happy accident

I love when a mistake ends up becoming a good thing, especially in the kitchen. Like the time I used my mom's fancy port when making spaghetti sauce. Because at 12 years old, the bottle looked like wine to me. Turns out the sweetness of port adds a nice touch to a spaghetti sauce. Now I add 1 TBSP of brown sugar and shredded carrots to my sauce to get the same effect (plus actual red wine). 

Sometimes accidents don't turn out so well. Like the first time I made spaghetti sauce and added tarragon. All I remembered was that my mom put a lot of green herbs into the sauce. Turns out, tarragon wasn't one of them. Same dish, 2 very different outcomes. 

Last year, when going to order Matt a jim beam and ginger ale, the bartender thought I said gin and ginger. This left Matt with a very unpleasant and surprised cringed face. Can you imagine expecting bourbon and getting gin instead?! I offered to go back and get him a new one but he said it was fine. On second sip, expecting gin this time, he decided that it was actually pretty good. A few sips later he declared it his new favorite summer drink. 

I'm not a gin lover so I was hesitant to try it. But even I have to admit, it's perfection. It's crisp and clean with a bit of a floral bite from the gin. Refreshing is the perfect way to describe it. We named it the happy accident as that's exactly how it was discovered. With summer upon us, I couldn't think of a more perfect cocktail to share with you.

happy accident (gin + ginger ale)
yields 1 drink

1 oz gin
1 ½ c. ginger ale
4 - 5 ice cubes 
lime wedge for garnish (optional)

mix, stir, serve. 

improv style:
this is a cocktail - just glug, glug, and stir. you don't actually need to measure. i will say that if you have a heavy hand and aren't a fan of gin, be easy. i like this as a refreshing summer sipping cocktail, not a "lets get loaded" drink. when i order it out i usually request a single in a tall glass to ensure it's not too strong. gin can be overwhelming and i'm not a huge gin fan. this drink is totally the exception. if you're skeptical, give it a try once. it might just make you a fan… 

you could totally overcomplicate this if you want. elderflower liquor or a splash of something citrusy would be a welcome addition. the whole K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) rule really applies here. any brand of gin and any brand of ginger ale will work. if you're into making everything from scratch, try making my friend over at a sage amalagam's homemade ginger ale. She adds some fun spices to her mixture wich would be a great twist to this cocktail. If you're going for simple, you could leave those out and just make the ginger simple syrup. 


  1. yum! i'll have to give this a go -- i love pimm's (which is gin-based) and ginger ale, so it shouldn't be a hard sell :).

  2. The delightful fusion of gin and ginger ale is a truly serendipitous discovery! This happy accident has given rise to a refreshingly harmonious blend, where the botanical notes of gin dance with the zesty kick of ginger ale. A symphony of flavors that tantalizes the taste buds, this unexpected pairing is a testament to the magic that happens when unexpected elements come together. Cheers to the accidental genius that brought us the perfect union of spirits and effervescence!

  3. Hey Improv Kitchen community! I stumbled upon this fantastic collection of beaker images, and it instantly brought back memories of experimenting in the kitchen. The fusion of science and cooking has led to some of my happiest accidents, much like the serendipity shared in this thread. It's incredible how a dash of curiosity and a sprinkle of creativity can turn a simple recipe into a masterpiece. Have any of you incorporated a scientific touch into your culinary adventures? I'd love to hear your stories and see your unique kitchen setups! Let's keep the inspiration flowing – who knows, the next kitchen experiment might lead to another happy accident!

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