P-Mag’s Ultimate Cocktails: The Russian Lit

Oh, I see you over there, Moscow Mules, with your vodka and fancy copper drinking vessels. Your existence is all well and good, but you do not contain the most magical of liquors: Gin (ed. note: HELL YEAH!).

The Russian Lit: gin, ginger beer, lime
That lime cost me $1.49 because of whatever crop trouble is going on. I suffered for my art, maaaan.

“Sara,” you say, “gin tastes like I drank a pine tree, and that makes me sad.”

More for me, I say! Or, if I’m feeling less liquor-hoarding, I channel Yo Gabba Gabba and say, “Try this. You might like it.”

Never mind that Russia is more known for their vodka-drinking — although Russian gins do exist — we’re playing off the name “Moscow Mule.” Also the fact that I’d already had a few of these delicious cocktails when I came up with the name. I write literature (among other things), I like gin, and I can take or leave the fancy copper cup. The Russian Lit! Shh… just go with it, and deliciousness can be yours.

To make The Russian Lit:

  • 1 lime
  • 2+ shots of gin
  • 1 bottle of ginger beer
  • ice

Get yourself a pint glass (super-rad pheasant pictured on the side optional) and put in a handful of ice. Cut the lime in half and squeeze one half’s juice over the ice. Or maybe you have a juicer and enjoy extra dishes. I don’t know your life. Slice up the remaining half and tell it to sit nicely for a sec.

Pour your gin. The reason why I say “2+ shots” is because I don’t measure it. It looks like 2 shots, but if you’re unsure about your gin-tolerance, maybe you want to measure. Or cut it down to 1 shot, if you feel like you should behave. If you must.

The Russian Lit - step 2- gin and lime
Behold the awesome pheasant. This is how far he told me to fill the glass with gin after I’d squeezed in the lime juice.

Ginger beer, if you’re not already familiar, is a (usually) non-alcoholic bubby beverage that is brewed much like traditional root beer is, rather than just being a soda (or pop, sodapop, fizzy drink — again, I don’t know your life) like ginger ale is. It tastes like ginger ale that wants to lovingly punch you in the mouth with its spices, the severity of which will depend on what brand you buy. I prefer Bundaberg’s, but many bars (at least around here), carry Cock’n’Bull. (If your bar stocks Reed’s, you maybe just want to ask for regular ginger ale or even 7-Up because that shit’s gross.)

With what space remains in your glass, top it up with your ginger beer of choice. You won’t use the whole 12 ounce bottle if you’re using a pint glass, but that obviously means you should make another drink later. Obviously.

Toss in however many slices of lime makes you happy, and that’s it.

Look, gin is the magic liquor. You won’t regret it! -is handed a note- Okay, don’t quote me on that. Impress your friends with an unknown cocktail name! Feel writerly in a F. Scott Fitzgerald visits Vladimir Nabokov in Key West sort of way! Use exclamation marks with abandon!

And if you’re feeling fancy, yes, you can put it in a copper mug. But I kinda like my pheasant.


The Russian Lit: Deliciousness in a Glass
Look at it though. Look. At. It.

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

3 replies on “P-Mag’s Ultimate Cocktails: The Russian Lit”

You know, I like vodka just fine, but it takes way less of it for me to get to the point of “I should stop or this will end badly.” The whipped cream flavored vodka with orange juice and a splash of ginger ale is dangerously delicious.

A Moscow Mule, btw, is the drink I described above, only with vodka instead of gin. I’m sure they are quite tasty, if you don’t hate ginger.

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