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Recent thoughts from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

As you well know, we love a good cocktail story. One of our all-time favorites is a tale about the Gibson. We’ve heard this myth bandied about by some of Boston’s most knowledgeable bar stars, and though we’ve never seen it substantiated, we’re happy to propagate it here. Fact or fiction? Who cares, we’re drinking.

The Gibson is essentially a martini garnished with cocktail onions. As the story goes, a savvy investment banker named Gibson in cahoots with his waiter and barman used the cocktail as a ploy during business negotiations. While meeting to discuss business, as his potential partners ordered a round of martinis, Gibson would announce: “I’d like a Gibson”. This cued his server to bring him nothing more than a glass of water garnished with cocktail onions. As you can imagine, after two or three rounds of drinks as negotiations wore on, Gibson had the upper hand. The servers always knew he’d closed the deal when he said: “Now sir, I’d like a martini.”

The Gibson Cocktail traces its roots to San Francisco – this much we know to be true. One story posits that it was created and popularized by artist Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the iconic Gibson Girls. Another states it was invented for wealthy financier and Bohemian Club member Walter D. K. Gibson sometime around 1898. Perhaps he was the Gibson who used the cocktail as a ploy to make him rich. Whomever can be credited, the drink was a hot ticket by 1904.

We’ve recently been enjoying the Gibson made with Nolet’s gin, a gorgeous gin that’s recently become available in Boston. Made with Turkish rose, white peach, raspberries, and a super secret proprietary blend of botanicals, Nolet’s is floral, fruity and delightfully elegant. The juniper element we love (but so many gin-phobes hate) is less pronounced than many of its contemporaries, making this a great gateway gin for the juniper-wary. Sample one of these at home, or at Eastern Standard where the house pickled onions are reason enough to order a Gibson.

THE GIBSON

Adapted from Imbibe! by David Wondrich

1.5 oz Nolet’s Finest Gin

1.5 oz dry vermouth

Stir ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cocktail onion.

Cin-cin!

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