Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Night Train

How do you spice up a pretty typical Gin Sour cocktail? By making it with a prohibition-style bathtub gin and a touch of kirsch.

Truthfully, this cocktail has a lot of trappings of the pre-Prohibition era: it's a potent gin drink with fresh juice and a name that suggests rail travel. Kirschwasser just happens to be one of the international spirits that bars would have had in the U.S. and a well-traveled person would know of its ability to lend potent fruit-scented punch to drinks when they are served up.

It's the large flat surface of a coup glass that really gives off whiffs of evaporating alcohol that is pleasing to drinkers. Gin itself, with its herbal and citrus botanicals really dances under the nose. Kirsch, which is distilled cherry juice, is a little darker with a smoother flavor and a rustic taste similar to pisco.

Making your own bathtub (steeped gin) is easy with 100-proof vodka, some juniper berries and citrus peels. Just throw about 20 juniper berries in a jar with just a peel of lemon and orange. I like a dozen angelica seeds and a dozen anise seeds as well as a sprig of basil and rosemary, but that's my preference. I've learned that understeeping is better than oversteeping, though, so strain out the solids after about three days.

The result is a green colored gin that is pretty dry and strong. It has the hearty flavor profile of a Prohibition era gin made the same way (hopefully not in a bathtub).    
  • 2 oz. gin (homemade dry gin used)
  • 1 oz. Cointreau (triple sec used)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • dash kirsch
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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