1 1/2 parts Beefeater GinGarnish with a lemon wheel and serve to Speranza. Oscar Wilde's mother preferred gin to most other alcoholic beverages in the 1890s. That being said, Speranza may have also enjoyed Sloe Gin.
2 part water
1/4 simple syrup
"London Dry" was the generic term for the dry gin that became popular during the era. They called dry gin "London Dry," regardless of where it was actually produced and flavouring your London Dry with sloe berries was popular among middle-class women.
1lb sloe berries
8oz caster sugar
1 3/4 pint gin
Prick the skin of the sloes all over before placing in a jar. Add the sugar and the gin, then seal and shake. Store in a cool dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week. Then shake once a week for at least two months. Strain through muslin into a bottle.
This obviously takes more than an afternoon to prepare, so I might wait until she invited me to one of her salons, then bring it as a hostess gift.
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Gin also became popular among military men and men who were travelling as a way of getting your daily dose of quinine, thereby warding off malaria. For writers who travelled to India or Africa, like Oscar Wilde himself, you might serve this simple drink.
1 wineglass of gin
2 lemon slices
3 lumps sugar
ice (or iced-water)
But I'd probably want to serve Oscar Wilde absinthe because I'm like that.