Improving on a Classic
Have you ever had a favorite bar for appetizers and happy hour — only to be royally disappointed when the bartender moves on and the drinks tank? That happened to us at Roy’s in La Jolla a while back. The drinks became syrupy touristy concoctions. We stopped going.
Then our friends invited us to join them there — and we were in for a head-spin. A new-to-us bartender named Avery not only made up drinks for us when we described what we like — the Square One Cucumber & Lemon was a summer’s garden in a glass — he also improved on one of our own house favorites: the Gimlet Up.
How is this possible?
|The InspirationAvery the bartender charmed us. He claimed we looked like movie stars and knew a lot about gin gimlets.
He said many gimlets can be overpowering. We nodded, transfixed. His gimlet was perfectly balanced, herbal, and crisp. Simplicity in a glass.
Oftentimes, the juniper in the gin can feel too fragrant, the lime can be too tart or bitter, or the bartender can really mess things up with too much Roses lime juice or worse, triple sec or sweet and sour. That’s no gimlet.
Avery suggests: When you taper back the sweet and the sour and let the basil come through, you’ll end up with a more sophisticated drink. Thank you, Avery!
|The Cocktail Recipe
: Avery’s Basil Gimlet Up2 1/2 oz gin (Tanqueray 10 is one smooth gin; even yummier if you can find it on sale)
juice of one quarter lime
teaspoon simple syrup
2 sweet basil leaves, one torn up, one to float on top (regular fresh basil works, too)
Fill shaker with ice, gin, lime juice, and torn up basil. Throw the squeezed lime wedge in, too. Shake vigorously. Then shake one more time. You want to get ice crystals on the top of your drink. Strain into a cocktail glass and float a freshly washed basil leave on top.
Drink gin in moderation. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t let possums anywhere near an open door at dusk to your house that leads to dark, cozy spaces. Even if there’s a sweet basil plant guarding the door. We believe we have another possum hiding out in our garage. Are Possum Hunts an annual tradition? More on that later.
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