A gold-medal drink named after a French Olympic champion
Lucien Gaudin was an Olympic fencing champ during the 1920s (more history in the Notes).
His namesake drink has lively aroma, terrific flavor, and good looks. It makes a great predinner drink. Or a nice tipple while watching the Olympics later this summer.
Recipe: The Lucien Gaudin Cocktail
The Lucien Gaudin Cocktail isn’t well known today, but we’d like to change that. Because this drink is a delightful combo of gin, Cointreau, Campari, and dry vermouth.
Gin and Campari pair up most famously in the Negroni Cocktail. But the Lucien Gaudin has a more complex flavor: Cointreau adds a touch of sweetness, while dry vermouth infuses a floral note. And Campari contributes its characteristic bitterness.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves 1.
- 1 ounce dry gin
- ½ ounce Cointreau
- ½ ounce Campari
- ½ ounce dry vermouth
- garnish of orange or lemon peel (optional)
- Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a mixing glass half filled with ice. Stir briskly until the contents are well chilled (about 30 seconds).
- Strain into a cocktail glass (preferably one that has been chilled). Garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- Why stir rather than shake? Because all the ingredients are clear. Shaking introduces tiny oxygen bubbles, which can cloud the drink. But we often shake anyway.
- This drink traditionally is served “up” in a cocktail glass. But it’s also good over ice in a rocks (Old-Fashioned) glass.
- The origins of this cocktail are obscure. But it’s widely accepted that the drink was created sometime during the Prohibition era, when Lucien Gaudin was at the height of his popularity. He competed in the 1920, 1924, and 1928 Olympics, winning 2 silver and 4 gold medals in total.
- Fencing is still an Olympic sport. If the Olympics occur as scheduled this summer (there is some doubt because of Covid), fencing will again be part of the games.
- There are actually three distinct disciplines within the sport of fencing: the foil, the épée, and the sabre. The names refer to the weapons used, which vary in shape and are employed differently (the foil and the épée are thrusting weapons, while the sabre is used for both thrusting and slashing).
- The term “fencing” derives from the Latin defensio (meaning defense or protection). William Shakespeare is credited with being the first English speaker to associate the word “fencing” with swordsmanship (in his play The Merry Wives of Windsor).
- With this post we launch our annual Summer Sippin’ and Snarfin’ Series. Throughout much of the year we post only one cocktail recipe a month. But during the summer, we serve up drinks every other week (sometimes more frequently). Why? Well, it’s hot, and we get thirsty. All the food recipes we feature during this time are summer appropriate, too. Enjoy!
“Délicieux,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Gold medal worthy.”
“Yup,” I said. “No need to cross swords on this one.”
“So we can avoid the thrust and parry this time?” said Mrs K R.
“Unless I engage in some pun making,” I said. “But I wouldn’t want you to feint.”
“You might decide to fall on your sword after that one,” said Mrs K R.
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