The Gin and It

Some people confuse the Gin and It with a Gin and Tonic, which it isn’t. Don’t be confused. The Gin and It is probably more closely related to what a person would get if they had ordered a Martini sometime around 1890. Back then, sweet vermouth was the standard, and that’s what the Gin and It is. It’s a cross between the Martinez and the standard modern martini. To make one, combine

  • 1.5 oz gin (Tanqueray)
  • 1.5 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin)
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Some recipes don’t call for the bitters, but for me, everything is better with bitters. So stir those three together and then strain into a martini glass, and you have a Gin and It. If you’re wondering about the name, it comes from the fact that it is gin mixed with Italian vermouth. The Italian part was merely shortened to “It.”

As for the drink, it’s good. In fact, I think it’s really good. But then I like vermouth. All kinds of vermouth. Go back to my posts when I began this blog and I talk about how I don’t like sweet vermouth. Yes, I was wrong. I have changed my tune completely. I love that stuff. Its cinnamon sweetness pairs well with any whiskey (or even whisky!) or even Campari or gin. It stays with you, too. That taste lingers.

The Gin and It has a bit of similarity to a Manhattan, one of the few drinks most people know that uses sweet vermouth. If you don’t like sweet vermouth, this is a good one to start with because the mild gin tempers the vermouth and makes it much more drinkable. And then there’s the slight sweet/bitter taste of the Angostura on the back.

I wonder why this drink has not caught on. With the prominence of the classic cocktails, the Gin and It deserves a better place in cocktailia. Can’t wait until I see it on a menu. One good thing about the Gin and It is that it’s easy. One part and one part with a couple dashes strained makes for an easy stay at home cocktail.

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