Let’s be honest: I don’t drink gin, not many of my friends drink it either. It isn’t my alcohol of preference. I am a whiskey lover (another post altogether). There are a few things I’ve thought about though: why don’t people ever ask for shots of gin, as they would whiskey, vodka or tequila? What is it about gin that keeps some people at arms length, even more so than other spirits? Maybe its the perfumey fragrance? Or the bitter flavor of some brands? My curiosity about gin has inspired me to whip a up a juicy gin cocktail. I know this may sound a little silly, but I want to learn how to enjoy gin.
When I think of gin, I picture the days of prohibition. I think of poor quality bathtub gin that can burn a hole through your stomach lining. I also think of London. I think of old school tonics mixed with gin used as an anti malaria concoction in India. (Hence the gin brand “Bombay”) For some reason, when I think of gin, I think of history and sophistication. I also think of sexy James Bond. Man, give me a real martini, shaken, not stirred and NO flavorless vodka. I want a classic martini, dry gin, with an olive and not a twist. But that’s not what I am making here today. 😉
Gin derives it’s fragrance and flavor from juniper berries, which are recognized to have healing properties. It was used as a remedy during the Black Plague. What’s most interesting about gin is that is was a drink used for it’s medicinal effects rather than as a social drink.
After a few gin samples, I come to the conclusion that I favor Hendrick’s over the others. Why? It has a clean taste with notes of a rose bouquet and freshly sliced cucumbers. Or maybe I just like the way the label appears. It has that classic look I appreciate so much!
This is a recipe I whipped up the other day, after a few tries and a guinea pig or two later, I emerged with a zesty, refreshing cocktail. (Better for the summertime, you’re not over yet!!) All the ingredients you need are fresh ginger and English cucumber, a few lime wedges, and simple syrup made from brown sugar, and of course the gin. You’re also going to need a cocktail mixer for some vigorous shaking action.
Please understand, since Hendrick’s is already infused with cucumber, stress the lime usage more than the English cucumber. All the ingredients compliment each other perfectly.
- 3 0z Hendrick’s gin
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 2 tbsp of fresh grated English cucumber
- 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger
- A “splish” of simple syrup (preferably made with brown sugar)
- citrus salt for garnish (optional)
- Cucumber slice for garnish
First chill the martini glass with ice and a little water. Take the ginger, lime wedges, cucumber, simple syrup and place into a pint sized glass. Muddle all the ingredients together, so the flavors will blend. Pour in the gin, and fill the glass to the rim with ice. With a cocktail mixer, shake the ingredients vigorously. Set aside. Empty the ice water used to chill the martini glass and add citrus salt to the rim (optional). Strain the ingredients from the shaker into the chilled martini glass, garnish with a cucumber slice and voila! Please drink responsibly.