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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gin cocktails for your Royal Wedding bash, or the rest of the year…

Some of my favorite cocktail recipes include Gin, so when developing a list of cocktails to help Salt Lake City readers celebrate the Royal Wedding in style, Gin came to mind.  What liquor could be more British than Gin?  None of the great whiskies of the British Isles are from England. Scotch is from Scotland, and Irish Whiskey is from (you guessed it) Ireland, but being the home of most of the world’s best Gins is not necessarily a bad thing.  So whether you plan to celebrate the Royal Wedding at Bar X, the Wild Grape Bistro, some other Salt Lake City watering hole, or just at home, you should be ready with some British-themed (and Gin-based) cocktails to get into the spirit (pun intended) of things.  So here are a handful of Gin cocktails that you may enjoy all year long, along with a couple of non-Gin favorites thrown in for those of you who (shudder) don’t like Gin.  So take a quick read of the following cocktail notes, view the slide show (complete with recipe cards), and select a cocktail or two to feature at your Royal Wedding bash.

Let’s start with a cocktail that’s almost straight Gin, albeit on the rocks.  Plymouth® is the brand name of a distinctive Gin, but the use of the descriptor “Plymouth Gin” is restricted to Gins made in Plymouth, England.  Although you can use London Dry Gin in a Pink Gin, Plymouth Gin, which is a little sweeter, makes a great one, so give it a try.  All you need is Gin, bitters, and ice.  For a switch, try this one with Tanqueray® Rangpur Gin… surprisingly tasty.

The Gin and Tonic is another classic Gin cocktail that you have probably enjoyed, and it’s not just for summer, either.  Quality Gin is the key to a good Gin and Tonic.  Try Bombay Sapphire®, sip it slowly and savor the flavor.

Like many other classic cocktails, the origins of the Gin Rickey seem to be lost in time. In the Joy of Mixology, Gary Regan reports that it was invented by Colonel “Joe” Rickey who was a British lobbyist in Washington, DC.  Whatever the story, this sublime Gin and lime cocktail may be enjoyed at almost any occasion.
As summer approaches, especially in the UK, you will start hearing more about the Pimm’s Cup.  This classic British cocktail is made with Pimm’s® No. 1 and lemonade or fruit juices, and is usually served with slices of fresh fruit and/or cucumbers.

It’s time to segue into a pair of Champagne cocktails, let’s start with a French 75 – a reliable champagne (and Gin) cocktail that is reputed to have a nice kick.  As usual, use a good sparkling wine (some are listed here) for Champagne cocktails and save your real Champagne to be drunk alone…  Another classic Champagne cocktail (this time without Gin) is the Cranberry Champagne Cocktail.  All it takes is a little Grand Marnier (or triple sec), some cranberry juice, and a little of your precious stock of sparkling wine.

Finally, for you Vodka lovers we have the much maligned Cosmopolitan.  A good Cosmo is pink, not red, which makes it a better choice for a wedding.  Whatever cocktail you choose, enjoy it responsibly.

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