The Gibson Cocktail makes a comeback after appearing in The Queen's Gambit

The Gibson Cocktail makes a comeback after appearing in The Queen's Gambit - Caviar and Cocktails

Here at Caviar and Cocktails we are obsessed by Netflix’s latest blockbuster The Queen’s Gambit and whilst we can’t help with the chess, we know a thing or 2 about the cocktails!  So what is the Gibson Cocktail that features so heavily throughout some of the key scenes?  It is not as common as some of the Classic Cocktails so popular in the 1960’s but we thoroughly expect to see it making a strong comeback this year.


What is a Gibson Cocktail?

The Gibson is a close cousin of the Martini cocktail, in fact its ingredients are identical to a gin based Martini – 4 parts Gin to 1 part Vermouth.  The only difference is the garnish.  Whilst the Martini is typically garnished with an Olive, the Gibson uses Cocktail Onions.  The Perfect Cocktail’s Dry Martini is a gin-based Martini making it the easy way to enjoy a Gibson at home!


Does a Gibson Taste Different to a Martini?

Surprisingly, since the drink ingredients are identical, the Martini and the Gibson do have a different taste, which just goes to show how important the garnish is to any cocktail.  A Martini will take on the salty, briny taste of the olive, whilst a Gibson has a more umami flavour with the sweetness of the onion balanced by its savoury pickling liquid.


How do I use onions to garnish a Gibson?

You should preferably opt for a Cocktail onion, which are available in most supermarkets.  These typically use Silverskin onions which give a sweetness and are pickled in a specific vinegar to help enhance the drink.  We would recommend you put 1-3 onions onto a cocktail pick before adding to the Martini.  The cocktail pick serves 2 uses, firstly you can use your onions to stir the drink to help infuse the onion flavour, then you can also use it to easily eat the onions at the end of the drink.  They are delicious after they have absorbed some of the cocktail!


How to serve a Gibson?

A Gibson can be served straight up in a Martini or a Coupe glass or on the rocks in a small tumbler, it is personal preference how you enjoy it best.  However, apparently a Gibson should always be stirred, not shaken and the onion is of course an essential ingredient.


Where did the Gibson originate?

Like many of the classic cocktails, its exact origins are unknown.  However, the most common theory is that it dates back to Charles Dana Gibson, the graphic designer who created the famous Gibson Girls.  The Gibson girls appeared as illustrations in Life magazine representing society women at the turn of the 20th Century.   The legend states that Gibson asked his bartender for a twist on his Martini, who promptly replaced the olive with a cocktail onion, we are sure it would have been a favourite of his Gibson Girls!


How to enjoy a Gibson Cocktail at home?

So, if you’re now inspired to go and try the Gibson cocktail for yourself, and we highly recommend it, you don’t need to go out and buy large bottles of spirits.  Our premixed Dry Martini from The Perfect Cocktail is the ideal base for this cocktail.  Made only from Gin and Vermouth to the exact recipe needed, with no added ingredients or anything you would not find if you mixed it yourself, this is the easiest way to sample this cocktail and be ahead of the curve when it becomes the latest trend drink. 

Like all the Perfect Cocktail cocktails, serving couldn’t be easier.  Just chill the pouch in the fridge before drinking – the Classic cocktails are best served as cold as possible so you could chill over ice before serving if you wanted – shake the pouch and pour into your chosen glass.  Add the onions and give the drink a stir.  It’s that easy: chill, pour, enjoy!

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