1.2 Gibson

2 Aug

“You leavee dinner to Sooey Wan,” the old Chinaman assured him. “Missa Dan, you likee cocktail now?” “Never mind, thank you.” “Sure, boss, you likee cocktail now. You no talkee Sooey Wan. Sooey Wan fixee nice Gibson cocktail. My boy ketchum cold heart, Sooey Wan makum heart warm again . . . Shut up, shut up! Boss, you allee time talkee too damn much.”

— Peter B. Kyne, Never the Twain Shall Meet (New York: Cosmopolitan, 1923), pp. 63-4.

The Gibson, of course, is basically a martini with an onion instead of an olive or a twist of lemon. And we’ve done a martini already. But the concoction that kicked off this cocktail countdown was made with vodka and, consequently, to my taste buds at least, requires less vermouth; so we end up with a different drink entirely. (Let’s face it, though, a cocktail is no place for an onion.)  According to Robert Vermeire’s Cocktails: How to Mix Them, the Gibson is “well known in Japan, principally in Yokohama” ([London: Jenkins, 1922], p. 30). So there you are.

2 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin

1/2 oz. dry vermouth

Cocktail onion for garnish.

The “correct” ratio of gin to vermouth in a martini or Gibson is one of life’s great riddles; here’s a slightly simpler puzzle:


Martin Gardner, My Very Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles (Mineola, NY: Dover, 1994), p. 33.

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