September 11, 2008

I am from the South but don’t really like bourbon. I can only hope that this revelation will not result in the revocation of my Dixie citizenship.  What I do like is gin. I adore gin.  Maybe it’s because gin reminds me of Zelda Fitzgerald, who, of course, is a true Southerner. Maybe it’s the crisp refreshing tingle that a gin and tonic leaves on my tongue.  Or maybe I just enjoy the light flavor and texture of a gin cocktail on sultry summer afternoons.

Here in the last days of summer, I’ve discovered a new favorite: Gin Rickeys. Usually I drink gin with tonic water and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, but since classic cocktails are all the rage these days, I thought I would try my hand at making a rickey. 

I poured 1 ½ ounces of gin and 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime) over ice in a chilled glass. Then I added about 8 ounces of club soda and stirred. According to my research, you don’t need to shake a rickey.  I cut another wedge of lime and squeezed a little more into the glass, then dropped the wedge into the glass.   It was divine. And, if you’re watching your girlish figure, you may be interested to know that it has only 100 calories and 0 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving. 

The key to making a really good gin rickey is to use really good gin. I used Bombay Sapphire.  This is a gin drink, pure and simple, and you need a smooth, dry gin because there’s no flavored mixer for it to hide behind. If you make it with cheap stuff, it just won’t be good.

The suffocating days of Alabama summer are soon coming to an end, but not my gin rickey cocktail time. I may just have to move from the deck into the den.

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