Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vodka vs. Gin

Last night at Punch restaurant in the Flatiron District I ordered a gin cosmo and my friend Natalia ordered the more traditional vodka version. The drinks arrived in small, stem-less glasses (not my favorite; more on cocktail stemware later this week). I drank the one placed before me and found that beyond tasting very lemony it was virtually flavorless. Natalia took one sip from hers and almost gagged. “Taste this,” she said, “It’s so fragrant, it must be yours.” It was, deliciously so.

I think the reason I didn’t notice the mix-up was that I’m so used to inferior, insipid cosmos made with Triple Sec and watered down lemonade that I assumed it was just another one of those. Natalia thinks it’s because she is much more of the cosmo connoisseur, even though I’m the one with the blog.

But that’s clearly not true, because why would anyone with a cultivated appreciation for cosmos not switch to gin?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

552 Cosmos

Since the last post in June 2007, we’ve each had an average of 2 cosmos a week. 2 x 138 weeks = 276 x 2 = 552 total. That’s a lot of Rose’s lime juice.

A lot of gin too, much of it poured by surprised bartenders who had never heard of such a thing. Ordering a cosmo made with gin is always an adventure. Actually, not always: at Gramercy Tavern, my order did not raise an eyebrow. The only question from the cocktail waitress was, “What type of gin would you like?” At other equally tony places though, the order necessitated a comment. From the bartender at Pipa, “That is seriously wack.” Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse at Grand Central, “Really? I’ve never heard of that before.” To name just two.

Even when gin is not the issue, that lemonade-y mix instead of Rose’s and Triple Sec instead of Cointreau must be dealt with. To get a really good gin cosmo, all of the ingredients have to be specified, and a lot of times all are not available.

Since the stated mission of this blog is find a cosmo made the way it ought to be, we will keep looking, drinking and writing about the search.

A prediction: A gin cosmo will be THE cocktail in the near future. My daughters drink gin, partially because that’s been my drink and partially because it’s not vodka, which everyone else drinks. I think gin’s unique taste and status will be making a comeback with generation Y.

Until then, our work continues. Stay tuned.