Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This is working out to be kind of fun.

I started off with the Greyhound Shawl and drink on Monday.  Kate raised the ante yesterday with her lime and basil Gin & Tonic. I did make that G&T for my pre-dinner porch moment and it was perfect. The slices of cucumber make for a gorgeous drink and besides that, there was gin and basil and lime.  So it went fast.

Pressure's on now for something a little different, so I'm going to suggest a Smash today!

It's summer and the berries are in season, so this one's a Strawberry Gin Smash.   If you've never had a smash before, you'll like this - because it's a whole category of drink, and you can customize it based on what's in your fridge! There are all kinds of variations on smash cocktails, but the basic idea is to combine crushed ice, sugar, spirits, and fruit in season,  

Today, we're using strawberries, gin, & cucumber - with a dash of bitter amaro added for depth. 

Strawberry Gin Smash

2 slices of fresh lime
2-3 slices of cucumber
1-2 basil leaves
2-3 strawberries, hulled and cut in half
.5 oz simple syrup or a tsp of sugar
4 oz gin  (yep, FOUR)
1.5 oz Fernet Branca or Nardini or 1 tsp oz balsamic vinegar
and for this, you want a stirrer

In your cocktail shaker, squeeze the limes first then muddle the lime slices, cucumber, strawberry, basil and simple syrup or sugar together,

In your glass, swirl the Fernet Branca/Nardini or balsamic around just to get the essence on the sides.

Add some of your crushed ice to the glass.

Add gin and pour contents of shaker into glass with the gin, and stir.

Then add remaining ice and a splash of soda water.

As you sip and stir, the ice begins to melt and the drink comes together.  This is one you sip slowly but the ice keeps the drink nice and cold.  It's the perfect thing on a really hot day.

As I said above, a smash is fun to play with, so feel free to experiment. Dill and peach, raspberry and sage, blueberry and basil are some flavors that work especially well with gin.  I like the addition of the bitters, but you can choose to leave those off for a sweeter cocktail, or you can add a bit more of the balsamic/Fernet Branca or Nardini for some added depth in there.

So that's today's Transatlantic Gin Swap - be sure to see what Kate has in store for us tomorrow...

And don't forget - KAL prizes are vintage glass sets this week.  Join in if you haven't already, and maybe you'll be making your cocktails in these...


Julie Crawford said...

This looks So good! I'll have to give it a try. strawberries and gin are an awesome combo!