Every day a different drink. Not just how to make them, but a detailed review of how they actually taste, photos of the drinks, and stories along the way. Starting from the beginning, The Bartender's Black Book will be our guide, taking us

(and our livers) on a journey from which we may never recover. Cheers!

January 25, 2011

#25: Air Gunner

2 oz Vodka or Citrus Vodka
Dash of Blue Curacao
1 oz Sour Mix
Shake in a mixing glass with ice, and strain into a chilled glass.

This sounds like an odd mix of ingredients. Once it was made, it basically seemed like a double shot of vodka in a cool looking package. True, but that was only half of the story.

As far as I can tell, the name derives from a gunner, a cocktail that British expatriates came to love in Hong Kong, the Far East, and India. A gunner has equal parts lemonade or ginger beer, ginger ale, a dash of lime cordial and a dash of Angostura bitters. They used to consider it a non-alcoholic drink, even though the bitters are almost 50% alcohol, but so little is used I guess a little fudging is called for when the vicar comes calling. The gunner became famous for being very refreshing, and is still drunk in large quantities during the summer.

The only thing I can see hat is similar between the two is the Sour Mix, which may be replacing the lemonade. Nothing else in the recipe matches up, but the drinking experience may tell the tale:

First, I really liked the color and overall look of the drink. Now to the taste. The vodka was of course very strong, the Blue Curacao sweetened it just a touch, and the Sour Mix added a decent zing of tartness. The first sip did have a surprising light and airy feel to it, but it really packed a punch. Subsequent sips showed both how airy it was, but also how powerful too. This is a serious drink. It may look timid and fun, but watch out. This is not for the faint of heart. Only serious drinkers should take on this drink.

Order this when you want someone to ask what you ordered because it looks so different. Then give them a sip, and sit back and watch with the smugness of a serious drinker in the presence of amateurs. Then order another.

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