Sometimes you run across a drink that is not sophisticated, even though it’s made with good ingredients, and not even really interesting; it’s just so delicious that you know this, this is the drink that will finally get your friend who always claims s/he “doesn’t like the taste of alcohol” to down a couple (at least, if you are a morally-ambiguous person like I am, I guess). The Ginger Rogers is such a drink.
You can view a Ginger Rogers in many ways: a gin variation on a Moscow Mule or Dark and Stormy, an elaborated Gin Buck, or (stretching a little bit to get the requisite three items for this list) a tall-ified, fancy Gimlet. Basically, it is the place where you bring together ginger, mint, and gin, and then never, ever look back. The recipe I use is from Art of the Bar, and I’ll just assume it originates there, although I’ve done no research to back that up.
- 1 1/2 oz gin (I like Plymouth in this, but when do I not?)
- 1/2 oz ginger syrup (or just use muddled ginger to make it drier)
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 6 to 8 mint leaves
- ginger beer
In the bottom of a Collins glass, muddle the mint leaves (and ginger) and lime juice gently. Add the ginger syrup (if using) and gin, stir, fill with ice, top off with ginger beer, and stir again.
I made this drink with the original recipe (that is, with the ginger syrup) a lot last summer; this spring, the first time I made it with both ginger beer and ginger syrup I found it too sweet. My palate has gotten more sophisticated (and I’ve also learned to like the taste of less-masked alcohol), so I changed this up from the original recipe and muddled in the ginger with the mint. It eliminates the need for the extra sweetness from ginger syrup, as well as freeing up the space in the refrigerator that the ginger syrup has been taking up (I always have at least half a pound of ginger itself in my fridge). This is a nice, easy, low-alcohol drink, great for warm afternoons, sunlight, and those fools who’ve “never had a drink they’ve liked”.