Happy early Valentine’s Day! In this episode, the G of EL talk about everything from Ricky Gervais to Christopher Columbus, and from Charlie Chaplin to anaphylactic shock! All that AND it has a Valentine’s Day theme as well. Please read on.
Wouldn’t it be fun to surprise your significant other with a bright pink cocktail on Valentine’s Day, or just to have one for yourself? Sure it would. Well good luck. Turns out it’s a little trickier to find a truly pink drink without adding some kind of food colouring. The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure got close though, and these two drinks will be sure to have your honey forgetting about that dinner reservation that you forgot to make in the first place. Let’s get started!
First up is a drink that was printed in the July/August 2016 issue of Imbibe Magazine. The recipe itself is attributed to Alex Smith from Whitechapel in San Francisco. It’s called the Italian Gin and Tonic.
Italian Gin and Tonic
by Alex Smith, Whitechapel, San Francisco. Printed in Imbibe Magazine, July/August 2016
2 ounces London Dry Gin
1/2 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
Chilled tonic water (Whitechaple uses Lurisa brand. We used Canada Dry)
Rosemary sprig and orange peel
Combine the first three ingredients in an ice-filled highball glass and top with chilled tonic (to taste). Stir to combine then garnish with the Rosemary sprig and orange peel.
This tastes like a lighter and more refreshing Negroni. The Campari's bitter/sweet flavour and the vermouth seem to love hanging out with the tonic water and the gin likes hanging out with everybody in this drink. Perfectly balanced, this drink just begs you to have another one. Be forewarned though, it made us pepper our conversation with a lot of bad puns.
Next up is an old, old drink that dates back to 1932. This drink was served at the Queen’s Park Hotel in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. It’s printed in the extremely cool book, "Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean - 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them" by Jeff Berry. You can buy a copy for yourself right here. The drink is called the Queen’s Park Hotel Super Cocktail.
Queen’s Park Hotel Super Cocktail
circa 1932- printed in Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean, 2014 Cocktail Kingdom.
1 1/2 ounce gold Trinidad rum
1/2 ounce Italian vermouth
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce grenadine
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake with ice cubes and strain into a cocktail glass.
It couldn’t be easier and it couldn’t be better! Sweet and tart and rummy. We loved this cocktail. The first sip grabs you by the lapels and says, “This is a rum drink!”. But don’t get scared. The grenadine and lime juice guide you over to the vermouth and everybody gets along. This drink is so good it would make you forget all about the bedbug infestation in your hotel bed (that collapsed the previous night) and that fact that you have to share your bathroom with 20 other guest rooms! Well, maybe two of these drinks would make you forget that.
We hope you make these drinks for whatever occasion you have going on. They are certainly "pinkish" which was what we set out to do, and they really would be a big hit on Valentine's Day!
Have a happy one! Cheers!
ps. You know what would make a great Valentine's gift for the cocktail person in your life? I'll give you a hint, it's in the picture below.
The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure