Properly Sauced: The Gage's Capone
By Roger Kamholz in Food on Apr 28, 2011 6:20PM
When citrus, cucumber and mint get together in a cocktail, things are bound to turn out well. You have cucumber, doing its nonchalant, melony thing; citrus acting all tart and bright; and fresh, fragrant mint is there to play the middle. It's a party. With really good music.
One of the best ways to feature each of their unique qualities in a cocktail is to gently muddle (using a wooden muddling stick or, short of that, a wooden kitchen spoon) the ingredients "dry" in your shaker before adding the spirits and other wet ingredients. That's the trick behind tastier mojitos, as well as most smashes and more than a few punch recipes. What we sometimes don't like about muddled drinks is the flecks and bits of solid ingredients you end up drinking along with all the liquid goodness. Which is probably why we took a shine to the Gage's Capone cocktail recently. This double-strained number has all the sweet, subtle, springtime benefits of our blessed trifecta without them getting in between our teeth.
The Capone has as its base Death's Door Gin, which supplements the herbaceous mint with a tinge of juniper. The Gage opts to use straight lemon juice, further cutting down on the solids (OK by us). A hearty dose of egg white is included to lend the final product a richer body. It also provides a frothy pillow on which to float the Capone's garnish: a salted slice of cucumber. The result has all the familiar flavors working in concert, plus great looks and a velvety texture. It's still a party, only classier.
2 ounces Death's Door Gin
5 ounces egg white
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce lemon juice
2 chunks cucumber
2 sprigs of mint
Muddle cucumber and mint at bottom of cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients. Shake and double-strain into Martini glass. Garnish with a salted cucumber slice.
The Gage is located at 24 South Michigan Avenue.