Strawberry gin fizz with Thai basil.
I’ve written about this drink before, but it’s feeling like summer again in Seattle and spring strawberries have returned to the farmer’s markets. This drink feels like summer.
Since my last summer strawberry fizz, I’ve discovered a couple new gins that I’d highly recommend: St. George’s Terroir Gin, of California, which tastes of Douglas fir and sage; and The Botanist Gin, a gin laden with botanicals foraged from the windswept, peaty Scottish island of Islay. They’re both fantastic for a summer of G&Ts. Enjoy!
Strawberry-basil gin fizz
The recipe below is for individual servings. Feel free to substitute other berries.
- 1/4 cup fresh strawberries (about 4-5 berries), roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 3 basil leaves
- 2 oz / 1/4 cup gin
- 1 oz / 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- club soda to taste
1. Muddle the strawberries, basil and sugar in a shaker. Add the gin, lime juice and ice. Shake vigorously, at least 20 seconds, and strain (or pour, if you like pulp) into a glass with fresh ice cubes. Top with club soda and garnish with basil or a lime wedge.
2. Alternatively, you can blend the strawberries, basil, lime juice and sugar in a food processor. Pour into a glass and stir in the gin. Top with club soda and serve.
It’s Christmas eve, and even I have finished my holiday shopping. Mostly. At least for all the people I’ll see tomorrow.
Every year, I hope I get my act together for the holidays: a Christmas tree erected, witty cards sent, pretty packages of homemade rum balls and peppermint bark assembled. This year, I failed again … but I was closer this time!
Our $15 Chubby & Tubby tree was less than five degrees off from perfectly straight. The cards never materialized. Rum balls were dreamed of.
I did, however, make caramels, along with a few other edible gifts. The rum balls might finally debut in 2013, but this caramel recipe was too good to keep under wraps.
Merry Christmas! Continue reading →
Ramos gin fizz
I’m celebrating the end of election season for journalists (and yes, it is a little preemptive, considering
we don’t yet know the next governor the governor of Washington state is being settled right at this moment!). And when deciding how to celebrate when you’re too tired to want company and too slovenly to run to the store, you start with what you have.
The starting point: lemon, lime, sugar
These were the ingredients I came up with: gin, cream, orange flower water, lemons and limes. Yes, I am shocked that I had only two of the four ingredients needed to make a Manhattan. My home bar is running a little high and dry these days. But, somehow, I had all the right ingredients to make this fussy little gin drink come together.
It’s an interesting drink. Would I say I loved it? No, I don’t think so. But, it’s probably the most intriguing drink I’ve ever had. There was something startling about the flavor and the texture of this drink. It’s a drink I’ll certainly remember. And, like any mysterious memory, I’m sure that one day, I’ll pinpoint a craving and realize it’s for this floral-scented snow-white drink that reminds me of winter.
Ramos gin fizz (New Orleans fizz)
This recipe comes from Saveur. I barely tweaked it, and the changes I made are probably sacrilegious. This drink was first created by Henry C. Ramos at his New Orleans bar, the Imperial Cabinet Saloonin, in 1888, according to the never-faulty Wikipedia. The recipe below makes one drink.
- 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 1½ oz gin
- 1 oz heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon (or less, if you’d prefer a less floral flavor) orange flower water
- 1 egg white
- Several ice cubes
- 1½ oz cold seltzer or club soda
1. Add the lime juice, lemon juice and sugar in a cocktail shaker and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add the gin, cream, orange flower water and egg white to the cocktail shaker. Cover and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds.
3. Add several ice cubes, cover again and shake vigorously, at least 45 seconds.
4. Strain into a highball or collins glass. Top with seltzer or club soda.
This idea was pure gold: The Seattle Times asked three local bartenders to each make a cocktail for Obama and Romney supporters.
I had heard that the Republican cocktails might be nonalcoholic since Mitt doesn’t drink, but turns out that order was too tall for a bartender. All three are alcoholic, although Canon bartender Jamie Boudreau’s “The Red State” is a riff on the barely boozy drink, bitters and soda.
My life will be a bit crazy until the election is over, but I encourage you to make these cocktails if you’re looking to celebrate (or, I suppose, to wallow in your drink).
Top of my list to try: A “Republican” Rockwell & Porter (Utah-produced rye, port, maple syrup and bitters) and a more “Democratic” John Lee Hooker (bourbon, scotch, Averna Amaro, beer, chocolate bitters, egg white) for an Obama cocktail.
I was recently in Utah, at a trading post off a highway in the middle of nowhere, holding a pair of Zuni turquoise earrings and wondering whether I’d regret not buying them, when a friend turned to me and said, “Treat yo’ self.”
Prior to that little epiphany, I had been one giant stress ball, squeezed by little sleep, long hours and shleps to the airport. Now, I’m all treat. It’s been caramel cake and desert hikes amidst a fair amount of nostalgia and reflection, due to a recent reunion.
Note: The batter in the top photo, a first attempt, was lumpier than it should have been. This should look smoother, if mixed properly.
The work and the sleeplessness hasn’t let up, but there’s a lot of joyous activity rattling around me these days. Continue reading →