Recipe: Combine up a lightweight, easy-to-drink Dartmouth Highball | Cocktail membership

Gina Richard Sargeant

February 25, 2021 | 2:48 pm

The first time I had a Dartmouth Highball was during a stop at the Island Creek Oyster Bar in 2011. It was one of the first drinks I was instructed to make, and if my memory serves me right, it was entitled this time on the drinks menu. It’s an Eastern Standard original developed by Bob McCoy – who also oversaw my stage that night.

Created years earlier for a Pimm’s Cup section on the ES menu, Bob was inspired by the refreshing and herbaceous aspects of a classic Pimm’s Cup. However, he also looked for a juicy, tea-like concoction that was lighter and easier to drink than the traditional Long Island one. The two ideas came together and the Dartmouth Highball was born. The cocktail was named after the Dartmouth, one of the three British East India Company ships that were looted by the Boston Tea Party.

At the time of my stage, I hadn’t thought of using Pimm’s in anything other than the classic cup, so it was pretty neat to discover its versatility.

The fruity, herbal gin-based spirit was created in London in the 1840s. It’s still very popular in the UK, and its low ABV makes it an ideal candidate for drinking all day long (especially in summer) when topped with lemonade or even some seltzer and lime. Pimm’s is a smart addition to any liquor cabinet at home, and one gin I particularly like for the Dartmouth is Privateer Tiki, which makes up the street in Ipswich.

The taste and aroma of the Dartmouth Highball instantly bring me back to that time in my life, now almost 10 years ago. I had just moved to Boston and I was both nervous and excited for a new job, a new chapter. The city was alive and well, bars and restaurants in every neighborhood were full, and Kenmore Square was vibrant with energy. Even though it’s been a year since the pandemic began, I’m still amazed at how quickly the Boston I knew from that time has changed. Given the recent sad news of the permanent closings of the ICOB, Eastern Standard and The Hawthorne, these memories stir a lot of emotion.

I am forever grateful for the lasting friendships I made during this time – on both sides of the bar. I also met my husband at ICOB. It’s hard to imagine Boston without these institutions, but when I think about these places, I can only hope for better days.

What you will need

Dartmouth Highball

1½ oz. Pimms No. 1
¾ oz. gin
¾ oz. simple syrup
½ ounce. Lemon juice
4 mint leaves
2 to 4 ounces of ginger beer

Mix the mint and syrup in a mixing glass, add the other ingredients and shake dry (no ice). Strain into a highball over ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Take part in our virtual cocktail class:

Join us Thursday, February 25th at 7pm with host Jackson Cannon and his special guest Gina Richard Sargeant. This week they are making cocktails with Pimm’s, the perennial British aperitif in the kitchen cupboard, finding out about the restaurant and bar scene in Boston and giving tips on how the pros can make great drinks at home. They’ll mix up a classic Pimm’s Cup and a modern twist on the drink known as Dartmouth Highball.

Gina Richard Sargeant is the head bartender at Select Oyster Bar in Boston.

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