Cocktails and Spirits and Wine–Oh My!
To presume that National Mustard Day was a promotional effort instigated by one of the many mustard producers (or Big Mustard?) wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility but, as near as I can tell, it wouldn’t be true, either! Apparently National Mustard Day, celebrated on the first Saturday of August, is the product of the National Mustard Museum, currently located in Middleston, Wisconsin, and houses over 5,500 mustards and various mustard memorabilia.
Barry Levenson founded the Mustard Museum while he was still the Assistant Attorney General of Wisconsin and 6 years later changed careers to run the museum full time. The Mustard Museum was been the sponsor of National Mustard Day since 1991.
Now, mustard can be sweet. My favorite used to be this raspberry honey mustard I first had at a wine tasting. Just amazing! Of course, just your usual run of the mill honey mustard is pretty tasty, too, but these days I gravitate more towards Dijon and Creole mustards, the grainier the better. Mustard is part of the holy trinity of my mom’s ham glaze (brown sugar, orange juice, and the aforementioned mustard), pretzels and hotdogs would be lost without it, and the powdered variety is wonderful to cook with (then again, so is the prepared variety).
So the challenge was to create a cocktail based on this “King of Condiments.”
2 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz Beer
1/2 oz (or 1 Tbsp) Dijon Mustard
Combine ingredients over ice and shake until nice and frothy. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a mini gherkin or kosher dill pickle, whichever you best prefer.
You could even go more elaborate with your garnish and skewer a cocktail wiener or some deli meat with an olive. Or, hey, if you’ve got some pretzel bread handy, go for it!
I don’t think I have to point out that this is not a sweet cocktail. This is very much along the lines of a dirty martini with the added boost of the emulsifying property of the mustard. The mustard and gin go so well together than I’m seriously considering using gin instead of vinegar in my next vinaigrette, and the beer gives the cocktail a bright finish–though the exact tone will change depending on what beer you have on hand.