Summer Survival Kit Essential #1: The Southside

This one harks back to the Twenty-One Club (so says a source I can’t put my finger on now), and is a staple of ritzy east coast watering holes all summer. Southside of what? I dunno, but it’s almost obligatory to wear tennis whites, seersucker or a big floppy hat while sipping one of these. But don’t let class politics spoil you on it–it’s a really refreshing little tipple. Plus, it comes in two versions: the Southside proper, which is just a short drink in a cocktail glass; or the Southside Fizz, which you strain into a Collins glass and top off with ice and seltzer.


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce lemon juice (about 1/2 a decent-size lemon)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 10-12 mint leaves

Gently muddle the mint in the bottom of your shaker, then add the other ingredients; if you want more of a minty taste, let it sit for a few minutes before proceeding. Ready? OK, add the ice and shake. Either strain into a chilled cocktail glass (and I do mean strain–otherwise you might wind up with tiny bits of mint leaf stuck in your teeth) and serve with mint leaf garnish, or into an icy collins glass, then fill with fizzy water and garnish with a mint sprig.

8 Responses to Summer Survival Kit Essential #1: The Southside

  1. I just wanted to ask you guys for some info as to where and when the mint gimlet was created. My email address is Please respond as we have a city of bartenders fuming because some idiot is trying to get credit for something created long ago. Thank you for your time

  2. Weekend Journal for August 18, dispells the Chicago origin and gives the true origin in the Southside Club on Long Island in the late 1800’s. This is definitely an East Coast upper crust club drink, as were members of the Southside Club.

  3. I’m sorry, but why the heck are you shaking gin?! You don’t shake gin, you stir it with a barspoon, or else you’ll end up bruising the liqour and losing a lot of the flavor. Same thing with a Martini or Gibson: stir, don’t shake. If you were to add sweet & sour mix, then you can do whatever since you’ve already ruined it, but this is fresh lemon juice and muddled mint, not some sickeningly sweet concoction!

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