Although the calendar says spring and daylight savings has come and slipped away again. The clocks stand to reason why the days grow longer and the light hangs in the sky just a bit longer. The same holds true for my cocktails at this time of the year. I'm fortunate to be able to drink seasonally. Gin of course is the official drink of the summer months, but there is nothing more refreshing than the combination of gin and freshly squeezed juice. Gin and juice is what I used to ask for at the Blue Sands, one of the last real dive bars in Boston, Massachusetts, before the block was razed to build 60 story buildings down by South Station. But the Blue Sands didn't serve Gin and Juice like the one that's sitting in front of me.
The one that I'm imbibing is made with Texas Grapefruits that I split and broiled slightly with Agave Syrup. I let them cool and then I juiced them to yield 6 oz. per drink in a tall (Collins) glass.
First I fill the glass with good ice. What I mean by good ice is pretty straight forward. This is not refrigerator/freezer ice that pumps out 4 pounds of vaguely garlic scented, milky colored, wet material per hour. I'm looking for something that you make yourself. Either a mold works or you could take a Tupperware container and fill it with twice boiled water. That seems to work well. The chip away at it with a clean wood working tool. No oil or wood shavings in your drink please!
And dammit, be careful. You have ten fingers. Let's not injure ourselves please!
Next you add the gin. In this case, my seasonal palate moves towards FEW Spirits Standard Gin. This obviously handcrafted gin in bursting with flavor. I'm a huge fan of FEW Spirits and I'm well published on their merits. And now we are doubly lucky in New Jersey, because we can buy FEW Navy Strength Gin and make blisteringly strong cocktails that will completely twist your sense of what gin means in a cocktail.
Standard Issue Gin from FEW Spirits rolls in at 57% by volume or 114 Proof. It is certainly not a weakling in the sandbox already well populated with brands from all over the world in many different styles. And when I freshly squeeze juice like the grapefruits I have in front of me and combine them with FEW Spirits Standard Issue Gin?
Well... It's darned good!
From Whence we Came
2 oz. FEW Spirits Standard issue Gin
6 oz. Broiled Grapefruit Juice with 1 Tablespoon of Agave on each 1/2, then broiled and cooled/juiced
Cut some fresh ice
Pour the FEW Spirits Gin into the tall glass
Top with the broiled grapefruit juice
My forthcoming book, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails will be released in May 2015. This new book, the third in the series of cocktail-centric writing, chronicles the rise of acidulated beverages in American History. Bitters, folk healing as old as history itself are an easy way to add flavor deeply into a craft cocktail, or to heal a sore throat by using homeopathic healing methods. The use of raw honey and aromatic bitters contribute to the overall sense of healing that is both thought provoking and amusing! http://www.qbookshop.com/products/217454/9781592336753/Bitters-and-Shrub-Syrup-Cocktails.html