Maybe it’s because of the weather, but the Gourmand household has been mixing up more cocktails than normal this summer. We’re typically a beer and wine family. If liquor is involved, we trend simple with a vodka tonic or scotch on the rocks. But with all the downtime of “Gee it’s raining for the third f-ing time today” this summer, we’ve found ourselves becoming a bit more creative with our liquor cabinet and some of the fresh ingredients summer has delivered. In the boredom between showers we’ve been inventing and recreating cocktails tried elsewhere. This series is an offering of what we’ve been concocting. Try one out and let us know what you think! Made an improvement? Let us know that, too!
New York City. One of my favorite cities in the world for pure gluttonous travel. Where the chefs are bold and menus have more than just steak, pork chops, and bones skinless chicken breast. It’s not uncommon to find lamb, cow cheek, or rabbit on the menu. Or, to my delight at DBGB, blood sausage. Wine lists are ridiculous in length and breadth (and price). The craft beer scene is a bit behind but catching up. The cocktail menus are as creative as the food menus.
Below is an interpretation of a cocktail sampled at Fig and Olive in New York’s Meatpacking District – Summer in Provence. The combination of fresh fruit juice, tangy gin, and savory spices creates a cocktail perfect for a balmy summer evening. It’s refreshing, yet not so sweet that I can’t stop drinking it (this is a problem for me with sweet drinks). Well balanced is the perfect term.
Summer in Provence does take some prep work as the thyme and rosemary syrup must be made ahead of time and chilled. A muddler is also beneficial to muddle the blackberries but not necessary. The back of a spoon works almost as well.
- Sugar (we substitute Splenda) – 1 cup
- Water – 1 cup
- Sprig of thyme
- Sprig of rosemary
- Gin (We like something smoother and more citrusy for this drink like Cardinal Gin. We also like the fact that it is distilled right here in the United States – North Carolina to be exact.)
- Club soda
- Mix the water, sugar, and whole sprigs of thyme and rosemary in a small pan. Bring to a boil for five minutes.
- Remove the sauce pan from the stovetop and refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.
- Muddle 4 blackberries in the bottom of a cocktail glass
- Add crushed ice
- Add 3 oz (2 shots) of gin, a large splash of the thyme rosemary syrup, and a squirt of a lime wedge
- Fill the remaining glass with club soda for some fizz
Relax and enjoy what’s left of the summer!