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