In an earlier post, I talked about how my exposure to some of the incredible craft cocktails at places like The Boiler Room and J.Coco’s inspired me to want to learn more about the art of the cocktail. About this time I also found a great local whiskey and started to discover a lot of the classics like the Old Fashioned and Manhattans, leading me to learn about the history as well as learning more about the basic alcoholic elements of cocktails. One of the most historic spirits is gin and anytime you delve into the world of classic cocktails, you will run into many gin based drinks.
Gin has been distilled since the 1600s and was often used as a medicinal remedy to help calm the nerves, solve stomach and kidney ailments and to relive gout and lumbago. Gin exploded into popularity during the 1700s when England banned the import of spirits and wine from France, forcing the English people to find new ways to quench their thirst. With beer brewing already an established industry and the primary user of high quality (aka expensive) distillers grains, the masses turned to gin whose use of poorer quality grains than beer and a with no licensing requirements for distillers, a new cheap source of spirits was born. Gin became hugely popular and make a large lasting impression on the English and all their colonies. Classics such as the Gin and Tonic spread all over the English empire as its use as in malaria prevention gains popularity.
Fast forward to the 1920 and early 30’s and with drinkers in the US suffering under the bridle of Prohibition, gin once again springs to the forefront of the cocktail culture as its lack of barrel aging makes it easier to produce in secret than whiskeys. Bartenders at speakeasies around the county shifted from whiskeys and rum based cocktails to gin, resulting in many classic cocktails that are popular today. With the craft cocktail and distillery trend bubbling up all across the nation, a resurgence of new gins and recipes have opened new avenues for gin drinkers to discover. While researching good drinks to use my homemade brandied cherries in, I ran across the Superlative Juvenile, an adult twist on the classic kid’s drink the Shirley Temple. Troy Patterson, writer for Slate.com’s The Gentlemen Scholar blog, came up with this inventive recipie to honor the passing of Ms. Temple. This is our spin on this drink.
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounce pomegranate liqueur
- Juice of ½ lemon (approx .75 oz of lemon juice)
- 2 teaspoons of brandied cherry liquid
- Ginger Ale
- Lemon slice
- 2 Marasca cherries (we used our brandied cherries!)
- Drop one of the cherries into the bottom of a chilled highball or rocks glass, and gently press it to release some of the juice. Fill the glass with ice. Stir the gin, pomegranate liqueur, and lemon juice with ice in a mixing glass and strain into the glass. Top with ginger ale and a lemon twist.
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