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Apr 9, 2010 07:01 AM

Gibsons, anyone? (or, is their a better cocktail onion?)

My daily martini ritual, like most things, is always subject to the variabilities of life, mood, company, etc. Over time I've changed gins, vermouths, bitters, even the glass. At some point in the tweeking, the 7 to 1 ratio became 4 to 1. Then the olives were replaced by a twist. You get the idea, I'm sure.

One day, however, I opened the ever-present (and still sealed) jar of cocktail onions. Now, I'm pretty much a Gibson drinker. (Although I've noticed that it's a tough drink to get while out - lots of bars don't carry the onions!) My question for you my fellow booze geeks - is there a better cocktail onion? Any recomendations or explanations?

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  1. OK. I admit I didn't think this would be a particularly popular topic. I accept that the Gibson is the red-headed stepchild of the cocktail world. Nevertheless, I feel it my calling to perfect this libation. In order to do so, the focus must be on the one thing that separates the Gibson from it's celebrity cousin - the garnish.

    For sake of control, the basics of my drink is constant. A 5 to 1 ration of Gordon's gin and Noilly Pratt dry vermouth (I found I prefer the drink a bit drier than I do a martini) and a drip of Fee bitters. Three cocktail onions are skewered and placed in the glass before the contents of the shaker is poured over them.

    Thus far, I have tried Reese's (I'm pretty sure that was the brand) and Haddon House. The former had more sweetness - perhaps it had added sugar??? The Haddon House was distinctly more sulfuric. In the drink the marriage of the flavors muted the sulfur scent, but a sniff of the jar wallopped with allium aroma. Needless to say, the Reese's resulted in a better cocktail.

    With no feedback, I suppose I shall have to keep trying different brands. . . . Anyone? Anyone?

    1 Reply
    1. re: MGZ

      Can't offer up much assistance other than suggesting that you do-it-yourself such as this Chow recipe:

    2. Have you tried the "Tipsy Onions"? They can be found in high end grocery stores or online. They are allegedly soaked in vermouth. They are larger than Reece's, more like what you get in a fancy cocktail lounge. The company also makes olives and cocktail cherries.

        1. re: EvergreenDan

          Pickling my own is definately in my future, but (funny, in light of that article) I have had trouble finding the onions. I haven't seen the Tipsy Onions. I'll try to look for them as well. Thanks.

        2. for a while I could find green olives stuffed with a pickled onion in the olive bar of one of our local grocery stores. To me, this was perfect, you get the best of both, but alas I can't find these anymore. Only the garlic stuffed olives, which is not a good substitute.

          1. If you have a supermarket with an English section, look for HP brand pickled onions. A bit large, but they taste great.