The Narragansett Beer Wagon
It was 1943, World War II was upon us and the citizens of Rockland were getting accustomed of that dirty word "rationing." Certain food items were rationed in our grocery stores and gasoline was rationed in several ways.
The regular driver of an automobile was allowed a certain amount of gasoline a week. Commercial businesses were allowed more to get their goods and services delivered. It seemed in either case that there was not enough gasoline available, except for the black market, which we won't get into in this writing, to satisfy every driving need.
It’s been a few weeks now but our weekend away lingers on in the form of gin, lemon, and honey. It’s called a Bee’s Knees and I’m desperately trying to make up for the lost time when we, sadly, did not know of one another.
A chance meeting that I won’t soon forget. Gabe and I arrived early to our dinner at the Willow’s Inn. We had planned on a cocktail before we sat down to a much anticipated meal. The cocktail menu overwhelmed the senses with ingredients like Nettles and Elderflower – making a decision proved difficult. We settled on a Bee’s Knees. With three simple ingredients it sounded both intriguing and refreshing.
Without the weight of so many additions of syrups and infusions each flavor is prominent. As a good team should, they work together producing a perfectly balanced drink – tart and sweet with a pungent punch of Gin, which, when you have the right Gin, is never a bad thing.
Splendid Summer Drinks
Creative mixologists are using fresh garden ingredients to concoct tasty new cocktails that will truly wet your whistle.
The Eben Tide served at l'etoile is Richard Very's fresher version of a gin and tonic, named for Vineyarder Eben Armer, a stone mason who comes into the restaurant each week to enjoy the surf-and-turf house specialty, along with his namesake cocktail.
1 lime wedge, about 1/6 of a lime, rind removed
1 cucumber round, about 1/4-inch thick, peeled
1 pink grapefruit wedge, about 1/8 of a grapefruit, rind removed
2 ounces Hendrick's Gin
1/2 ounce St-Germain elderberry liqueur
1/2 ounce simple syrup (see making simple syrups)
2 ounces tonic water
Slice of lime and cucumber spear, for garnish
1. In a tall Collins glass, muddle the lime wedge, cucumber slice, and grapefruit wedge.
2. Add ice to fill the glass and add the gin, St-Germain, simple syrup, and tonic water.
3. Stir with a bar spoon and garnish with a lime wheel and cucumber spear.
You must have been napping if you've missed the recent gin explosion. Many are emerging as a result of the growth of the American craft distiller movement, but the Old World, too, is contributing its share of new iterations to what's been seen by some as a stodgy old gin mix. To Americans who easily embrace the new, it may seem odd but among aficionados this wave of gins, skewing away from the juniper bite of a London dry style, has caused some consternation. Listen to what one gin maker told me late last year: "Gin has to predominantly have the nose and taste of juniper, yet some of the gins coming on the market at the moment really don't meet that criteria, and this is quite a concern."
Cocktail of the Week
Adventures in drinking
Next Saturday evening, Hendrick’s Gin is swinging through the Union League for a Victorian-themed evening of cocktails, traditional high tea (with cakes!) and adventure stories from Charles Brewer-Carias Esq., a 71-year-old explorer with his sights set on El Dorado. It’s all exquisitely strange and smells faintly of steampunk, which is why we’re glad they’ll be serving plenty of these:
What’s in it:
1 part Hendrick’s Gin
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
How to make it:
In a tall glass filled with a few cubes of ice, add one part gin to the juice of half of a lemon. Top up with ginger ale.