The first drink of our space season is here – the Yuri Gagarin Cocktail. Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was the first human to journey into space. His Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961. Gagarin’s single orbit of the earth was followed by re-entry in the Vostok capsule and then a parachute decent after ejecting from the spacecraft.
Gagarin Cocktail Recipe
For our cocktail to celebrate the world’s first manned spaceflight, we have to take our inspiration from Russia itself. It would be difficult to use anything other than vodka for a Russian drink, but we’re going there and playing with real tradition in Polugar, which we’ve featured here on BartenderHQ before.
Polugar is a forerunner of Vodka as we know it today – a Rye distillate. Its perhaps closer to an un-aged rye whiskey than a vodka as it is not highly rectified. That is to say distilled to the high nineties in ABV removing the majority of the flavour like a vodka before being cut back down to bottling strength.
In flavour terms, Polugar Single Malt Rye has a creamy texture, clear colour, intensive rye bread taste and a lengthy aftertaste with traces of freshly baked rye bread, honey, field flowers and home made pastry.
- 2oz (60ml) Polugar Single Malt Rye (Amazon Affiliate link)
- 1″ of Cucumber, Chopped
- 2 dashes saline solution
- ½oz (15ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
Muddle the cucumber in the shaker and then add the other ingredients. Shake hard with ice and double strain into a salt rimmed coupe or cocktail glass, garnishing with a twist of cucumber peel.
The Polugar Single Malt Rye is super expensive, (though totally worth it) so if your budget won’t stretch, they also offer a Classic Rye Polugar which will still make a great drink!
Its impossible to underestimate the impact of Yuri Gagarin’s mission as the first man in space. Now space is moving a little more towards private companies like SpaceX, its really exciting to see where we might be going next!