What better way to celebrate than a MXMO party?
We're all about Old Fashioned cocktails this month. It's not really fair to think of it as drink zero, more so a movement back to the place where prepping spirits for the palate began. A little peel of lemon has never been out of place.
I found this beauty in a basket at one of my favourite Italian grocers. It was labeled a Sicilian Lemon but I think that's more of a product descriptor than an actual variety. I think it falls into the Citron family and was probably imported from Sicily (that's how my family got here too).
It has always hurt my feelings that we get several varieties for oranges but usually only one choice for lemon. Specialty stores will occasionally offer alternatives like Meyer or the variety I chose here. The extra thick pith is less bitter than that of a regular lemon. It gives licence to use the whole without fear of making the drink overly bitter.
The first "mixologists of tipicular fixin's" (mystery solved) were bartenders that in the 1850's would include fresh ingredients, prepared syrups and fancy fruit garnishes in their creations. These drinks actually pre-date the 1880's lump sugar, bitters and water version, that has become popular again today. Bar patrons who wished to skip out on these extra fixings, asking to have a cocktail made in the old fashioned way.
It was American abundance that caused the drink to be so frequently made with whisky. If you read Jerry Thomas's recipes or that in the Savoy, it's clear that any spirit can be used and that it's the formula and preparation that make a drink old fashioned. The one I've made today models the 1860's "plain" Jerry Thomas recipe. Restraint with curacao and simple syrup are what keep it true to form. I could not however resist some over use of my citron for garnish.
Plain Gin Cocktail 2015
2 oz gin
1 tsp simple syrup
1/2 tsp dry curaçao
3 dashes grapefuit bitters
slice of Citron
Add ingredients to a shaker filled 3/4 with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled glass. Garnish with citron or lemon
Clearly, given the name of my company, I fall into the group of people who like to mess with the extras. So, I found, as I often do, the challenge set out by MXMO to be a tough one.
Thank you to Sass & Gin for putting this one together, there is an entire month's worth of "old fashioned" over there so check it out!
The roundup post is here, there were some very interesting interpretations on this theme. Read through the very long list and you'll see everything from banana to an historical battle.
Thank you to everyone who has stopped by for recipes over the last year.
Please leave a comment to let me know what other recipes you'd like to see.