1. The Gibrone. what began as the fumbling search for a means of using up the sweet vermouth left over from our holidays’ Manhattan binge, in typical me fashion has developed into a perpetual need for the above as Snake Hollow bar staple. lack of bourbon (or any non-cardboard-encapsulated whiskey, for that matter, b/c i am Huge, apparently) rendering Manhattans impossible, a surplus of gin & spare time led to my running across the Negroni. so described by my friend and fellow, a semi-professional tippler and the man behind the Beer Juice Jovi (aka “The Bad Medicine”) as “the only other red drink suitable for male consumption,” and, i assume, very good.
and only assume i may, for, lacking also the prescribed Campari, i opted for Fernet Branca (also a recent addition to my bar, thanks heartily [by way of my introduction] to Misha of La Sala Rosa), having read that it was a suitable substitution. this, along with a decision (arrived at after an evening of so nursing 4 very respectable hangovers whilst watching William Powell vehicles and mixing party mix and baked cavatappi) to tweak the proportions to 2:1:1 in favour of the gin, merited a rechristening, in my mind. so after much mooking about with our half-hearted devotion to the project of Naming All New Drinks After Patrick O’Brian Novels (see The Yellow Admiral), it struck me that Gibrone was probably just the thing, paying homage as it (sort of) does to the Italian patrimony of the original, and being a fine word in its own right.
for those of you in the dark (no pun, however oblique, intended), gibrone is a term of derision – so defined by the urbandictionary, as a “bumbling knucklehead,” or the type of guy “who draws penises on desks,” in short, a bit of an oaf or maroon, one not to be taken seriously – and after the People’s Elbow and People’s Eyebrow, respectively, the best thing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson ever gave us. i was relieved, using it as flagrantly as i do, to be informed by my officially Italian buddy/coworker Mario that not only is it “not racist,” it also “does not exist,” as far as he knows, never having heard it uttered by anyone other than myself.
don’t be misled, however; the Gibrone is a hell of a drink, and in fact surprisingly drinkable, in rapid succession, being simultaneously sweet and bitter and of that class of dangerous mixed drinks where the “mix” is just two other kinds of booze. it gives one ideas.
so without further ado,
2 oz gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz fernet branca
orange peel, in as close to a corkscrew as you can get it
orange for garnish, if you like that sort of thing
in an old-fashioned/”rocks” glass, with large chunk of ice (see below), and the orange peel slightly muddled.
2. Large, Rough-Hewn Chunks of Ice. apparently these are really in right now, and i can see why, because they look awesome, and owing to their smaller surface-area-to-icy-core ratio, melt more slowly, thus watering one’s drink less then would a couple of normal sized pedestrian ice cubes. a goodly little berg like that above can actually stand up to a couple of rounds, depending on what stage of problem drinking you currently inhabit.
à nous défendrons.