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Cocktails for International Archives Day and World Gin Day June 10, 2012

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Drinks.

As I’ve mentioned before, I work as an archivist. And, as you may also be aware, gin is one of my favourite spirits and I have been known to imbibe it occasionally. Therefore, when I learned that June 9 was both International Archives Day and World Gin Day, the course of action was obvious: invent and make some gin-based archives-themed cocktails. I was aided in this effort by Antonina, who came up with several of the recipes below. All measurements given below are for one drink – multiply accordingly if making them for many archivists. I would suggest using a relatively neutral gin for this, rather than something unique tasting such as Hendricks. Onto the drinks!

The Papercut

Actually, I find I get more cuts from boxes than from paper. At any rate, this bloody mary variation pays tribute to the many small niggling cuts which always occur in the archives.
90ml tomato juice
60ml gin
Juice of one lime
20ml pernod
Shake all together with ice, strain into a glass and add a celery garnish.
Tastes: Like a bloody mary with a hint of aniseed, with tartness from the lime.

The Reading Room and The Saturday Reading Room

Ahh the reading room. That fabulous place where patrons can interact with both archivists and the archives themselves. A place of power, where you will inevitably get drawn in by a genealogist recounting their family history.
60ml gin
Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
Shake with ice, strain into a highball glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a cucumber slice if you wish.
For the Saturday Reading Room variation, add 20ml Pimm’s and garnish with a cucumber slice.
Tastes: Tangy and refreshing, especially with the cucumber. A good drink for summer. The Saturday Reading Room adds fruit notes from the Pimm’s.

White Glove

Alternative name: The Photo Opportunity. The discussions about whether archivists should wear white cotton gloves sometimes get almost as punchy as this drink.
50ml gin
20ml white vermouth (the initial recipe called for lillet blanc)
30ml bacardi rum
10ml pernod
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients, shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a martini glass.
Tastes: Strong with a taste of aniseed, smoothed out by the egg white. I substituted white vermouth because I didn’t have any lillet blanc, but I think it would be better with the lillet blanc.  The rum certainly plays its part.

The Preservation

A cocktail to represent the mould and paper damage we witness. If you end up with mould the colour of this cocktail, you probably need a few of these cocktails to get over the horror.
50ml gin
30ml green chartreuse
1 egg white
Shake the gin, chartreuse and egg white together, once without ice and then once with. Strain into a martini glass and float the bitters on top.
Tastes: Herbal and smooth, offset by the bitters. One of my favourites, and I’ll definitely make it again.

The Compactus

Where would all the archives in the world be without their compactuses (compactii?)? Able to store many thousands of items, with the time to access the collection limited only by how fast the archivist can access the row required.
40ml gin
40ml dubonnet
40ml calvados
Orange bitters
Stir the gin, dubonnet and calvados with crushed ice and then strain. Add orange bitters to taste.
Tastes: Smooth, not unlike a Negroni. Very nice balance of sweetness with bitter and fruit flavours.

The Cockroach

Archives pests. They’re not pleasant, but sometimes, they turn up. It’s best to kill them as soon as possible, and stomp on them for good measure.
40ml gin
20ml campari
20ml fernet branca
Stir all ingredients together with crushed ice and strain.
Tastes: Bitter, with a funky, menthol kick from the fernet branca. Not recommended unless you really like fernet branca. Much as I’d imagine a cockroach to taste.

The Continuum

(Please excuse the Deadwood shot glass)

I couldn’t resist naming a cocktail after one of Australia’s contributions to archives/records theory – the records continuum. The records continuum theory suggests that there are four dimensions to records and archives creation and use, with each dimension informing and feeding into the others.
Green Chartreuse
Create layers of the first three ingredients in the order listed by slowly dribbling each ingredient over the back of a spoon so it sits on the layer underneath it. Add the Bailey’s to represent the fourth dimension as it falls back and interacts again with the first dimension of the continuum.

(I didn’t take the photo quick enough to get the full effect)
Tastes: Actually, better than I was expecting. The Bailey’s worked to mellow out the other flavours and the herbal notes of the chartreuse came through.

Here’s some of the cocktails which were thought up but not made – if you make any of them, please let me know! I’m definitely going to try a Disaster Recovery as soon as the gin is of the right consistency. And happy International Archives / World Gin Day!

The Original Order: Gin and its botanicals: Gin, juniper, coriander, lemon peel
The Perfect Transfer: Gin and green fairy absinthe, with a rosemary garnish
The Disaster Recovery: Freeze gin and water until it is frozen/slushy, add campari and lime



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