Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tornado Watch Gin and French

Gin and French

I've spent my entire life in Tornado Alley, so tornado warnings are familiar territory.  Wichita isn't the biggest city ever, so when the sirens go off, it's for the entire county, so we have to watch the TV to see if we need to get in the basement.  We've lived here three years so far and haven't had to take shelter yet (knock on wood).  Growing up in Oklahoma City, my mother would refuse to get in the cellar of our 1909 home.  The creepy-crawlies were more terrifying than a tornado!

I don't usually bother with cooking dinner when we're under a tornado watch, because the power could go out or we could have to get down in the basement in the middle of cooking!  Nevertheless, tornado watches prompt an extended cocktail hour before heating up leftovers or (horrors!) heating up a heat-em dinner.

Our new favorite cocktail is the Gin and French, which I discovered by watching Mapp & Lucia.  Georgie (Nigel Hawthorne) orders one at the pub in Tilling.  Naturally, I had to do some research.  There are a few variations (with some people even claiming it's just a martini!).  Here's my version:

12 oz glass
ice (a handful or two)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 jigger gin
1 jigger dry (French) vermouth
5 oz tonic water (typical small bottle is 10 oz, so plan to make two!)
Little cocktail straw (not strictly required, but definitely encouraged)

Put ice in glass, add lemon juice, gin and vermouth.  Top off with tonic water; add straw.  Be prepared for this to hit quick and hard.  It's the F5 of cocktails.

Be sure to save the squeezed-out lemons for candied peel to make fruitcake or Banbury Cakes!

P.S. Here's a link to the official Red Cross spring 2011 storms donation sites.  


  1. I'm in St Louis so I totally know what you mean about the tornadoes! Since my son was born a month ago, we've had to head to the basement 4 times! This year's tornado season has been crazy. Tornado cocktail hour is brilliant! I think I may have to adopt that tradition too. My husband is a home brewer and guess where all of the booze is stored? The basement! :D

  2. How funny that you blogged about the tornado warnings, too! After what happened in Joplin, you tend to become a little more watchful... Come on over and make me a Gin and French!

  3. cheers to you, you brave gal!! stay safe!

  4. Wow, tornado gin sounds like it's loaded with high % of alcohol!!:p

  5. i knoooow- don't they just smell like....... spring? i just think of home when i smell them. Yes, being a grown up, i find, is often taxing- but it's happening slowly :)

    thank you so much for your comment :)

    love, polly

  6. It seems very strange to me to hear about the tornados and how you live with this threat in your daily life... the coktail looks very good, I am going to try it.


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