Thursday, July 21, 2011

Name That Cocktail

“As every man has his genius, every woman has her juno.”
Bulfinch's Mythology

Several months back, this blog announced a scheme to rename our favorite drink, and we pledged that 2011 would be “The Year of the [New Name for a Cosmo Made with Gin].”

We’re ready to fill in those brackets.

Next time you’re out, shake up the bartender and order a Juno.

Perfect, right?

I can say that because Barbara came up with the name Juno. She thought it paid tribute to juniper (the berries of which give gin its distinctive flavor) while echoing the sassy sound of Cosmo’s final syllable.

She didn’t pick Juno for any connection to the Roman goddess by the same name, but that is a fitting connection. From the exhaustive reading I’ve done (in the last ten minutes), Juno is a complicated goddess, often called “Optima Maxima,” meaning best and greatest of the goddesses. She is the goddess of women, kind of a female guardian angel. Roman women called their souls or guardian spirits “juno” (corresponding to the “genius” of a man) in her honor. So is there a better name for what we think is the best and greatest of cocktail, one that is (with apologies to the men we love who enjoy it), a woman’s drink?

Barbara and I recently attended a mixology class sponsored by Cointreau. The lesson plan included Cosmos, and of course Barbara and I had to tell the class that we make ours with gin. The bartender/instructor wanted to know if we had a name for it, and we told him Juno. Barbara had made up some cards with the recipe for a Juno on the back.

The class introduced us to some very tasty drinks, recipes for which we’ll be sharing in the coming days. But the most exciting part of the evening was introducing Juno into the world. Interestingly, when the very lovely Cointreau representative, who was fascinated by the idea of making a Cosmo with gin, emailed the recipes a few days later, “The Original Cosmopolitan” recipe called for 2 oz. Vodka (or Gin for some). Emphasis mine.

Now we have to start spreading the word. Readers, go out and order a Juno. Express surprise when the bartender doesn’t know how to make it. “Really? You’ve never heard of it? It’s like a Cosmopolitan, but it’s made with gin. And it must be made with Cointreau, not triple sec.” Let us know what happens.

The Year of the Juno has begun. Long live the Juno.