Dust Off That Turkey & Try Again

(Actually it was really a potato pancake that Julia Child dropped - on the table, not the floor - and dusted off. But did she remember to take out the giblets?)

The other day I reported my attempt at mixing a gimlet, favorite drink of Julie Powell as she reports in her memoir on cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of Food No Sane Person Would Want to Eat. My verdict, in a word, was Yuck. (The gimlet, as well as the food.)

I used straight lime juice with vodka, no sweetener. You might be able to make a decent ceviche with it, but it was pretty undrinkable. Then I read that Helen Mirren drinks vodka gimlets, described as a "very English drink," so I figured, might I be wrong? Evolution has no doubt selected me and my descendants for extinction since we're carrying this Maybe I'm Wrong gene.

So on Tuesday I located a bottle of Rose's lime juice. It wasn't easy. You'd think they'd have it in every grocery store next to the grenadine or the V8, but not around here. We have russet potatoes wrapped in cellophane and sold as 'microwave ready.' Tuesday evening I decided to do as English queens and French chefs do, and give the gimlet another chance, this time using Rose's.

On my first attempt I used vodka. My verdict this time: well, not quite yuck, but close. It's certainly an austere drink. But the lime and vodka together just don't work for me (I drank it neat, not on the rocks). If I'm going to drink a vodka straight up, the citrus will have to be a lemon twist. (And the booze a little higher end than Smirnoff.)

On my second attempt I used gin. Verdict: I actually liked it less than the vodka version. I thought the junipery gin would go well with the lime, but the gimlet seemed bitter or astringent. Maybe I needed a pickled onion in it. Isn't that what people float in gimlets? Or a cornichon? Capers?

So I'll respectfully leave Ms. Powell and Queen Mirren to their favorite drink, and continue on my quest to discover mine. I've gotta come up with something better than 2% milk with popcorn.