM on September 6 [7 favorites]


Lemon is to citrus what kale was to leafy greens twenty years ago, when its only function was to add colour and texture to the all-you-can-eat buffet at Pizza Hut. Lemon is good for homemade cleaning products and for stopping avocados from going brown and that is it. Putting lemon on your fish? Enjoy choking to death forever on fifty lemon pips. Team Lime all the way. Get on my level.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:05 PM on September 6 [10 favorites]


Team Lime all the way.

Added to tags.
posted by Wordshore at 3:10 PM on September 6 [6 favorites]


I recently listened to this "In Our Time" episode on gin.
posted by acrasis at 3:14 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


Rhubarb gin can be made, and made well, in your very own home with nothing more than rhubarb (unsurprisingly), sugar (also unsurprising, given that we're talking rhubarb), and - perhaps the largest unsurprise of them all - some gin.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 3:47 PM on September 6 [11 favorites]


Mmmm. Gin... truck... Gin... truck. Gin truck!
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:47 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


And while I'm here, let me also recommend Pinkster, a raspberry-flavoured pink-hued gin. Can be supped within the lime.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 3:49 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


The sloes at work are looking good so far, hopefully it will be a good season. I found a new farm shop today and while they had a decent selection of local gins they didn't have the clotted cream gin from Wordshore's last gin FPP.
posted by biffa at 3:56 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I recall reading an interesting article some time ago, which compared the introduction of gin (the first really cheap distilled alcohol) and the effects thereof on the UK as similar to the crack or meth epidemics in pattern and results. And that among one of the results was the Black Laws, that mandated death for a wide range of crimes. Which led to the rise in transportation of criminals (since even that harsh time blanched somewhat at the sheer number of executions and many were commuted to transportation.) So in some sense Australia is a child of gin.
posted by tavella at 4:02 PM on September 6 [7 favorites]


Proper G&T's are done with lime wedges, not lemon slices.

For a standard gin like Gordon's/Bombay Sapphire/Beefeater, for sure. Though the different botanicals in the newer gins mean that, often, the traditional lime slice is not the optimal garnish. (The obvious case is Hendrick's, which is famously served with cucumber, though I've seen orange and other things recommended with other gins in specialist gin bars.)
posted by acb at 4:02 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


So in some sense Australia is a child of gin.

Recently, it seems to be returning the favour. I visited Melbourne this February, and witnessed that there had been a boom in local gin distilling. A few years ago, there were only one or two Australian gins (I could name one: Lark's Pepperberry Gin), and now there were about 40. A lot of those were from Tasmania*, though there are a few gin distilleries in Melbourne (which, I imagine, are somewhere around Brunswick or Coburg, and run by gents with lush Ned Kelly beards and sleeve tattoos).

* Tasmania, thanks to its climate, has a history of whisk(e)y distilling, and if you have the infrastructure to make that, you may as well run off a few batches of gin, which conveniently doesn't need to be aged and yields quicker profits.
posted by acb at 4:08 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Though the different botanicals in the newer gins mean that, often, the traditional lime slice is not the optimal garnish.

You are correct. The optimal garnish for a G&T is not lime (and certainly not lemon), and is in fact a cucumber. Specifically, a "Damn Spicy" pickled cucumber from Brooklyn Brine Co. I'm not even trolling, this is serious business for serious times.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:24 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


So in some sense Australia is a child of gin.

That's why gin is known as "Mother's Ruin".
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:25 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


That's why gin is known as "Mother's Ruin".

Not to mention “Slappy Bonita”, “The Makeshift” and “King Theodor of Corsica”.
posted by acb at 4:28 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Rhubarb gin can be made...with...rhubarb...and...some gin.

There you have it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:29 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


I make my gin and tonic with sour wheat beer. If this causes you anguish , we probably weren't going to be friends anyway, but if you are intrigued, well, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 4:37 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Lemon is good for homemade cleaning products and for stopping avocados from going brown and that is it. Putting lemon on your fish? Enjoy choking to death forever on fifty lemon pips. Team Lime all the way. Get on my level.

So wrong. There's a reason why lemon is the citrus of choice for adding acidity to food. Where lemon adds a sour note to its acidity, limes by contrast add a bitter note. This doesn't play well in any dish with more delicate flavors (which is why lime is rarely paired with fish). To offset lime you need either a firm spiciness and/or sweetness, which is why you see it in Southeast Asian and in Mexican cuisine.

Bring it.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:55 PM on September 6 [12 favorites]


leotrotsky is right which is normal, he is after all a trotsky.
posted by SageLeVoid at 5:07 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


Nedgroni!
posted by lalochezia at 5:10 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


I'm accumulating the ingredients for Serious Eats homemade gin. The coriander, lavender, chamomile and juniper are all home grown but I had to check if Juniperus virginiana could be substituted for J. communis. It appears to be safe and possibly has a more delicate flavor so it might not stand up the bitterness of tonic water. How else could it be served?
posted by Botanizer at 5:10 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


Ah hell, summer's over and I don't think I had a single G&T this year. I like it with so much lime that it's almost a gimlet, and limes haven't been as cheap this year, so I haven't had them around.

Shame, that.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:18 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


Bring it.

Oh, stop it. Acidity is achieved with a plethora of vinegars from handy bottles. I can count on one hand the number of times I've needed to warm a bottle of vinegar in the microwave to optimise its juices, and then find the bottle knife and chopping board, and then slice the bottle in half, and then grind each half on the bottle juicer to filter out the seeds and pulp, and then drizzle it into my food, and the reason I can only count the number of times I've needed to do that on one hand is because I've lost most of my fingers from slicing and grinding vinegar bottles. This was back before I knew better. Now, a little splishy splashy, I've got my carefully calibrated acidity in a dizzying array of varietals.

Lemons just sit there on the bench like an old soap sliver on top of the shower drain that you can't be bothered bending down to pick up, but that also haven't decayed quite enough for you to just toe them down the drainhole. The reason everybody always has a lemon handy is because they bought one three years ago and have had no reason to ever use it, not because they are staples of a gourmand's workspace. Lemons are the Gideon's Bible of the kitchen. Except unlike the Bible they offer no succor, just succ.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:34 PM on September 6 [4 favorites]


Remember, if you run low you can always substitute coke for gin.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:34 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I make my gin and tonic with sour wheat beer.

No. You don't. And no, it causes me no anguish. What you are making is something else, something other than a gin and tonic. Don't be afraid of that. Own that fact. Come up with a name. Popularize it. But a gin and tonic is not made with beer. It is made with gin. And tonic.

When I made a (delicious) variant of the venerable vodka and cranberry by substituting tart cherry juice for cranberry, I didn't call it a Cape Cod(der). I instead got creative and named it a Bloody Crosby. As to why, I leave it to the drinker to puzzle out. More fun that way.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 5:45 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


Ooh, this post is a delight. And it led me to this gin and tonic cake recipe, which will be the perfect birthday baking project.
posted by the primroses were over at 5:57 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I love gimlets, and I had almost a perfect one this past Thursday with dinner. Wonderful stuff, gin. I once visited folk near Lanark Scotland and for a nightcap was offered a glass of sloe gin, which I'd never drunk straight. It was . . . interesting.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:07 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Rhubarb gin can be made, and made well, in your very own home

*stops right there*
*googles recipes*
*looks slooooowly round at the pot of rhubarb on the terrace*
*forms A Plan*
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:14 PM on September 6 [8 favorites]


It's funny. Gin is nasty to my own tastebuds. And tonic, well it's just an abomination before God, it tastes so bad—it's not just vile, it's weaponized vile. But I am endlessly fascinated by how two flavors I personally can't stand, can come to gather in a drink and create an entirely new, different, and delicious flavor. Gin and Tonic is fucking magic.

YMMV of course. Tastebuds vary, we all know.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 6:18 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I instead got creative and named it a Bloody Crosby.

But... that's a sweet cultivar. Since you've already dumped the alliteration, might I instead suggest (depending on one's fandom):
  • Bloody Chekhov
  • Bloody Cheery
  • Bloody Naylor
posted by sysinfo at 6:31 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


> The reason everybody always has a lemon handy is because

....we have a Meyer lemon tree in the backyard, obv. The zest is floral and adds a lovely note to many cocktails, and the juice is tart rather than sour. I guess there are a couple of periods during the year when the tree is busy making new lemons and we have to go out an (gasp!) buy some, but otherwise, we always have lemons to hand.
posted by rtha at 6:31 PM on September 6 [4 favorites]


But... that's a sweet cultivar.

Haha, good catch. I'm aware of that though. It's just too fun to pass up. For that matter, the cultivar's name isn't even related to Mr Crosby, so it didn't feel like I was mislabeling cherry types, if that makes sense, but rather borrowing his name to make a silly joke.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 6:54 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


I planted a lemon tree (Lisbon) and a lime tree (Tahitian) specifically for my G&T addiction and I'm here to tell you that neither are bitter, nor do they have a plethora of pips. I've got no idea what you people are doing, but please stop - if you can't get proper citrus, and you don't want the pips, then get a twist of rind, give it a strong twist so the oils flow, run it around the rim of your glass, throw it in, and then proceed as usual.

Bloody amateurs.
posted by ninazer0 at 7:25 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


I kind of figured. I wasn't entirely serious, it's just my inner pedant showing through and my excuse to make my own silly jokes. Believe me, decide to make a cherry whiskey and I'll applaud you calling it "Crosby, Stills, and Mash". Don't age it for the full experience.
posted by sysinfo at 7:27 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


Skimming this:
I instead got creative and named it a Bloody Crosby.

right after this:
Remember, if you run low you can always substitute coke for gin.

I was picturing a Bloody (David) Crosby of cocaine and tonic (and, well, blood or something.)
posted by Daily Alice at 7:32 PM on September 6 [4 favorites]


I have been loving the Tanqueray Rangpur this summer.

Last year, I took advantage of Mr. Sixswitch's job in science education. We visited the lab during the summer with a big collection of spirits and fruits & vegetables.

LAB REPORT

Process: Sliced cucumber sticks (4" long) were placed in a large beaker. Hendricks gin and Fever Tree tonic in equal proportion were added until the slices were completely submerged several inches below the surface. The beaker was placed in a vacuum chamber and the bell jar was secured atop. Air was evacuated from the chamber until it reached a relatively good vacuum.

Observations: As the air pressure lowered, bubbles could be seen forming on the outside of the cucumber sticks with increasing turbidity. The cucumber became slightly more translucent. The bubble formation ceased when a vacuum was reached. When air was reintroduced into the chamber, the gin again became turbid, briefly. The cucumber sticks, when tasted, were crisp and crunchy — very much like a fresh, rather than a pickled, cucumber. However, testing (and tasting) revealed that each cucumber stick now contained roughly 0.5oz of gin.

Conclusions:
1) The gin-and-tonic mixture fully replaced the tiny air pockets that were present in the cucumber sticks.
2) Edible gin and tonics produced by vacuum pickling are dangerously delicious.
3) Science is fucking awesome.

Addenda:
- watermelon fell right apart
- beets + vodka worked alright but wasn't much to write home about, flavour-wise
- asian pear + plum wine was delicious
- citrus fruits failed to absorb liquid (presumably due to the encapsulation of pulp)
- strawberries + cream failed (presumably due to the viscosity of the liquid)
posted by sixswitch at 7:43 PM on September 6 [19 favorites]


Own that fact. Come up with a name.

Fine. I call it Poking the Bear.

A digression: a good drink doesn't need a name, unless you have to yell something at a bar. A good drink is something you make for friends, on a porch, or kitchen or empty table with no cloth or setting. You make a round, enjoy and move on. Bar culture is fine, I guess, and is its own thing, but some things are bigger, yet smaller. People sitting around, laughing, socializing, stuffing food into their faces. It needs nothing further. A big sunset, a hot grill, a moment. A Poking the Bear for me is a drink made at the end of a long shift. With folks in a bar, or restaurant, or store, with locked front doors. A "yeah, we survived that" drink. It's not precious. It's high fives and loud laughs and head shakes. You can take it and make it whatever you want. I gave it to you, so I really can't control it. Put whatever name you want on it. But for me, it is no name. Just a time and place.

Enjoy.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:51 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Lest I seem too joyless or anarchic, I once was an academic drinker who thought Words Meant Words.

I hated Vodka Martinis as a scourge on the True Martini.

Then I discovered that I like my Manhattan with an orange twist, instead of the possibly awful, generic marciano cherry. Multiple bartenders would correct me, "That's not a Manhattan." While my ultimate goal was not to change the world, it was to simply find a shorthand way of getting the drink I wanted without having to ascertain the origin of the cherries in some sort of syrup behind the bar.

And so while I get the culture that says that each Bar Thing has a specific name, maybe we should relax a bit and allow that getting What We Want takes a front seat to Being Correct.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:29 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


Just so that history may remember, I would like here to record that one desperate night of teenage drinking some pals and I discovered what truly must be the worst drink ever: gin and diet coke. If anyone can top this with something that tastes worse yet was still made in earnest hope, I shall truly be impressed.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:09 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


'Tis a shame then, 1f2frfbf, that you didn't cross my bar back when I tended so long ago. Had you asked for a Manhattan with an orange twist instead, I'd have nodded and said, "One Manhattan, substitute a twist," and built you one. If you kept doing it, maybe I'd even have tried to come up with a variant name, like Mangrove [Manhattan + Orange Grove], or perhaps with more thought, maybe even something genuinely witty rather than cringe inducing.

I can't ever blame someone for tweaking a recipe to their preference. But that's also where I think having good/fun names for drinks comes in handy. It's easier to order variants that way.

Sadly, no one seems to use cocktail names any more, and it's a crying shame. So many were so fun. Just last month I ordered my standard, basic Cape Cod, and the bartender said "What's that?" I nearly cried. Sure, you can order a rum and coke and specify you want a lime, but how much more fun is it to simply order a Cuba Libre and remove all doubt? And heaven help you if you want a Rum Rickey, or a Presbyterian. Even simple drinks such as these are beyond an easy ingredients list while standing at a bar.

I will argue till the cows come home though that Vodka Martini is 100% correct and is using the naming system exactly right. A martini, by definition, is made with gin. If you want a variant, it is up to you to specify. In that respect [Alcohol]+martini is exactly how you'd do it. For me as a former bartender, had you approached me and said (for some ungodly reason) "Gimme one perfect Galliano Martini," I'd no doubt have grown pale and swallowed my gorge, but I'd have known exactly how to make your wish come true, Galliano, sweet and dry vermouth, olive and all.

And, if that were the case, may god have mercy on your soul.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 10:33 PM on September 6 [7 favorites]


Home made gin pays my rent.
posted by conifer at 10:57 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Spain knows how to do gin and tonics (or gin tonic, as they are described there). We were in Madrid a few years ago and I ordered one at a bar, first wondering how on earth a G&T could cost upwards of 15 euro and then deciding that we were on vacation and I'd order whatever the hell I damn well pleased.

Here is how a G&T can cost 15 euro:
-Waiter arrives at our table with a tray containing a 330 mL bottle of tonic, a full 750 mL bottle of gin, and a brandy snifter the size of a goldfish bowl filled with ice.
-Waiter sets it all down, places the goldfish bowl in front of me, and proceeds to free pour from the bottle of gin.
-Waiter and I engage in a staring contest. Once I blinked, he stopped pouring.
-Waiter opened the bottle of tonic and topped off the goldfish bowl.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:09 AM on September 7 [13 favorites]


The International Wine and Spirits Competition has seen a 600% increase in gin entries in the past two years.

I have been experimenting with flavouring gin by infusion. I recommend a couple of pieces of rind from a good Italian lemon and a couple of black pepper corns. Remember not to get any pith in, unless you are TeamBitter.

Yes, lemon! Because TeamLemon and I found it impossible to get the skin off a lime without any pith.
posted by asok at 6:19 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Oh, stop it. Acidity is achieved with a plethora of vinegars from handy bottles.

If you don't know the difference between the acidity that vinegar brings to a dish and the acidity brought by citrus, your taste buds must be so defective as to be beyond help. Do you frequently confuse lemonade and switchel? A lemon & olive oil dressing over boston lettuce is an entirely different beast to one made from white wine (or cider) vinegar. Lighter and tarter. Less sharp, more sour. Doesn't overpower the lettuce as easily. Works much better as a palate cleanser in the salad after the main course.

The reason everybody always has a lemon handy is because they bought one three years ago and have had no reason to ever use it, not because they are staples of a gourmand's workspace.

The people of France, Italy, and Morocco beg to disagree. Seriously, if you don't understand that lemon is as essential to a kitchen as onions, garlic, and butter you just don't know how to cook very well.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:29 AM on September 7 [4 favorites]


Sharish Blue Magic Gin changes from blue to pink when tonic is added. I have yet to experience this, but people I trust have seen it happen....
posted by kjs4 at 7:02 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


My sloe gin fizz recipe, devised by Spouse #1:

1 part gin
1 part sloe gin
3 parts sweet 'n' sour mix
1.5 parts 7-Up
Lots of ice

Probably really isn't a sloe gin fizz, but quite yummy on a hot afternoon.
posted by JanetLand at 9:16 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Seconding acrasis's recommendation of the In Our Time episode, which was interesting on women and gin in the 18thc.
posted by paduasoy at 12:16 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Local favorite Deception Destilling makes a gin that is amazing. I'll drink it neat.
posted by xedrik at 12:36 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


The Blue Magic Gin works because of butterfly pea tea! You can buy it pretty cheap in bulk on Amazon. Make the tea strong (it doesn't really taste like anything), make an ice cube out of it, put in drink. When you add acid, it'll turn purple and then pink. Fun stuff!
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:43 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Late to the discussion but can I put in a mention for Isle of Harris gin, which in addition to being delicious (flavored with sugar kelp) also comes in a stunning bottle? My significant other comes from near there in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland* and this has been a great find

* the furthest north-west (north-west-est? northwesternmost-est?) point in the British Isles... next stop Iceland
posted by AW74 at 3:33 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


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