Ah, gin—how wonderfully versatile you are. While gin-based summer drinks typically utilize the spirit in fizzy, citrusy, minty mixtures, gin functions under another identity as the base for intensely flavorful drinks such as the Contessa and the Last Word. True, these are lovely year-round drinks, but sometimes a summer evening calls for something sharp and crisp. Whiskey and brandy won't do in such situations, and rum is better built for the lounging-in-a-hammock style of summer drinks. For these moments, it's gin, and preferably in a mixture that has a flavor as potent as the spirit.
Introducing the Lucien Gaudin. Named for an early 20th century French Olympic fencer, the Lucien Gaudin starts off in the manner of a Negroni by combining gin with Campari. With the addition of Cointreau and dry vermouth the result is a pleasantly bitter drink that is simultaneously rich and dry--a challenging flavor to create which is all the more enjoyable because of its rarity.
About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.
- 1 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce Campari
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. A twist of orange peel is not out of place here.