The Baxter Inn’s Cheever Gibson

Photography: Julie Crespel

The Chekhov of the suburbs, one of the great American masters of the short story, immortalised in cocktail form.

"We got the inspiration for listing this cocktail from the John Cheever story 'Reunion'," says Baxter Inn and Shady Pines partner Anton Forte. "It tells the story of a young man who meets his father after many years. His father takes him out for a lunch of Beefeater Gibsons and drunkenly abuses bar, restaurant and newsstand workers. It's sad, funny, and simply a beautiful story." As for the drink - the classic Gibson variation on the martini - Forte says that made properly, "this little sucker hits all the rights spots. It's strong, aromatic, textural and salty. I love it." As strong, aromatic, textural and salty, dare we say, as the rather Cheeveresque Baxter Inn itself. The Baxter Inn, Basement, 156 Clarence St, Sydney.

Pour 10ml of chilled dry vermouth and 50ml of Beefeater gin straight from a bottle kept in the freezer into a chilled mixing glass. Add ice and stir until the spirits are blended, diluted and thoroughly frosty. Double-strain into a frozen vessel ("we use a martini tin," says Forte, but a well-chilled cocktail glass will do nicely), garnish "with your delicious pickled onion" and serve.

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