May 12, 2013 (Day 4) – Gin Crusta
Every time Mother’s Day comes around we mull over whether or not we’ll do a special cocktail. It’s not because we don’t love our mothers. In fact, my wife and I are both exceedingly fond of our own mothers and grandmothers. They’ve been confidants, supporters, and friends no matter how many times we’ve completely screwed up. Which, in our case, is lots and lots.
No, the issue comes down to us creating an official Mother’s Day cocktail and the feelings that the creator of Mother’s Day had to her holiday. You see, Julia Ward Howe was pretty insistently anti-commercialism, and had created the holiday to show the true, undying love and sacrifice of mothers.
Jarvis wanted us to show our mothers how much their devotion and sacrifice matters, how we esteem the “truth, purity and broad charity of mother love.” She expected us to do it with simple gestures — in her opinion, a single white carnation and a heartfelt letter were best. Her carnations were handed out at the first Mother’s Day ceremony exactly 100 years ago.
And look at how we repaid her.
Throughout the decades, the “holy” day has evolved into a retailing and marketing bonanza, each year becoming more and more a chance to spend money rather than time or effort, until we arrive at today, when retailers can, with a straight face, suggest you “show Mom you care” by buying their platinum charm bracelet, their “Thanks A Bunch” floral arrangement, or their discounted patio furniture (nothing says filial love like a powder-coated aluminum table you scored for 50 per cent off).
So, yeah. Jarvis had similar contempt for the Mother’s Day card. She called it a shoddy replacement for the letter you’re too lazy to write.
Now, needless to say, we will be celebrating Mother’s Day with our own mothers. In fact, we’re creating a multi-course brunch because we fancy like that.
However, it’s because of deference to Jarvis that we decided we weren’t going to put together some fancy “Mother’s Day Cocktail” and instead dipped into the history found within the pages of Imbibe! by David Wondrich and mix up a delicious classic cocktail that would easily fit in with a brunch.
- 2 oz gin
- 1 tsp gum syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1/2 tsp orange curaçao
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Rim a wine glass with lemon juice and then rim with sugar. Pare a lemon in one constant motion and then place in the bottom of the prepared glass. Combine the gin, syrup, bitters, curaçao and juice in a glass filled with one large ice cube. Stir well and strain into the prepared glass.