I know that The Den has been a little quiet as of late. Things have been hectic for the last couple of weeks, however life seems to have slowed back to a normal pace and I’m confident you’ll be seeing much more activity from your two Scofflaw’s.
With that said, Mixology Monday is again upon us and the lovely ladies of LUPEC Boston are hosting. The chosen theme this month is “First Time.” The theme is inspired by a past experience Ms. Pink Lady had with a cocktail newbie. She states,
“What drink do you suggest for the delicate palate of the cocktail neophyte? Something boozy and balanced, sure – but one wrong suggestion could relegate the newbie to a beer-drinker’s life. To which go-to cocktails do you turn to when faced with the challenge?”
It is a very interesting conundrum. I have a few friends who definitely fall into the “cocktail neophyte” category. Either they “don’t like gin” or are strictly beer or wine drinkers, and one, amazingly, “can’t drink brown spirits.” To be honest, it is very difficult to make drinks for these folks. It seems they have preconcieved biases towards certain spirits that is seemingly all mental. The trick for me is making cocktails that are flavorful, complex, balanced and uses the ingredient they supposedly don’t like. I’m completely up front with what I’m serving them, and in most instances they have enjoyed the drinks.
One of my favorite cocktails, which is also one I like to give people new to gin or new to cocktails is the Shanghai Gin.
Shake equal measures of the four ingredients until ice cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist. For a small extra kick, flame the peel.
The Shanghai Gin combines a sweet, savory, tart profile all in one little gin cocktail. Everyone I’ve made the cocktail for has enjoyed it.
On the other hand, in order to introduce a neophyte to the wonderful world of cocktails, I think a well made highball can be just what the scofflaw ordered. A gin and tonic, rum and coke, ginger beer and anything, all are good examples as long they are well made and balanced. In each highball you can vary the type of spirit (london dry v. old tom; silver rum v. gold v. demerarra v. crap-there-are-a-lot-of-rum-types; etc.) or add modifiers such as a splash of lime, a flavored syrup or a muddle of herbs. Many different variations can teach the new imbiber the importance of balance, creativity and variety. Just the tools someone needs when walking down the path of potent potables.
Thanks again to Pink Lady and the women of LUPEC – Boston for hosting this installment of MxMo.