Cocktail Time – The Gibson

It seems like seldom does a day go by without discovering that, in the world outside, the Demon Booze is tearing the very fabric of society apart….

Violence! Sex! Teenagers out of control! And having sex and being violent!!!

This wasn’t what the world was like in a gentler age was it? No….

In those days, you could leave your back door unlocked, your keys in your car and your 10-year-old son with Father Feelyhands, the jovial parish priest and still have a slap-up dinner for less than a tenner, right?

It all could have been so different if the world had listened to our brave troops as they slogged through the mud of the Somme. Concerned about the welfare of the feebleminded back home, they had thoughtfully left a bunch of posters behind for the good folk from the Prohibition Movement to plaster up around town.

Nothing more refreshing than a swig of lemonade before going over the top
Nothing more refreshing than a swig of lemonade before going over the top.

Tragically, their sacrifice was in vain.

So, we’re stuck with the foul stuff. Therefore, let us brace ourselves and make the best of it, secure in the knowledge that if the world really is going to hell in a handbasket and the Days Of Rapture are almost upon us, then at least we’ll hear less sanctimonious handwringing once the God Botherers have been beamed up.

Onwards to “Cocktail Time.”

This week, my own personal lifesaver:

The Gibson

Like many great drinks, the Gibson has a story attached. Like many booze-related tales it may or may not be true, but I’ve always liked it….

The Gibson was named after Charles Dana Gibson the illustrator and cartoonist — inventor of the Gibson Girls.

His depictions of the idealized American woman created a craze for his work that lasted for over twenty years from the early 1890s. Gibson portrayed what he described as “the American female for all the world” and the typical subject of his illustrations was described thus:

“She was taller than the other women currently seen in the pages of magazines …, infinitely more spirited and independent, yet altogether feminine. She appeared in a stiff shirtwaist, her soft hair piled into a chignon, topped by a big plumed hat. Her flowing skirt was hiked up in back with just a hint of a bustle. She was poised and patrician. Though always well bred, there often lurked a flash of mischief in her eyes.”

Cphwoar! If you’d been a schoolboy in 1895 you’d have tucked this kind of stuff under your mattress

Cphwoar! If you’d been a schoolboy in 1895 you’d have tucked this kind of stuff under your mattress

The story goes that he sauntered into a New York bar one night and asked for “something like a Martini”. The barkeep whipped up a Martini and replaced the olive garnish with a twinned pair of cocktail onions in honour of Gibson’s bosomy heroines and the Gibson was born.

The Gibson

Take an ice filled mixing jug and rinse with good quality Dry Vermouth.

Stir 20 times.

Add lashings of an excellent Dry Gin (My choice… Tanqueray)

Stir 20 times and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Add two cocktail onions



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