|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 8g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 3mg||16%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
While donuts, cookies, and candy are delicious, these sweets don’t always scratch our snacking itch: sometimes we crave something savory. When it comes to food, this is a well understood phenomenon, and there are practically unlimited varieties of salty, umami-packed treats from which to choose. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of cocktails: other than dirty martinis, micheladas, and various bloody marys, there aren’t many options for drinks that don’t lean sweet.
One evening during cocktail hour, I wanted to make myself a drink but didn’t feel like having anything sweet. Then it occurred to me that maybe the salty junk food I often craved could inspire a new savory cocktail: and thus the Funyuns Gibson was born.
What is a Funyuns Gibson?
The Funyuns Gibson is a playful (and delicious) variation on a classic gibson cocktail. Traditionally, a gibson is made just like a standard gin martini but rather than being garnished with olives, it’s garnished with pearl onions. The Funyuns Gibson is different in that it gets plenty of salty, fried onion flavor from gin that’s been infused with Funyuns. If you’re looking for a variation on a dirty martini and you’re a fan of the iconic onion snack, the Funyuns Gibson should be right up your alley. The Funyuns add a brothy richness to the gin that makes the riff on the classic as irresistible as the chips themselves (but unlike the chips, you probably shouldn’t have too many: this is a boozy drink).
Choosing (and Infusing) the Gin
When selecting the gin for the cocktail, a classic London dry gin like Tanqueray works well—ideally, stay away from gins with strong citrus or floral profiles. To make sure the infused gin achieves the correct mouthfeel, I recommend not only straining out the solids through a fine mesh strainer after the infusion period, but to go the extra mile and strain the gin through a damp coffee filter placed inside a large strainer over a bowl. This extra straining will help remove all of the chip debris, resulting in a clear gin with a smooth texture.
How to Serve the Funyuns Gibson
As far as vermouth goes, Dolin Dry or Carpano Bianco are both good options (and feel free to reduce or omit the vermouth if you prefer your martinis dry). The cocktail should be served in a frozen coupe glass, and should be garnished either with classic pearl onions or Funyuns with a schmear of goat cheese: the sour dairy tang compliments the salty drink beautifully.
I recommend enjoying one of these delicious savory drinks before or with dinner— they’re a delicious accompaniment to other junk food like burgers, hot dogs, and pizza.
Tips for Making the Funyuns Gibson
- If you feel the Funyuns flavor is too strong you can split the infused gin with non-infused gin to make the flavor more subtle.
- You can reduce or omit the dry vermouth if you prefer your gibson dry.
- Make sure to use a classic London dry gin or something with a savory profile: avoid using gins with overly floral or citrus-heavy profiles.
- Note that vermouth goes bad over time (it’s a fortified wine, not a distilled spirit). It should be kept in the refrigerator after opening and its flavor remains optimal for approximately a month.
- Chilling the mixing glass and coupe before mixing the cocktail will help it achieve an ideal frigid temperature.
“The ultimate cocktail for the salty snack food lover, the Funyuns Gibson infuses gin (or vodka if that’s your preference) with the salty oniony flavor of Funyuns. Add a touch of vermouth and the classic gibson garnish of a cocktail onion or two, and you’ve got the Funyuns Gibson.” —Joan Velush
For the Funyuns-Infused Gin
1 1/2 to 2 cups Funyuns
2 cups London dry gin
For the Funyuns Gibson
3 ounces Funyuns-infused London dry gin
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1 to 3 cocktail onions, threaded on a small skewer or cocktail pick, for garnish
Steps to Make It
Make the Funyuns-Infused Gin
Gather the ingredients.
Loosely fill a pint-sized mason jar with Funyuns. Larger pieces can be broken up a bit.
Fill the mason jar to the top with the gin.
Place the jar in a cool, dry place and allow the gin to infuse for a minimum of 8 hours, agitating it occasionally. It will appear cloudy.
Strain out the large solids through a fine mesh strainer.
Dampen a coffee filter and place it inside a strainer over a bowl. Pour the infused gin into the coffee filter to remove all fine Funyuns solids from the gin (this may take up to 15 minutes to strain).
The infused gin should be tinted yellow but fully clear when it is ready to use. Store the gin in a clean jar at room temperature until ready to use.
Make the Funyuns Gibson
Gather the ingredients.
In a chilled mixing glass filled with ice cubes, add the infused gin and the dry vermouth. Stir 50 to 75 times.
Double strain into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with cocktail onions and serve.
- For a different garnish, you can add some goat cheese to a Funyuns ring and hang it off the side of the glass— the tanginess of the cheese complements the saltiness of the chip beautifully.
- Vodka can be used in place of gin if you prefer.
- For a different flavor profile, you can infuse the gin with sea salt and vinegar potato chips instead (I recommend garnishing with blue cheese and bacon stuffed olives for this infusion).
How Strong Is a Funyuns Gibson?
The Funyuns gibson is a strong cocktail, like the gibson and the martini upon which the gibson is based. When made with 80-proof gin using this recipe's ratio, the Funyuns gibson clocks in at 31% AVB, or 62 proof.