Another classic: The Gibson/photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

Another classic: The Gibson/Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

The creators of last week’s cocktail on fat-washed spirits, schmaltz, and rye, noted that the onion (which worked perfectly with the schmaltzy rye) recalled a Gibson. Loving the interconnectedness of cocktails, that is the choice for today’s Friday Cocktail Hour. The Gibson is a martini garnished with onion, and I like to underscore the difference between it and a martini by adding some of the pickling liquid. Because it features gin, use a good gin such as Beefeater, my fave. Same vermouth ratio as a martini, 20%, though vary this according to your tastes.

Do you hear anyone asking for a vodka Gibson? Do you hear bartenders, upon being asked for a Gibson, respond, “Vodka or gin?” I think not.

This is a serious cocktail with a sweet-sour-onion garnish, reflecting the serious and bittersweet recognition that it is Labor Day weekend and summer deliquesces.

The Gibson

  • 80 grams
  • 16 grams
  • 10 grams
  • Pickled onions for garnish

or by volume

  • 2.5 ounces gin
  • 1 tablespoon vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon pickle juice
  • Pickled onions for garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients but the onions in shaker, fill it with ice, and stir or swirl for 60 to 90 seconds.
  2. Strain the cocktail into a cold martini glass.
  3. Prepare for fall.

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.