this was going to be a book post, but it's been a long day at work and I've started researching vintage cocktails for a future project. From there it wasn't much of a leap to thinking an actual gin drink of some sort would be the way to go, and after that plans for anything really productive went to pot.
The Rhubarb Gin, of which I sell a lot and really like, is the sort of spirit I'm never very sure of what to do with. I don't especially want to drink it neat, though would consider it as a very dry martini (I'm not sure vermouth would do it many favours). It works with tonic but seems a waste of the rhubarb flavour, and is good with ginger ale, if you like ginger ale - I'm so so about it. Also, whilst that's a great winter drink, it doesn't say summer to me.
Which has left me looking at something along the Ricky, or Collins, line. A gin Ricky is a beautiful thing, and having finally discovered it I don't understand why it isn't a bigger thing. Basically gin, ice, the juice of half a lime along with its shell, and soda or sparkling mineral water, all served in a high ball glass. Refreshing crisp flavours, none of the sugar that tonic is laced with, and very good.
I thought pink grapefruit might make a good substitute for the lime in this one, but it lacks a certain bite. When Seville oranges are in season again I'm going to try it with those (both Rhubarb Gin and also Chase's Seville orange gin). Meanwhile what I have in hand is a pleasantly citrusy drink that allows the Rhubarb Gin to play its part.
Looking at a Tom Collins style version (Gin with lemon juice, sugar syrup, and soda water plus plenty of ice) I used M&S still raspberry lemonade which certainly has the sour bite I wanted, as well as enough sugar to act as a syrup too (efficient). I squeezed in more grapefruit, and dispensed with the soda water - my glass was already full. The result was very pink, very drinkable, probably not the classiest thing I could have made, and went down in five minutes flat (along with my good intentions). The only fault with it was that it doesn't really let the Rhubarb Gin shine (the problem with this sort of research is that it can quickly get messy) I need to try it with a standard London dry to compare. It was very summery though, and little bit trashy or not, I'll probably be drinking a lot of this.
Meanwhile, there will be no rest until I can really, truly, satisfactorily answer the question of how to serve this Gin.