How do you stay healthy without taking medicine from your doctor? Why not ask Klaus the Soused Gnome? He loves gin and he uses it to heal himself when he’s feeling poorly.
The invention of gin may have been to a Dutch physician in the 17th century. Holland and Germany (Klaus’s home) are the places where gin first achieved real popularity. Gin was used a tonic to treat gallstones, rheumatism, fevers and even stomach aches. Juniper was added not only for flavor, the juniper berries have a number of healing properties. Some of the healing includes acting as a diuretic and helping with arthritis.
And the flu!
Klaus is showing remarkable fortitude against all the people he comes in contact with who are suffering from the grippe. What is the grippe? A grippe is another word, in this case from France- that means the flu. Not just any flu, but something so horrible that it grips your very soul in a vise. This vise is then slowly tightened until you cannot move. Hence the grippe!
Fortunately for Klaus, he is made of sturdy terracotta. Gnomes usually don’t get sick. They get even more thirsty than usual! Klaus is a firm believer in staying healthy through drinking intoxicating liquors like botanical gin.
Botanical Gin is popular with folks who like to drink their liquor for flavor. There are various forms of Gin- the old style-London variety can be almost icy cold in its flavor profile. The London Style of dry gin is originally from England.
Botanical styles are part of the new craft- distilling era. These gins exemplify flavor first and the traditional rules for Gin last.
These new botanical gins can make a huge difference in a healing mixed drink. I want to taste something other than the burn of the liquor!
Stylistically, botanical style gin is quite diverse. The diversity of flavors range from freshly cut roses to tropical fruit aromatics to citrus juices to cucumber oil and finally the traditional juniper berry. Some gins even smell like the sticky pine tree sap stuck to your car windshield and still others have exotic aromas of Asian influenced spices like ginseng and star anise!
Modern day gin although still delicious with hand made tonic like Q-Tonic from Brooklyn, may actually be better served on the rocks with hardly any mixers. The “in your face” approach to craft distilling may be experienced right up close and personal!
Klaus on the other hand likes his gin mixed. He always says that the ice is the most important ingredient; so pay attention to your ice!
Klaus’ Magic Elixir
This cocktail should be served as a long drink. (A long drink is one that is served in a tall glass.)
2 oz. Botanical gin such as Barr Hill, distilled from raw honey and spices (Caledonia Spirits in Vermont)
Cucumber slices frozen: in an ice cube tray overnight (use the narrowest “European” style cucumber you can find and cut them thinly so they freeze along with the water)
4 oz Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral water in lemon essence
Dash of Aromatic Bitters like the NY Rye whiskey barrel aged- Basement Bitters from Tuthilltown Distillery in New York State
Japanese Shiso Leaf
Fill a tall glass with the cucumber infused ice
Add the Barr Hill Gin to each glass
Add a couple drops of the aromatic bitters directly over the Barr Hill Gin
Top with the Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral water
Garnish with a Shiso Leaf slapped in your hand.
Klaus says you should put the leaf in one hand and then slap the other one against it. This releases the essential oils directly into the cocktail, infusing it with exotic flavor of the leaf.
But wait! There’s more!
Klaus has taken the classic French 75 drink and made it even more potent. Usually a French 75 is a magical drink perfectly geared to the winter months. Klaus twisted up the preparation a bit by adding a good splash of healing Absinthe along with a dollop of luxuriously silky simple syrup woven with fresh raspberry juice. It’s gorgeous in the glass and will look fabulous on your dinner table. Please just remember, it’s a potent cocktail and should be for medicinal purposes.
Don’t assume that you can drink like Klaus!
Klaus’s Oracle to Healing
For one very potent healing experience
2 oz. Botanical Gin like Barr Hill from Vermont
¼ oz. Lucid Absinthe
Raw sugar cube
Several dashes of cocktail
bitters such as Angostura
Homemade simple syrup w/raspberry juice to taste (I like to make a thick, 2:1 ratio simple syrup- that is two cups of sugar to one cup of boiling water, then cool, add a few tablespoons of raspberry juice to about ½ cup of the thick simple syrup to make a raspberry simple syrup)
1 oz. sparkling wine to finish, I used Italian sparkling wine. You can use what you like.
Muddle several dashes of the healing aromatic bitters with the sugar cube in a cocktail mixing glass; Klaus says that all healing came from bitters at one time in the not so distant past. He points helpfully to the book Apothecary Cocktails, Restoratives from Yesterday and Today as proof to the healing potency of aromatic bitters.
Pour Absinthe and Botanical Gin into the mixing glass (stir)
Add Simple Syrup w/Raspberry juice to taste (stir)
Fill mixing glass ¾ with ice and then stir again to cool. Please don’t over-stir. This is not a diluted drink but it is a cold one
Strain into a tall “Collins” style glass with a couple hand cut ice cubes.
Top with the sparkling wine and some citrus fruit pinwheels against the flu.
And healing what ails ye against this infernal cold