Has it really been a year since the last World Gin Day?
No, seriously, don't -
Look, it's called a rhetorical question. Of course it's been a year since the last World Gin Day. This year, however, marks the first year that it's fallen - for me, at least - in winter.
This is because I'm currently in the Southern Hemisphere and things are weird here. I'm told it's winter, but seriously? It's 18° Celsius (64° Fahrenheit) and, as a native of Scotland, I'd call that positively toasty but I'm surrounded by people wearing scarves and more layers than the middle act of Inception.
People are drinking mulled wine. In June. This I cannot deal with.
I'm used to thinking about drinks for summer right about now, so it's been a fun challenge to think about something a little more seasonally appropriate for where I am. It helps that I work at a bar that is famed for its house-made ginger beer, because what could be more warming than the rich spiciness of ginger beer?
Besides actual hot drinks, yes.
The obvious choice is Audrey Saunders' Gin-Gin Mule, although the one we make at Grandma's could be called a version of it rather than a strictly authentic recreation - the original calls for a still ginger beer and the addition of soda water whereas our ginger beer is carbonated; we also like to thrown in a dash of Angostura Bitters because reasons. It's turned out to be one of the most popular drinks on our new menu - that shouldn't be surprising, given that it has been named as one of the 25 most influential drinks of the past century by Imbibe (US). Described by its creator as an "ambassador to gin," maybe - like its base spirit - that's worth celebrating all year round?
Yes, again with the rhetorical questions.
45ml Tanqueray Gin
15ml lime juice
15ml sugar syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
8 mint leaves
Top with ginger beer
Shake the first five ingredients with ice and fine-strain* into an ice-filled sling/catalina glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and a piece of crystallised ginger.
* Your mileage may vary when it comes to fine-straining drinks served over ice; in this particular instance I'd do it to remove any teensy, annoying bits of mint from the finished drink.