I don't know where you're reading this from, but here, it's hot. I'm surrounded by a thick blanket of steamy heat, the kind that brings out atavistic instincts in Southerners like me; I feel driven to seek out a verandah (and possibly a ceiling fan) and sip iced tea and endeavor to move as little as possible.
Alas, my ancient yearnings must (once again) be denied, as not only do I have to work for a living (with all the wearing-of-pants that that implies), I live in New York City, where items such as verandahs are in short supply.
However, I have a cocktail shaker and, assuming I remember to fill the trays, plenty of ice. As Embury said, cocktails "must be well-iced," ensuring an appropriately frigid sip to cool the throat and bring the rest of the corpus to a more reasonable temperature.
The lethargy brought on by summer's heat means that I don't tend to want to fuss too much. I love me a Corpse Reviver No. 2, but when I've gotten home from a long day and have been packed in a subway car and am feeling parched and gummy, I want something a little less painstaking. I've been subsisting on cooling drinks that are relatively simple, but nonetheless refreshing. The Americano. The Old-Fashioned. The Jack Rose. And, what I made for myself yesterday evening after I arrived home, kissed the best gal, and showered off the stickiness: the Gimlet.
Raymond Chandler's take on the Gimlet from The Long Goodbye is of course well-known and deserves to be quoted here:
It truly is hard to beat the combination of gin and lime, though Chandler's proportions aren't quite to my taste; they can lead to a sticky-sweet drink, and isn't banishing stickiness the whole point of this exercise? We need something appealingly incisive -- like the drink's namesake -- to cut through the goo.
Now, I've noticed a few bars in Manhattan that tout their Gimlets made with nothing but gin and fresh lime juice. Far be it from me to decry any barkeep who squeezes their own citrus, but fresh lime juice in a Gimlet is a little spiky and too acidic for my tastes. So, I prefer it with a combination of Rose's and fresh. I tend to have to tinker with the proportions, given the acidity of the limes, but here's what I've been enjoying:
- 2 oz. gin (I used Hendrick's)
- 1 oz. Rose's Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice