A Gibson is a simple, elegant drink – which is basically a martini with onions instead of olives or a twist of lemon. The history of it is somewhat disputed, but the most popular rumor is that Charles Dana Gibson (the inventor of the Gibson Girl hairstyle, which was wildly popular at the turn of the 20th century) was the inventor. The theory is that his use of a cocktail onion instead of an olive helped him to tell the difference between his drink and anyone else’s. While that is apparently not the true history and is simply a legend, it adds a great story to a tasty martini.
THE BASIC GIBSON
2 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1-3 cocktail onions
Stir the gin and dry vermouth with ice until well mixed. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the cocktail onions.
While this is the most basic recipe for a Gibson, there are plenty of ways to personalize it and customize it to your taste. A popular way to prepare it is to add only a couple of drops of dry vermouth instead of a full 1/2 oz., or to substitute sweet vermouth in its place entirely. My personal favorite twist is to add a bit of blue curacao to the mix, which gives the drink a brilliant blue color and a delicious, zesty flavor. It gives a modern hint to a classic and turns it into a fantastic party drink.
A Gibson is a classic drink, one that sends the mind back to the olden days of Victorian ladies and gentlemen, so sip slowly, calmly, and with every touch of grace you have – which is also necessary since these pretty drinks pack quite a punch! Don’t be fooled by their simplicity. Enjoy!