Gin Buck – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’

One drink of Gin
One Lemon in glass
One lump Ice
One bottle Imported Ginger Ale


I remember a time when a sea breeze was the best new thing in the cocktail world, admittedly this was in New Zealand in 1992, and cranberry juice was this brand-new thing which had just hit our shores. Over the next few years added to this was a bay breeze, cape cod, madras, sex on the beach and then just for fun people also started ordering screwdrivers, greyhounds, salty dogs, wall bangers, horse’s neck’s, and when someone just wanted to be an asshole, a hi-ball. It always reminded me of that great scene in Cocktail where the waitresses torture him on his first night in particular with a Cuba libre, but it’s all essentially the same. Since then whenever someone asked for ingredients for a basic cocktail they really should know, for example, ’it’s Campari, gin and what in a Negroni?’, you’d always fire back and ask them if they’d like the ingredients to a sea breeze, cape cod etc just to rub in their stupidity. Now days it just makes me look old enough to remember when people actually ordered that stuff.

A Gin Buck is another of these recipes, although one I have never been asked for. I’m not sure why Buck became the word for ginger ale, or why anyone would drink ginger ale over ginger beer, but that’s just my personal opinion. I find the drink, like most highballs to be pretty boring, and essentially a glass of drunk. This isn’t really any different, after all, if you want something long, cold and refreshing which doesn’t taste like gin, why put gin in it.