The Friday Tipple: Global Warming Gin Fizz

It’s bloody hot, Boozers. And it’s only April, so we have decided that we may as well accept the inevitable and jump right into summer cocktails. What with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster last week and Earth Day looming this weekend, we sometimes feel like we are on a sinking ship, environmentally speaking, as polar bears sunbathe on renegade icebergs bobbing along the Gulf Stream.

The spring flowers have already spent their blooms by now and we find ourselves in premature possession of our favorite mid-summer treat: fresh local blueberries. So we shrugged our shoulders, saying “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” while reaching for a bottle of Campari. As Mother likes to say, “Dress for the weather, not for the season”, and we think this applies to happy hour as well. Why deny ourselves a refreshing libation simply because the calendar is not in compliance with the barometer? Stretch out on a deck chair with drink in hand — that’s what they did on the Titanic.

Global Warming Gin Fizz

In observance of Earth Day, we went as local and organic as we could in this tasty tipple, utilizing our favorite Catoctin Creek Organic Watershed Gin, early blueberries, and wild lavender honey. Forage in your own area this weekend by supporting local distillers and farmers when mixing up a celebratory cocktail or two.

2 ounces gin

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

2 teaspoons local honey (try something floral to deepen the flavor)

1/2 of a fresh orange

chilled club soda

1/2 ounce Campari

orange wedge for garnish

Crush the blueberries in the bottom of a glass, add the gin and honey, and mix well. Set aside for one hour.

After an hour, squeeze the fresh orange over the blueberry-gin mixture and stir. Add a few ice cubes, top with chilled club soda, then float Campari over the top. Garnish with an orange wedge and enjoy.

The Friday Tipple: Pear & Pimm’s

Somewhere in the world, loyal Boozers, it’s Pimm’s O’Clock. “What?”, you shriek in disbelief, “Surely not! We have packed away our summer whites and Wimbledon is only a faint memory.” True, the bloom of summer is fading here in the northern hemisphere, but we see no reason why we have to give up on Pimm’s; with its subtle notes of citrus and spice, it is a perfect accompaniment to fall flavors. This week, we’ve decided to pair it with pear.

Because we are overachievers in the Good Booze kitchen, we made our own pear nectar lightly infused with cardamom and lavender honey, but you can easily purchase pear nectar in the store — some common brands are Goya and Looza. However, should you choose to give it a go, it is embarrassingly easy to make, so you’ll have to remember to smile modestly when you are showered with accolades from impressed friends, saying “No, really it was nothing. Only too pleased to work my fingers to the bone for you.”

The lush and fruity Pimm’s can actually be drunk straight up as it is without any mixer, so it is important to have a light hand when using it in a cocktail — the pear should not overwhelm. We added in some extra gin (try the Juniper Green Organic if you want to keep it all strictly British, but we also enjoy Catoctin Creek’s Organic Watershed Gin). Draw your chair up closer to the electric fire, nibble a warm scone with clotted cream, and sip on your Pear & Pimm’s. Lucky blighter.

Pear & Pimm’s

1 ounce Pimm’s No. 1

1 ounce gin (we like Juniper Green or Catoctin Creek)

2 ounces pear nectar

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an apple chip (optional, but delicious). Cheerio!

Last Gasp of Summer Liqueur

In the past week, the Good Booze kitchen has made it through both an earthquake and a hurricane. Since bad things tend to come in threes, we think the last thing to threaten us will be… the end of summer. Labor Day is on the way and, with it, the end of juicy fresh raspberries, peaches, tomatoes, and cantaloupes. Don’t get us wrong, we’re looking forward to apples, pears, and pumpkins, but in this bittersweet time of year, we are holding on to summer with a vengeance even as it slips through our fingers.

The hurricane blew down a few plants in the old vegetable plot, leaving us with an assortment of peppers, both hot and sweet, that need to be consumed right away. Add to that the enormous piles of almost-overripe peaches being sold at rock-bottom prices at our local farmer’s market, and we knew what we needed to do: make an infusion for this Friday’s Tipple.

A lot of cocktail recipes call for really beautiful liqueurs; we often covet them at the local liquor emporium, where they beckon to us in their glistening bottles clad in designer labels. But making your own infusions gives you the chance to be really creative while using seasonal products — and it’s much less expensive. We still buy the occasional artisanal liqueur — in fact, we’re seeking out Catoctin Creek’s Pearousia right now, with autumn cocktails in mind — but, for now, we’re sealing our summer memories in a jar.

Last Gasp of Summer Liqueur

There are no rules to this, make what you like. Use any fruit, vegetable, or herb combination and use with brandy, vodka, gin, bourbon, or whatever. Here’s what we did, because we wanted to make something to specifically complement this Friday’s Tipple recipe:

One ripe peach, sliced

One hot Italian pepper, split

1 tablespoon lavender honey

Triple Sec

Place peach slices and whole pepper into a 12-ounce mason jar; cover with triple sec and let sit in a cool place for a few days, or even a few weeks. Add to cocktails to taste.

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