Simple, delicious, dangerous: The Southside. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Excited about our Chicago trip to promote the new book, Salumi, I tweeted for a Chicago cocktail and got a few suggestions (only a few), including one for an actual Chicago (which I’ll save for later).

But the suggested Southside proved to be easy to prepare with ingredients at hand and uncommonly refreshing. I was able to make use of a wonderful gin I hadn’t known of, Nolet’s Silver, which truly rivals my beloved Beefeater’s (thank you, Sally Alfis!), slightly more fruity and flowery, but still wonderfully dry. And the mint is still growing in the garden. So, The Southside it is! (Yes, Southside is one word for the cocktail, though the actual area, referred to in the Jim Croce song of my youth, is officially called the South Side.)

This cocktail can be made using any clear spirit, but gin is my fave for The Hour. You could also use a lime, with a little more simple syrup. I make a 1:1 (sugar-to-water by weight) simple syrup, juice half a lemon, muddle the mint, combine the liquids in a shaker, shake like the Dickens to release more minty goodness, and pour.

Donna quickly shot the above and said, “Let me taste that!” At first she puckered (it’s tart, and should be) but then the mint came through and her eyebrows lifted and she said, “Mmmmmm.” I promptly took the glass back. Very refreshing. I’m drinking it now!

Hope you join us at the Butcher & Larder (held at Floriole Cafe & Bakery), The Publican, or EL Ideas. The middle event, at the wonderful Publican, is FREE, but learn how to butcher a hog, Italian style—hoping Brian brings samples to taste! Please note that at The Publican Event there will be NO books, so please bring your own if you want them signed. We do accept beer offerings but keep them away from Brian until after he cuts the pig! The other two events require reservations, but book and food are included. Zampone demo and tasting at EL Ideas! Hope to see you in Chicago!


The Southside

  • handful of mint leaves
  • 60 grams gin
  • 10 grams lemon juice
  • 10 grams simple syrup
  1. Muddle mint in shaker.
  2. Add ice, then the rest of the ingredients, shake, and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.
Serves one.


Other links you may like:

© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


8 Wonderful responses to “Friday Cocktail Hour: The Southside”

  • Brandon

    Completely antithetical to “The Hour,” but I’m sure that’s a pretty good drink. God bless Mr. Devoto.

  • Phil Allman

    Michael if you can get a spare moment when you’re here in Chicago, find a bottle of our local North Shore gin #6! It’s got a really unique spicy character and is absolutely my favorite gin to drink straight. I’m shocked to see that it isn’t on The Publican’s spirit list but I bet you will spot it somewhere.

  • allen

    So we should see 2 glasses in the future photo’s? Then you both get one.
    I like 12 Bridges for floral gin, there are a lot of local gins on the shelve’s but I have never seen this one. Drink up ny is a great resource, will seek it out. Cheers & happy Friday!

    • Allen

      Available at with the following description:
      ” Turkish rose, white peach and raspberry. These botanicals are individually distilled to yield the highest concentration and purity of natural flavors and aromas. The gin base and botanical extracts are then married and allowed to rest in order to fully integrate the flavors. This results in a smooth, balanced spirit with soft floral aromas, a fruit-driven palate, and a classic dry finish.”
      Wonder how they would describe Barton’s?

    • Carly

      A gimlet doesn’t have mint. There is such a thing as a “Richmond gimlet” that has some mint and therefore would be like this with lime instead of lemon, though. But that’s not standard.

  • Wilma de Soto

    Are you ready to do a New York Five Boroughs Cocktail Series? I believe you have done The Manhattan but hows about The Bronx Cocktail, The Brooklyn Etc.?

  • Allen

    Ok, I just made one for my wife, she had the same reaction you guys did, I took a sip and liked it, but did not take it away from her.
    I went ahead and made myself a perfect martini with brined and lye cured olives.
    No conflict of interest since they’re both gin based.
    And only one.

    Limoncello stays in the freezer.

    Good boy!


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