Leg Before Wicket

cricket“So they’re talking about amending the leg-before-wicket rule again. I don’t know why they bother, for they’ll never get it right until they go back to the old law which said that if you put your leg in front of the ball a-pupose to stop it hitting the stumps, you were out, and d–d good riddance to you.” Harry Flashman

If there is a sport in the western world more incomprehensible than cricket, I don’t know what it is. Then again, I have never figured out the red line and blue line thing in ice hockey either, so what do I know? Cricket looks pleasant enough if you are siting in a private box peering across the green grass at Lords, shading your eyes against the summer sun with one hand, holding a drink in the other and able to drift off to the buffet for more canapés and oysters when things get boring. I can think of worse ways of spending an afternoon.cricket 4

The Leg Before Wicket cocktail comes to us from the Café Royal Cocktail Book of 1937 which was printed to benefit the United Kingdom Bartenders’ Guild Sickness Fund and the Café Royal Sports Club Fund. A fair split, I’d say.

¼ oz Campari

¼ oz Lime Juice (fresh squeezed and strained)

½ oz Dubonnet

2 oz London Dry Gin

Stir with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

This cocktail really needs no adjustment. If you find it too sour or bitter, add a dash or two of simple syrup, but try it without first for this is a nicely balanced cocktail. The gin should definitely be a London dry style to stand up against the Dubonnet and the Campari and—need I say it?—the lime juice must be fresh squeezed.

“When I was playing cricket we had nothing to guard our precious shins except our trousers, and if you were fool enough to get your ankle in the way of one of Alfie Mynn’s shooters, why, it didn’t matter whether you were in front of the wicket or sitting on the pavilion privy—you were off to get your leg in plaster, no error.” Harry Flashman

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