In the past year, like many of you, we have had a lot of time to work on our cocktail making skills. One recent discovery is the classic cocktail the South Side. My husband and I love gin, his favorite is Hendrick's or Beefeater, mine is Tanquerey. But if gin's not your thing, you can use vodka instead. A friend made this for us over the summer and it has quickly become a favorite and is what we will be drinking on Valentine's!
This vintage cocktail purportedly originated at New York's 21 Club, a legendary prohibition era speakeasy and rumored to have been inspired by the drink of choice of Al Capone. I have fond memories of dining there with my father on one of our annual father daughter trips. My dad still talks about their coffee with Sambuca, a great after dinner drink he discovered there.
Known for its miniature jockey laden exterior and sports memorabilia covered ceiling, it is truly a one of a kind experience. It's just as popular in the modern era as evidenced by Sofia Coppola's latest movie, On the Rocks, starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones.
Back to the cocktail...Al Capone's gang dominated Chicago's South Side. The gin imported by Capone's rivals on the North Side of Chicago was smooth, and usually consumed with ginger ale. The gin consumed by Al Capone's gang was a little rougher, and required more sweeteners to make it palatable. Thus the South Side was born.
1 lime, juiced
0.75 oz simple syrup*
5 mint leaves
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake well and strain into a cocktail coupe, or on the rocks in a tumbler.
*If you are not sure on how to make simple syrup, don't fret...there is nothing easier.In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. Et voila you are done!
Instead of buying package mint, get a little plant, it grows pretty well inside and smells great. We put one in our window box, for many more delicious drinks to come!