Recipes and Me

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blackberry Rose Gin & Tonic

A fine cocktail is a wonderful thing.  That might be the understatement of the year. These days there is some serious street cred to be had for being a “mixologist." And I admit, when that urban trend started to catch steam I was all about poo pooing it, just like I was with the trend I thought had gotten out of hand, bacon cupcakes.  But alas, just like I found when I finally bit into a frustratingly mind blowing maple bacon cupcake from a favorite bakery, I was wrong. And I just admitted that in writing so that means I’m even fine with it.  I was happy to be proven wrong because mixology I have learned is, in fact, an art.  The concoctions are endless and when you really get going with all of the bitters, herbs, fruit, and endless pantry enhancements, you can really stumble onto something amazing.  That’s not to say you can throw everything but the kitchen sink into a drink and think you’re a genius.  Without some thought and basic knowledge of chemistry thrown in, you could end up with something truly disgusting (think Portlandia’s episode of The Mixologist).  But that’s all the more reason to have fun experimenting with flavors and to take notice when one of those fine experts makes a cocktail so delicious that you start to realize what you've been missing (at least in that department).

Blackberries. Gin. Rose water. Mint. Need I say more? Maybe not but you know me- I will.  I love a good gin and tonic, probably a little too much. It's classic and reliably satisfying. But sometimes you just want to mix it up a bit.  This cocktail does the trick with tartly sweet blackberries, good gin, delicate rose water, and fresh mint.  It's a supremely summery twist on a beloved classic. Cheers.

Blackberry Rose Gin & Tonic
serves 4

16 blackberries
20 medium sized mint leaves
1/4 cup simple syrup (instructions below)
12 oz. gin
1 bottle of tonic water (a little over 1 liter)
rose water (a little goes a long way)

Use highball glasses for this drink (I find the wider ones tend to work better for the berry muddling).  Line up 4 glasses.  Place 3 blackberries, 4 mint leaves, 1 tablespoon simple syrup, and a dash of rose water in each glass.  Muddle ingredients together.  Disclaimer: It's not the best idea to wear white while making these drinks.  Also, I recommend putting a small towel over each glass as you work to protect yourself from splashing.  Fill the glasses with ice.  Pour 3 oz. of gin into each glass.  Top off the drinks with tonic water and give each a quick stir.  I like to finish the drinks with a sprig of mint and an additional blackberry speared by a toothpick and placed on each glass.

Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Heat 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar in a  small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Cool syrup before using in cocktails.

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