It’s that time of year, Boozers. Early autumn sniffles running rampant around the office and germ-covered darlings traipsing gaily all over the house after a day spent incubating viruses at school. No amount of hand sanitizer can save you from the scourge of the common cold.
And, so, we turn to gin. Generations of Brits can’t possibly be wrong: gin is the cure-all for what ails you, or, at the very least, it puts you to sleep until that nasty little virus has worked its way through your system. Luckily for those of us on this side of the pond, American artisanal gins are popping up across the country, so a local gin is likely close at hand.
Gin, like beer, is hardly a one-note alcohol — it benefits from different combinations of herbs, roots, and other ingredients that create unique flavor profiles in each variety. For our Gin Gone Viral, we were inspired by a newcomer in our local gin world, Green Hat Gin from New Columbia Distillers; its notes of citrus and lemongrass layered with traditional juniper make it an excellent candidate for sipping while tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle and a box of tissues. Gezundheit!
Gin Gone Viral
A hot lemongrass simple syrup warms up this tasty toddy; the syrup not only tastes luscious, but the lemongrass also provides natural antioxidants that are purported to combat colds and other unpleasant ailments.
2 ounces gin, room temperature or even barely warm
1 teaspoon lemongrass simple syrup (recipe below)
1 fresh sage leaf (we used a pineapple sage variety, but any will do)
to make the lemongrass simple syrup: Take a lemongrass stalk and whack it against a table or countertop, to help release the oils. Then chop it into 3-inch pieces. Put a half-cup of granulated sugar and a half-cup of water in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stir so that the sugar begins to dissolve and add the lemongrass pieces. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until reduced and thickened. Discard lemongrass pieces.
to assemble the Gin Gone Viral: Lightly bruise a fresh sage leaf in the bottom of a glass. Heat the lemongrass syrup until quite hot, then place about a teaspoonful in the glass. Top with gin and drink immediately.