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I'm a writer who's eating, drinking and reading my way around Philadelphia.

Drinking at Home: Gin Edition

Drinking at Home: Gin Edition

When my boyfriend Nick and I first moved in together, we decided that the one thing we had to have was a personal bar. We took this so seriously that we spent the first week in our house designing and assembling a bar cart, despite the fact that literally everything else that we owned was still in boxes. We didn't fully unpack our clothes for an entire month, but damn if we didn't have a fully stocked bar cart within a few days.

I'm not complaining. Nor am I complaining about having my own personal bartender. Nick makes a mean drink, and I've been more than happy to support his hobby, especially if it means I get to try his creations. (For any aspiring home bartenders out there, I got him The Essential New York Times Book of Cocktails for Christmas, and it's been a game changer). I'm primarily a gin drinker, and I'm always looking for ways to support Philly businesses. This means that we usually have a bottle of Philadelphia Distilling's Bluecoat American Dry Gin around the house.

I've talked about my love for Philadelphia Distilling's cocktails before, and you should absolutely take a tour of the distillery and sample some drinks. But you don't have to go to Fishtown every time you're craving some good gin. Pick up a bottle of their Bluecoat American Dry Gin (my personal favorite), and try your hand at making one of these Shaun-tested, Nick-approved cocktails.

French 75

Probably my favorite "classic" drink. We stick to the normal recipe for this one.

1 oz Gin
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup*
2 oz Champagne
Lemon twist to garnish

Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and then shake. Pour the mixture (straining out the ice) into a chilled champagne flute and then top with champagne. Don't forget the garnish!

The Bee(r)'s Knees

Technically you can make this with any pale beer (some recipes recommend a pilsner), but we've found that Citizen Cider's Dirty Mayor is the perfect compliment to the gin and honey simple syrup.

1 1/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp honey simple syrup*
1/4 can Citizen Cider Dirty Mayor (or any pale beer) (cold)

Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a rocks glass and give it a stir to combine the ingredients. Top with roughly a quarter can  of cider or the beer of your choice.

Le Monde Renversé

Nick wanted to make up his own drink but only had a few ingredients handy, so he played Chopped: Drinking Edition and used whatever he could find. This is his play on a gimlet. The name basically translates to "the world upended." Seems fancy, but he was actually inspired by the Upside Down in Stranger Things and just thought this sounded cooler. 

2 oz Gin
3/4 oz basil simple syrup*
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3-4 sprays of Absinthe

Pour the gin, basil simple syrup and lime juice into a shaker and stir with ice until the shaker gets frosty (or at least really cold). To prepare your glass, spray it twice with absinthe to coat the sides. Add the contents of the shaker into a rocks glass and add ice. Top with one or two sprays of absinthe. 

*Making simple syrup is super easy. It's just one part water to one part sugar. (So if you're making the honey simple syrup, one part honey to one part water.) Mix the two, bring it to a boil, and let the sugar dissolve. If you're infusing your simple syrup, add whatever herbs you're using to the mixture and then bring it to a boil, letting the sugar dissolve before taking it off the heat. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, then strain the herbs out. Put it in a jar and let it cool.

Also check out: Best Cocktails in Philly; Best Philly Happy Hours

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