The Break from Reality Cocktail

January 30, 2012

Photo: Warren Bobrow (Leica M8, 50 Summicron, F2)


The Martin Miller Gin is like shopping at your favorite supermarket, you know, the gourmet one that sells those European cucumbers?  Once you see them, you will never forget them.  They are over there, by the lettuce.  They are wrapped in a plastic covering.  They are HUGE, measuring about twelve inches stem to stern.

The European cucumber is somewhat curved and very narrow.  They have an incredibly intense cucumber flavor and no seeds!

I grew up on an organic farm in NJ and was encouraged to grow my own cucumbers.  I remember mashing up cucumbers with herbs into seltzer water. 

When I opened the bottle of Martin Miller Gin- there it was.  I was suddenly a boy of 15 again.  Mashing that darned cucumber into a glass with a huge splash of Perrier.  We always had Perrier in the house. The Martin Miller Gin London Dry Gin brings it all home for my palate.  It screams of European Cucumbers and citrus.  It doesn’t need a mixer at all except for a splash of seltzer.

Catoctin Creek “Watershed Gin” from Virginia is a revelation for my palate.  On the label it clearly reads USDA Organic.  I like that nomenclature and try, in my writing to seek out small producers such as Catoctin Creek.  They have a great story; I encourage you to read about it. Their Watershed Gin, distilled from Rye and Wheat- as I read on the label is delicious, but that isn’t the best part.

The best part for me is the bottle of Pisco Porton that I received from a friend in NYC the other day.  Pisco is distilled from grapes.  Grape Moonshine is what I call it.  When I tasted the Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin today- all I could think of was Pisco!

Cut to the Pisco.  Sure, I’ve called it fire-water, but it’s really more than that.  Pisco is cultural.  It’s woven into the community- a way a life- a cultural metaphor.  It is elegant and pure- and for some reason- when I opened the bottle of Catoctin Gin, all that I smelled was pure Pisco.  I’ve only had brilliant Pisco a couple of times.  And I know a hand-crafted product when I taste it.  This one is creamy, touched by white flowers and simple syrup- yet not sweet by any means.  It’s haunting really.  To think of the history behind Pisco- struggles with countries, with man against man over this intoxicating liquor.

  An unaged Brandy is what it really is.  But I swear. This Gin- although laced with Juniper berries has a Pisco nose! 

So I have all these marvelous bottles in front of me.  Which one shall I create a cocktail for


Let’s break from reality cocktail

4 Shots Martin Miller’s Small Batch Gin

5 hunks of a European Cuke

1 blood orange (peeled, sliced, grilled lightly - then muddled)

Royal Rose “Rose” Syrup

2 sprigs Lemon Thyme

2 splashes of Icelandic Glacial Water


Muddle the hunks of Euro Cuke with the lime and grilled blood orange to release the juice in your cocktail shaker

Fill cocktail shaker ½ with ice made from Icelandic Glacial Water

Add the 4 shots of Martin Miller Small Batch Gin

Add 4 tablespoons of Royal Rose- “Rose” Simple syrup


Add 2 quick splashes of the Icelandic Glacial Water made into seltzer (well iced)

Garnish with a sprig of lemon thyme in each small Glacial Ice filled glass.


I’m influenced today by a brilliant bartender in Argentina. His name is Federico Cuco.

I had commented on Cynar, the Italian Thistle Amaro while on Twitter. A friendship ensued!

This is his Twitter bio, May I please recommend that you follow him:

Mercenary Cantinero in Buenos Aires. Fan of good drink and staunch supporter of the classic cocktail.

Buenos Aires Argentina ·

Cheers to you Federico! 




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