It turns out, my summer bartending is proving winter handy indeed. Being back in the entertainment biz full time not only has afforded me security of health insurance for most of 2016, (who knew that entertainment and security could ever be used in a sentence), but also the familiar comaraderie that comes with hanging out with theater gypsies.
The past couple of months have yielded gifts of gin, wine, whiskey and sadly, nothing with which to mix it all. The actors, crew members and I have been gradually adding here and there. Here’s what I’ve notice when you’re spending time with a group of gin drinkers or aka, Brits: they know not the wild world of cocktails the way Americans do. Seems that prohibition and the creative cocktailing that emerged from scantily available spirits has been something I’ve taken for granted. When I think upon it, however, travelling to Great Britain or Europe I’ve only really imbibed in beer, wine or spirits served neat.
Maybe, ONE gin and tonic. Maybe. I vaguely remember somewhere in Bath someone hefting a cocktail that was naturally, gin based, infused with rosemary and garnished with cucumber wheels. I might actually use that idea. At any rate, who knew I’d be shaking and serving American concotions backstage, specifically catered to the British palate.
Maybe the idea of feeling I can provide a fun service that illicits joy is the root of passionate living. Does living passionately have to be a…a thing?? Can it be a concept??
There’s nothing more fun than using non-tradtional ingredients to recreate a flavour profile that echoes a classic cocktail. I’m grateful that I don’t have to rely on triple sec when I have orange bitters, sour mix when I’ve organic lemon juice in a jar and simple syrup, and tonic water in lieu of seltzer. When you can’t really keep produce around, you’re forced to think outside the box indeed.
American style cocktails are “very alcoholicky” to this group and most of the drinks I’ve made I’ve splashed ice cubes and tonic at the end. Wellllll….except for the old fashioned, because that would be sacrilegious. With limited ingredients and knowing basic mixology foundations, it is entirely possible to keep actors and their friends chiming in with “ta” and “brilliant” and “smashing”.
“So, what’s in a Tom Collins, exactly??”
Well, Gin Drinker, you must let me make some…
The following is the non-traditional version of the Cosmopolitan I’ve created to satisfy my current group of Brit actors.
Makes two 4 oz glasses: Pour into shaker filled with ice 3oz of citrus flavoured vodka 1 1/2 oz lemon juice 1 1/2 oz cranberry juice 1/2 oz of simple syrup 6-8 dashes of orange bitters
Shake well. Pour into glassware. Top off with 1/2 oz of tonic water in each glass. Add a few cubes of ice. Serve immediately.