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Tuesday, November 29

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« Dinner, Wine and a Movie Shikago Slow Down »

Drink Tue Aug 12 2008

Cheap Gin Is Tasty, When It Is Infused

After every party we've ever had, we've always had far more of a bottle of cheap gin than we've wanted. I unabashedly admit that I'm a gin snob. Bombay Sapphire is the lowest I'll happily go on the gin scale and since having Hendrick's, I've preferred the less-junipery taste with my tonic, or with my vermouth and olives. But I had about 12 ounces of cheap gin in a large plastic bottle that kept getting in my way. I was tired of moving the jug of rotgut and put it on the counter in plain site where I knew I would have to find a way to deal with it.

I was wishing it was Hendrick's when I remembered that Hendrick's suggests adding a slice of cucumber to your gin and tonic instead of a lime. The clean, crisp, green taste of cucumber is well-matched to the herbal flavor of gin. So I got out a clean quart-sized jar from my cabinet and sliced up a cucumber into 1/4" rounds. I layered the cucumbers in the jar and poured the cheap gin over the cukes.

After sealing it up tightly in the refrigerator for about two weeks, I finally got over my reticence and decided to make myself a gin and tonic. I put some ice in a glass, poured in a shot of gin, added two of the cucumber slices to my glass for garnish and topped it all off with some tonic water. I nervously took a sip and I was in love. The bitterly alcoholic taste was gone from my cheap gin and what I was left with was a tasty cocktail. Now I just need the summer weather to return so I can enjoy my summertime cocktail before it's too cold.

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Debbie B. / August 13, 2008 7:56 AM

Thought I would let you know there is a tip in the "Kithcen Notes" section of the September-October edition of Cook's Illustrated that says that straining your "cheap" vodka, and they used the cheapest they could find, through a Brita water filter system four times makes it very exceptable for cocktails and cooking. I have not tried this trick yet but they are usually right on the money.

Andrew / August 13, 2008 12:51 PM


Yeah, I saw that. The Brita vodka trick has been on the internet for years -- was surprised to see it finally show up in Cook's!

Cinnamon / August 14, 2008 12:02 AM

Thanks, Debbie. I think that could work and I'd be interested if anyone tries it.

One thing I should note, is that you probably don't want to eat the cucumber slices that were soaked in the gin. They ended up tasting like all the ugly things I hate about cheap gin.

Lee S / August 15, 2008 4:24 PM

The best "dirty martini" I've ever had was made out of desperation.

Poor and wanting for a drink I discovered I was out of the precious liquid surrounding my olives in the jar in the fridge. GASP!

Out of desperation I decided to poor the alcohol into the olive jar. It did very little immediately... so put the cover back on and slide my mistake back into the fridge to deal with later.

Later was fabulous... after soaking for a few days in the fridge the gin (and later the vodka) came out tasting Oh so dirty... not too salty... just right... perfect! And slightly green. Not sure if I had cheap dyed olives that bled or if this always happens. My science background causes me to think the later.

Now I do this all the time... Good booze or bad! You can fill and refill the olive jar a good 3-4 times. Get the best dirty martini AND save on Olives!!!

Next stop... Sam's Club for a giant olive jar!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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