Monday, August 1, 2011

Drink 172: All That's Missing is the Asbury Jukes

A little over a week ago we tried the Wallis Blue Cocktail, which we found quite delicious.  It is essentially a gin Margarita.  Surprisingly, that post received a comment.  A reader suggested that we try another gin drink called the Southside because he had heard it was “very tasty.”  He even provided a link to the recipe.  As we have shown by our one reader-requested drink, we are always happy to honor a fan’s request as long as the drink happens to be in our Mr. Boston guide.  In this case the guide does have a South-side but it only bears a slight resemblance to the recipe linked since it ignores several key ingredients.  If the supplied recipe was Alec Baldwin, the Mr. Boston version is Stephen Baldwin.
South-side Fizz Cocktail
Prettiest leaf this
side of Leif Garrett
 All hope was not lost though as the guide has a second drink called the South-side Fizz which is a bit closer but still not an exact match.  We decided to have a head-to-head showdown between the two recipes.  Of course another sabot got thrown into the machinery when a third recipe got posted to the comments.  Since this third recipe came directly from the person who claims it is tasty we altered our plan and decided to use her recipe vs. the Mr. Boston recipe.  We did this even though we had already scheduled the other recipe. We hope you appreciate the steps we take to keep things from getting stale at TBIAW.   Seriously.  This is a lot of work for very few readers.   It would probably be more efficient to just send a couple of e-mails or a mimeograph instead of dealing with the blog.

The challenger

Normally when we make a mixed drink that calls for gin we use Tanqueray.  Not this time, though.  Our Southside fan said “do NOT use Tanqueray.”  I’m not sure what she has against Tanqueray (maybe Tanqueray owes her money?) but we honored her request.  She suggested alternatives Plymouth, No. 209, and Hendrick’s. Of those, we only have Hendrick’s, but we decided to go with Bombay Sapphire instead because I didn’t want to use 4.5 oz of Hendrick’s on mixed drinks.  It is only to be used for Gin and Tonics or for getting crunk.

After we retrieved a bottle of Sapphire from our vast gin cellar, we studied the recipes carefully.  There were a few differences so we’ve provided a handy chart to highlight the main ones:

The differences definitely created two distinct drinks each imperfect in its own way.   The Mr. Boston version was a little too watery in my opinion primarily due to the fact that you are instructed to fill the glass with club soda once the other ingredients are in place.  I hate this type of instruction.  We need precision in our recipes (unless it is telling you to add simple syrup to-taste, as in the fabulous Dragon Street Cobra Tamer No. 1) Right in their own book it says a highball glass is 8-10 ounces. This means that an instruction to “fill glass” could lead to up to a two-ounce variability in the drink.  I double-checked the math.   It is that type of inattention to detail that lead to the financial meltdown.

Mrs. Bottle still preferred the Mr. Boston version to its challenger, though.  She found it refreshing while she thought the reader’s version was a bit too sweet.  I also found it a bit too sweet but I thought the muddled mint provided a more interesting flavor than the Mr. Boston one.  The challenger called for an entire ounce of simple syrup as opposed to ¾ ounce lemon juice which was bit much for us.  We added more lemon juice which helped but still left the drink a bit too syrupy.  In fairness, our reader said that less simple syrup will make it less sweet.  When we make this again we will heed that advice.  I am interested to replace the club soda with champagne as well.

Ultimately, since Mrs. Bottle preferred one and I preferred the other the answer to which is better is as muddled as the mint should be.

Overall Rating for the South-side Fizz

Taste: 3
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 3
Drinks Until Blackouts: 9 – 13% Alcohol depending on glass size

2 oz Gin
1 oz Lemon Jucie
1 tsp Simple Syrup
? oz Club Soda

Alternate Recipe
2.5 oz Gin – NOT Tanqueray
¾ oz Lemon Juice
6-8 leaves Mint
1 oz simple syrup (less for less sweet)
1 oz club soda or champagne (very dry)

In a cocktail shaker: Muddle the mint with the lemon juice before adding the gin & simple syrup. Use a handful of ice and shake until the shaker is too cold to hold. Strain & serve it up (not over ice) into a chilled martini glass. Top with club soda or champagne. Garnish with whole mint leaf.


Kimo said...

I find the results of your South-side taste-off very interesting. I'm hoping the previously referenced authority will try Mr. Boston's version and let us know which she prefers. Or maybe one day I will actually get off my ass, try both and make up my own mind.

Anonymous said...

Both very tasty. I am good with almost anything with gin and citrus. Latest favorite gins: plymouth, Hayman's Old Tom, Beefeater, No 209, St George's Terrior

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