Weeknights with Jenny

Gin Rickey

August 30, 2010 • 31 Comments

Gin Rickey

- Jenny

My new stove and I are in the first throes of dating and you know how that goes. It’s all lust and excitement, and I am introducing him to my friends –- like Butter Chicken and Puglia Lady Rethought for America and Salmon Pasta. When things calm down and we get to know each other better, I'll be able to move on to new recipes, and this blog will return to its regularly scheduled program of weeknight cooking tips.

In the meantime, in lieu of adventurous cooking, I am having a cocktail. In particular: Gin Rickey (is it a sin to drink gin before noon?). This drink provides the perfect end to the summer, like a refreshing bit of surf on your legs, or better yet, the announcement from your summer share mates that they are packing up early and have left you a pile of clean towels and the back porch from which to watch the sunset all to yourself.

As is often the case, Jenny has made some adjustments to cover for her own failings. The first is the actual alcohol used; obviously this recipe calls for gin, and as I do not have much of a hard liquor supply, I had full intentions of procuring some over the weekend.

Sunday rolled around, and I mulled going to Trader Joe’s to pick up some gin, until I learned that A) in D.C. grocery stores cannot sell hard stuff (though wine and beer is fine) and that B) it is one of the states (“states”) that forbids liquor stores to open on Sunday.

Um, comment say wa? (They also do not allow farmers to sell fresh meat at the markets, though apparently raw fish makes the cut. In the official parlance of jurisprudence, these types of laws or ordinances are known as hooey, or that which makes no freaking sense to anyone but he/she who wrote it.)

But did I run toward the Jet Blue terminal and look for the next flight back home to Los Angeles? I did not. I used vodka. And it tasted great.

Further, Giulia Melucci, one of my favorite weeknight recipe scribes, called for agave nectar, proclaiming it a “godsend to cocktail-making because it's less bother than simple syrup and it gives you the sense that you are doing something healthy; what with its low glycemic index.”

Well, nothing is a god send to me if I can’t find it in visits to three stores, and anyone who drinks cocktails midday while their 7-year-old rocks out to Kei$ha clearly has other things to worry about concerning her lifestyle and general comportment than the glycemic index. So simple syrup it was for me –- honestly it only takes a minute to make.

Our mixologist says you can use mint or basil –- my mint was looking a little tired and MrsWheelbarrow just brought me my own basil plant and so before I kill it with ineptitude I thought I should pluck a few leaves, rub them between my fingers and drop them into the drink. Sublime. Any time of day.

Gin Rickey (is it a sin to drink gin before noon?)

By Giulia Melucci

Serves 2

  • 3 ounces gin
  • 4 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces seltzer
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 2 sprigs mint or basil
  • 2 pieces lime

Pour all liquid ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into two glasses filled with ice. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint or basil and a slice of lime.

By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook

Jennifer Steinhauer
Jump to Comments (31)

Tags: everyday cooking

Comments (31)

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almost 4 years ago thirschfeld

Recipe redux. Yes still as good as the one made two nights ago which might have converted the wife to liking gin.

_mg_0362

almost 4 years ago Jestei

we are in the same place with this drink. maybe make hers with vodka?

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

OK, made this tonight, and I have a new favorite cocktail. Thanks, Jenny!

_mg_0362

almost 4 years ago Jestei

cheers see you tonight virtually at cocktail hr!

Ashtaco

almost 4 years ago wanderash

How timely! I have just vowed to only drink delicious cocktails- so, out with my husband's Any-Flat-Soda -and-Too-Much-Liqueur and in with the Gin Rickey!

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almost 4 years ago Jestei

i am with you wanderash. i have actually found that sipping one of these guys while i make dinner makes me far less sleepy/sluggish than a glass of wine. i am hooked, in a good way!

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almost 4 years ago Victoria Carr

This sounds like a GREAT Labor Day weekend cocktail. I will be using simple syrup (I always have a bottle in the refrigerator) and Plymouth Gin straight from the freezer.

_mg_0362

almost 4 years ago Jestei

thanks for this tip. i was wondering what to do with my syrup -- should i fridge, leave out....

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almost 4 years ago jmnookin

it does sound sublime. but drinking in LA just isn't the same without you!

_mg_0362

almost 4 years ago Jestei

Ah well. Yes.

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Food52 virtual cocktail hour! I love it!

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almost 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

I'm so glad you're putting the basil to such good use! I realize I have all the ingredients (except that pesky agave nectar), so will be having a Gin Rickey myself as soon as the clock strikes six o'clock.

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almost 4 years ago thirschfeld

so I guess what you are getting at MrsW. is this might be a food52 virtual cocktail hour because I am getting ready to give one of these a try, too.

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almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Had I not drunk a whole pot of espresso this morning, I'd be partaking with y'all.

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almost 4 years ago thirschfeld

oh my, that is a good cocktail. I am glad my wife doesn't like gin so I can drink the second one.

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almost 4 years ago Jestei

Yes I made one again tonight and didn't even bother to strain it. Just lots and lots of crushed ice. (Virtual) cheers to all!

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almost 4 years ago dymnyno

well...I start at 5:00 PDT after a hard day of tasting wine! Gin really cuts to the chase!

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almost 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

I enjoyed the Gin Rickey SOOOO much, I didn't even come back to socialize during happy hour. I used Hendrick's Gin, which is my new favorite, tho Junipero is also outstanding.

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almost 4 years ago thirschfeld

I really like the line, "the announcement from your summer share mates that they are packing up early and have left you a pile of clean towels and the back porch from which to watch the sunset all to yourself." I just know that feeling in my stomach, sadness at the end of summer and excitement of an evening to yourself. Kinda like starting back to school.

_mg_0362

almost 4 years ago Jestei

here in dc they start back two weeks before labor day so i get to pouring early!

Newliztoqueicon-2

almost 4 years ago Lizthechef

Very adaptive! Glad to hear you are coping with the move so creatively ;)

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almost 4 years ago Jestei

for now!!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Oh, very nice, Jenny. At the market the other day I spotted simple syrup in a bottle. IN A BOTTLE! For 5 bucks! My jaw dropped. But then I thought "Don't be judgemental, Mrs. Larkin. Maybe some folks out there are just too busy with really important stuff to be boiling equal parts water and sugar in a pot until the sugar dissolves."

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almost 4 years ago Jestei

i think it just proves there is a market for everything and we must find our own incredibly insane item to sell too

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Must get cocktail shaker today.

_mg_0362

almost 4 years ago Jestei

Or you can use my method: pour it over ice in a two cup measuring cup and strain into an antique champaign glass.

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

even better! Thanks!

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almost 4 years ago healthierkitchen

OK, so DC takes a little getting used to. Don't even get me started on buying alcohol in Montgomery County, MD, just over the DC line. But welcome to DC regardless! P.S. Trader Joes usually has agave nectar, but the parking lot stinks. And, don't miss trying out the Rodman's on Wisconsin - fun but crowded wine and beer dept. and a basement filled with all kinds of (unnecessary) housewares. Just don't go on Sunday!

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almost 4 years ago Jestei

i realized today that i missed it in whole foods, too. but i think simple syrup is just great.

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almost 4 years ago dymnyno

I sell wine in DC, VA and MD...the laws are so different in each place that I can't even tell some wine stores what the price will be! The drink sounds like a godsend for a thirsty pilgrim...how can something so good be a sin!

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almost 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

You absolutely should check out Rodman's. It will boggle your mind.