Monday, November 20, 2017

Cocktails with Erin - the Salty Dog

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Meet Erin! You've seen her on here before too (here) and I'm incredibly excited that she agreed to contribute. Erin is an actual writer and editor who has lived all over the world after growing up in Reston. She's based in Seattle now - I totally can't wait to visit! - and has agreed to flex her writing muscles for us here while she works to find her perfect professional writing gig. We are seriously lucky! Not only is she an amazing writer, but she's my bestie and favorite person to share a drink with! So without further ado, our first post in the series I'll unofficially refer to as 'Getting Drunk with Erin', Cocktails with Erin!

Cocktails with Erin: The Salty Dog - by Erin Lancione follow her on Twitter @erinlancione

There are certain things that all adults should know how to do. How to navigate public transportation in an unknown city. How to patch drywall. Where and how to vote. And every grownup should definitely have two or three cocktails that they know how to prepare from memory and which can be made using standard pantry and bar ingredients. Preferably, they should be cocktails that don’t involve a lot of sugary froufrou or have “and tonic” in their name.

Why cocktails? The act of making and drinking a cocktail combines mastery, ritual, and pleasure in one. Cocktails require recipes and recipes require proficiency. Knowing a few cocktails by heart will make you feel accomplished. And preparing a cocktail is as enjoyable as drinking it: measuring, shaking, stirring, muddling, and garnishing all contribute to an experience that is way more special than just pouring a glass of screw-top wine or cracking open a beer. Last, cocktails are a treat for the senses. They’re often fragrant with muddled herbs, studded with briny olives or sweet cherries, and intense in flavor.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be introducing you to three of my favorite cocktails. Who knows - maybe one of them will end up in your regular rotation!

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We’ll start with the Salty Dog. In its basic form, the Salty Dog consists of a two-to-one ratio of grapefruit juice and gin, shaken with ice and served in a highball glass with a salt rim. Simple but elegant. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add embellishments, such as a few dashes of bitters, a twist of grapefruit peel, a stem of crushed rosemary, or my favorite, a bit of powdered chili pepper added to the salt (the fruity flavor of ancho chile works well here).

Real talk - this cocktail is easy to make, bonkers good, and super soothing when you have a cold. How do I know? My kids have made it their mission to bring home every bug possible from school this fall. In the spirit of scientific inquiry, I have field tested this recipe’s efficacy as a cold remedy on several occasions. The vitamin C in the juice is good for reducing the inflammation of a sore throat and the gin and the salt both help thin out post-nasal drip. Plus, it’s a pretty pink color. Who doesn’t love a pick-me-up that’s pretty, too?

Side note: whenever I hear the phrase “real talk,” I think of my friend Trista, who is an ER nurse and an all-around lovely person. No matter what is going on in your life, her life, or really anyone else’s life, she has the most refreshing, non-hysterical take on it. Because when you deal with actual emergencies on a daily basis, you tend not to sweat the small stuff so much. A while ago, I suggested that she start her own podcast, “Real Talk with Trista,” where she deals out get-a-grip advice to people in the throes of unnecessary drama. She just laughed.

And so, in the absence of life advice from an ER nurse, I give you the Salty Dog. It won’t solve your problems, but it might alleviate your cold symptoms and make you feel a bit more grownup, at least temporarily.



Salty Dog
Makes one serving

Lightly moisten the rim of a highball glass and dip it in a plate covered in salt. Combine one shot (1.5 ounces) of gin with two shots (3 ounces) of grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to blend, then strain into prepared highball glass.

Optional:
  • Garnish glass with a twist of grapefruit peel or a crushed stem of rosemary.
  • Use coarse sea salt or Kosher salt in lieu of table salt.
  • Add two dashes of bitters to the gin and grapefruit juice.
  • Mix powdered chile pepper with the salt.

Cheers!


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