California-Style: MOTAC’S Gin Cocktails in Cali

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California Programs Start Strong With Gin Event

The Museum of the American Cocktail’s California programs are off and running after the inaugural event at Dominick’s in West Hollywood in April. Over 40 people enjoyed a talk by Lesley Jacobs Solmonson on “The History of Gin in Five Cocktails.” The hour-long presentation covered the various ways and styles in which gin has been made, the ways that the drink was associated with different layers of society through history, and the ways in which gin and genever have been used to make cocktails. Dominick’s provided hors d’ouerves and a beautiful environment or a social spring evening. Members of the bartending and restaurant profession turned out in force along with enthusiasts, and brand ambassadors stayed afterwards to explain their wares.

The cocktails were very well received, and Leslie consented to share the recipes below.

The next MOTAC event in Southern California will be an exploration of agave – the history and uses of tequila and mescal. This will be held at Petty Cash Taqueria in Los Angeles with speakers Marcus Tello and Aidan Demarest on May 19th. Appetizers will be provided by famed chef Walter Manzke.

To sign up for this event, go to this link:

For more information about MOTAC California or to get information about hosting or presenting an event, send an email to

Jessica Schmidt of Dominick’s serves Martinez cocktails at the lecture

Jessica Schmidt of Dominick’s serves Martinez cocktails at the lecture

MAKES 11 (4-ounce) drinks

  • 1/2 cup simple syrup 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
  • 1 1/2 cups genever 3 cups club soda
  • ice ring or large cubes

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine

2. Chill with an ice ring or large ice cubes.



  • 3-4 dashes simple syrup 2 dashes bitters (Angoustura is fine)
  •  2 ounces genever 1-2 dashes curacao (such as Cointreau)
  • 1 small piece lemon peel

1. Put all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir vigorously, 30 seconds, until chilled.

2. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon.



  • 2 dashes orange liqueur (such as Cointreau) 2 ounces sweet vermouth
  •  1 ounce Old Tom gin (Ransom was used; if using Hayman’s, replace Cointreau with Maraschino)

1. Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

2. Place a quarter slice of lemon in the glass.



  • 1 ounce dry gin 1 ounce Cuban-style rum(such as Cana Brava, if you can get it)
  •  1/2 ounce grenadine 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Simple syrup, to taste

1. Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.


MAKES 1 drink

  •  1 ounce Hendrick’s gin 1 ounce Aperol
  •  1 ounce Lilllet Blanc orange twist for garnish

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.



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