I am not likely to go into the history of the cocktails I choose for the Cocktail of the Month series – I will leave that to more serious food historians. I might make up a little story about why I think each cocktail is named as such, and what kinds of people I imagine concocting them, but unless I otherwise state it, my musings on libations are going to be works of fiction. The reality I present is merely in the formula for creating delicious beverages.
The recipes I offer will be for two drinks, so just double the amount for a small gathering. Please note that I tend to make drinks on the boozy side, so cut back on the spirits and bump up the mixers if you like, especially if you plan on operating a motor vehicle (or anything with wheels) soon after consuming one of my suggestions. I guess these are disclaimers. I prefer gin to vodka, any day, and shy away from things that are too sweet or contain raw egg white; I am happy to let you convince me otherwise.
As a general rule, I am not one for fussy drinks, since making more than one round of them often results in a messy kitchen. This first installment takes a little work, but I firmly believe that the Southside is worth every bit of time and effort. If the weather ever finally turns to summer, these will be flowing from the Taupe Tower like Victoria Falls; Chicago family, please consider this an open invitation to stop by and drink your fill.
In a large shaker, add in this order:
3 medium spearmint sprigs, coarsely chopped
1 cup of cubed ice
Juice from 1 & 1/2 lemons
2 tablespoons of simple syrup (more, if you like your drinks sweet)
Gin to the ice level
Shake vigorously until the shaker is too cold to hold (my basic rule of shaking) and then strain into two cocktail or coupe glasses. Float on top:
Chilled club soda
Enjoy with a friend or two for yourself. =)