There is a lovely bar here in Orlando, perhaps my favorite in O-Town, named Hanson’s Shoe Repair. Named after Andrew Hanson’s 1894 “Hanson Shoe Repair Shop,” it’s a speakeasy serving up Prohibition style libations and twists on classics. The bar itself requires a password for entry and is located on the 2nd floor of an E. Pine Street building erected in 1883-1884. It’s possibly the oldest building still standing in downtown Orlando and definitely had Orlando’s first electric sign.
It was at this bar that I was first introduced to the Gin Gin Gin! cocktail. A little fruity, a little sweet, a little tart, and seriously refreshing, I used the ingredients on the menu to come up with my own version. I didn’t receive a recipe from the bartender and I don’t know the exact proportions of what Hanson’s used for me that night when I ordered, but here’s what I’ve been making myself ever since. I present, the Gin Gin Gin!
Named for the use of three gins, it’s straightforward and simple to prepare. I prefer to use Hayman’s for the Old Tom and Plymouth for the Sloe. Averell Damson Gin can be tricky to find. I had to special order it, but I’ve been seeing it one the shelves of local liquor stores much more frequently now than back when I first sought it out. The menu originally called for grapefruit bitters, but I substituted orange bitters and think Angustura would be more than adequate. As always, freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must, and while I prefer no garnish, a lemon wedge/slice would not be unwelcome.
♦ 1 oz Old Tom Gin
♦ 1 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
♦ 1 oz Averell Damson Gin
♦ 1 oz lemon juice
♦ 1/2 oz Campari
♦ 1/2 oz simple syrup
♦ 2 dashes of orange bitters (grapefruit if you’ve got them)
Shake with ice then strain into a rocks glass with ice (clear if you’re fancy, pebble if you’re fun.)