During a recent conversation with a friend, he revealed to me that he always orders seven and sevens when he goes bowling. This is just a behavior he developed over the years in order to compensate for a rather limited set of choices when indulging at the local lanes.
Photo by Steven Depolo on Flickr. I've been to this bowling alley and it rules.
Most bowling alleys have bars and even lounges when one can order any number of items. But there is no guarantee that the person knows much about making drinks. Sometimes, the same person who operates the fry-o-lator and the nacho cheese dispenser has the mixological responsibilities as well.
Also the choice of liquors may be extremely limited, particularly if you want anything top-shelf. Don’t get me started on the beer selection. One is usually limited to Budweiser, Miller and the other usual suspects.
Of course, this situation is not limited to the bowling alley. Airplanes, catered events and many dive bars put drinkers in the position of needing to order something that is good, hard to mess up and made from commonly available ingredients. Anyone else have an old standby beverage for situations like these?
A couple of months ago on Twitter, someone I follow (I forget who) expressed dismay at being served a lemon in a gin and tonic at a local restaurant. This struck me as odd since I have an older bar guide that specifies lemon without even a mention of lime. Personally I routinely use lemon and find that it adds a nice change of pace. Out of curiosity I decided to do a little digging on the subject.
Photo by Steven Lilley on Flickr
When googling the question my first hit was a two year-old article from The Telegraph UK by a gentleman named Gerald Warner who is simply outraged that limes have usurped lemons from their rightful place as the proper gin and tonic accompaniment.
“How many times, in pubs, do I have to lecture captive audiences who convincingly feign ennui as a defensive reaction to their embarrassment at the solecism they are committing, that lemon is the only legitimate accompaniment to a gin and tonic?”
Gerald Warner: "Get those limes off my lawn"
Warner asserts that lime destroys the flavor of gin and for that reason lemons were standard as recently as twenty years ago in pubs. That may be true in England but I doubt so here in the U.S. Any old-timers want to clue me in here?
Regardless it is safe to say that from the beginning, lemons and limes were at least interchangeable. Almost every bar guide still lists lemon as an option, but very few watering holes will ask which you prefer. Worse yet, some places–typically dives–will leave out the citrus all together.
I am not particularly prone to take a strong stance on the issue because I drink cheapish gin and my palate has been compromised by years of hard living. Do we have any die-hard lemon fans out there?