A couple of weeks ago, a certain Mouse told me that she’s planning an “End of the 20s” party to celebrate her 30th birthday! Naturally, she needs a fab gin cocktail, so she turned to Woozy Wednesday for help. Here were Mouse’s criteria for her birthday gin cocktail:
1. Affordable ingredients
2. Can be prepared in large batches
3. Clear and not sticky
4. As classically 1920s as possible
My first thought was the Ginger Tom Collins, my very favorite gin cocktail ever. The Ginger Tom isn’t quite classic, it’s more classic-with-a-twist, but it meets all of the other requirements and most importantly, it’s delicious.
Ginger Tom Collins (makes 10)
2.5 cups gin (20 ounces), preferably Hendrick’s
1 cup ginger syrup (8 ounces)
1.25 cups lemon juice (10 ounces)
Club soda (optional)
To make ~2 cups of ginger syrup, combine 2 cups of sugar with 2 cups of water and 8 inches of diced fresh ginger. Bring to a gentle boil, simmer for 10 minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let sit overnight in the fridge. Strain chunks of ginger out before using.
To make the cocktail, mix ingredients in a pitcher or punch bowl; pour into ice-filled glasses. If desired, top with club soda.
But, if we’re going for absolute historical authenticity, here are two bright and fun cocktails that would have been at home in a 1920s speakeasy. The Foghorn is the least potent of the cocktails listed here and may therefore be the most crowd-pleasing. If, however, you’ve got a guest list that loves the taste of gin, the Delilah is the way to go.
Foghorn (makes 10)
Recipe adapted from TheSpir.it
2.5 cups gin (20 ounces)
1 cup Rose’s lime juice* (8 ounces)
4 cups ginger ale, preferably Seagram’s (32 ounces)
Mix in pitcher and pour into ice-filled glasses; OR, if you’re worried about the ginger ale going flat, mix gin and lime juice, pour into ice-filled glasses, then top with ginger ale.
Delilah (makes 10)
Recipe adapted from About.com
2 cups (16 ounces) gin
1 cup (8 ounces) Cointreau or other orange liqueur (I used triple sec)
1 cup (8 ounces) lemon juice
Pour ingredients into a pitcher containing a couple handfuls of ice. Mix and pour immediately into martini glasses! If possible, strain out the ice as you pour. You want a bit of melted ice water in the drink but not too much.
Any other ideas for Mouse? Which one is your favorite?
* I usually use fresh citrus in my cocktails, but I think the Foghorn calls for the slightly sweeter taste of classic cocktail mixer Rose’s lime juice. I tried the Foghorn with fresh lime juice and it was slightly bitter (although it’s possible that I had some not-so-great limes). If you’d rather use fresh lime juice you may want to add 1/4-1/3 C. simple syrup to the 10-person pitcher.