In much of Canada, spring is a season in name only, seasons last months, not a couple weeks. To wit, on May 9 we had snow in Ottawa, on May 26 it hit 39C.
So now that the summer of COVID-19 is upon us (hot and cooped up) ex-bartenders like me shift our cocktail priorities from bourbon/whiskey/scotch-based drinks to lighter summer fare, like gin and tequila. (No, vodka doesn’t count—that’s a story for later).
There are some who believe the best all-round cocktails are the fuller bodied, winter style drinks and that summer for them means beer, followed by beer, with an occasional beer in between. If that’s you, read on, you’re in for a surprise or two. And if you’re an enthusiastic cocktail-maker, welcome to the club, feel free to share your favs below.
This week’s cocktail is a play on the Negroni, the classic summer drinker’s drink. If you don’t know the Negroni, Google it and make one now. It encapsulates my world view of cocktails, not sweet, alcohol forward and complex on the palate. If you find the Campari a little strong in the drink, leave out 10 ml or so and add 10 ml of gin.
Today’s cocktail is the Lucien Gaudin. Not sure when Gaudin drank these, certainly not before work, he was an Olympic champion fencer. This is a great summer tipple, in my mind it’s a mix between a Negroni and a Martini, with a little twist to each of those classics.
- 1.5 oz dry gin
- 0.75 oz or Cointreau or Triple Sec
- 0.75 oz Campari
- 0.75 oz dry vermouth
In a cocktail shaker with ice, stir vigorously for 30 seconds, strain and pour, ideally into a chilled glass. Enjoy!
Check back every Friday as I dip into my summer cocktail catalog. Let us know in the Comments what you’re making at home when beer or wine won’t cut it.
Randall had the misfortune of being a bartender in the late 1980s, widely considered Hell in the annals of cocktail history—remember the fuzzy navel, the tequila sunrise and various coconut and blue curacao drinks? Resistance might have been futile against the Borg, but there was no way he was giving in, he kept drinking his Manhattans, Rob Roys and Old Fashioneds, despite almost never serving one at the bar.