The Friday Tipple: OlymPimms

What ho, Boozers. The Olympic flame is burning brightly across the Pond — let the games begin. Here in the Colonies, we’re gearing up for a replay of the American uprising, as we can’t stand to be outdone for long by the monarchy. Didn’t they get enough time in the limelight with that royal wedding? Michael Phelps, do your thing.

Yet, despite it all, Anglophile fever grips us as we stockpile crumpets and Earl Grey tea to partake of while we watch semi-naked hurdlers and fully-clothed dressage. Or, even better, Pimm’s. Nothing could be more British than a proper Pimm’s Cup, unless you’re an American upstart who can’t leave well enough alone. So today we offer for your approval the OlymPimms, a melding of American ingenuity with good old British know-how. Get your friends together for a little relay race with the remote, then settle in for two weeks of competitive couch surfing. Pip-pip.

OlymPimms

We like a classic, simple Pimm’s Cup ourselves, but the fruity flavor of Pimm’s No. 1 also lends itself to a berry-filled interpretation. As Pimm’s No. 1 is gin-based, we macerated some strawberries in our favorite American-made gin, Catoctin Creek Organic Watershed Gin, and then whipped up a housemade blueberry-ginger soda for the mixer. Trust us: it’s sublime.

Blueberry-Ginger simple syrup (recipe below)

Pimm’s No. 1

Gin

Dry vermouth

Fresh strawberries, stems removed

Chilled club soda

To make the Blueberry-Ginger simple syrup: Take one cup of cleaned fresh blueberries and put them in a small saucepan. Add water until the blueberries are just covered, then stir in 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Add a one-inch piece of fresh ginger and bring the mixture to a rolling simmer. Reduce heat to very low and cook until reduced by half and syrup has thickened. Strain; can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To make the OlymPimms: Put one large or two small ripe strawberries in the bottom of a tall glass. Add one ounce gin, a splash of dry vermouth, and muddle the strawberries. Set aside for 15 minutes. In a cocktail shaker, pour 2 – 3 tablespoons of blueberry-ginger syrup in the bottom of the shaker, then add 4 ounces chilled club soda and stir thoroughly. Add a few ice cubes to the tall glass and pour in the blueberry-ginger soda. Top with one ounce of Pimm’s No. 1 and garnish with a strawberry.

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The Friday Tipple: Cain’s Mutiny

It’s not easy being a presidential candidate, Boozers. One day you’re a mild-mannered millionaire singing about the glories of pizza, the next day you’re getting skewered by the left-wing bloggers for your fondness for Pokemon. But, really, what’s not to love about a guy whose campaign commercials feature smokin’ and drinkin’? Political correctness need not apply — as the world continues to shrink, Americans may be yearning to follow in the footsteps of our European brethren, who aren’t afraid of leaders who like to let it all hang out.

When you prefer to fly first-class, there’s nothing like having a chilled martini as your wingman. Cool and classic, the Cain’s Mutiny chuckles at convention, marrying absinthe with rosemary-infused gin or vodka — because we don’t believe in Big Government telling you what kind of liquor to drink — and then topping it all off with extra-salty olives stuffed with anchovies. Anchovies may be a long-shot with most Americans, but you can’t count them out — they could surprise us all by suddenly shooting to the top of the polls. Bottoms up!

Cain’s Mutiny

We like liquors infused with herbs, but fresh rosemary can be oily and strong, so we do a quick infusion here that leaves just a subtle taste of rosemary that doesn’t overwhelm the clean flavor of the martini.

4 ounces gin or vodka (we recommend Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin or Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka)

Absinthe (or feel free to substitute dry vermouth, if you prefer)

4-inch sprig of fresh rosemary

olives stuffed with anchovies

Place the rosemary in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and bruise it with a muddling stick. Pour in the gin or vodka and let sit for 15 minutes. Splash a bit of absinthe into a chilled martini glass and swirl around to coat the inside of the glass. Add a couple of ice cubes to the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into the martini glass and garnish with olives.