Friday, January 4, 2013

Three Fresh Ways To Mix Hendrick's Gin

By Warren Bobrow

There are various forms of gin; the old-style London variety can be almost vodka-like with hardly a hint of the signature juniper berry. Others, such as the botanical style - part of the new craft-distilling era - exemplify flavor first and the traditional rules for gin last.

These new botanical gins are the ones that really can make a difference in a mixed drink. Stylistically, gin is quite diverse, with flavors ranging from freshly cut roses and tropical aromatics to citrus juices, cucumber oil, and finally, the traditional juniper berry. Some even smell like sticky pine tree sap, while others have exotic aromas of ginseng. Hendrick's Gin is one of my favorite go-to liquors. Made in Scotland, Hendrick's is uncommon and decidedly unlike anything on the market today. I love mixing with it because the final result is just delicious. A cocktail made with Hendrick's makes my mouth water. 

Contemporary botanical gin like Hendrick's isn't the flavorless variety your grandfather sought for his gin and tonics. Usually the corn syrup-laced tonic water outperformed the cold aromatics of the old style gin.

Modern-day gin, although still delicious with tonic, may be better served on the rocks or straight up so you can experience that brightly modern "in your face" approach to craft distilling.

Or better yet, you can experience these exciting new flavors as exemplified by these three fresh ways to mix Hendrick's Gin.

Gin and Coconut Ice with Seltzer

This cocktail should be served as a long drink - in a tall glass, heavy on the coconut water ice, light on the gin.

• Hendrick's Gin
• The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters
• Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
• Thai basil sprigs for garnish
• Coconut Water ice (freeze sweetened coconut water in an ice cube tray overnight)

1. Fill two Collins glasses with coconut water ice.
2. In a Boston Shaker, combine:
    4 oz. Hendrick's Gin
    6 shakes Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters (More clove!)
3. Shake for 20 seconds and then pour into your Collins glasses filled with coconut water ice.
4. Finally, add 4 oz. Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water.
5. Garnish with a bit of Thai basil.

Absinthe-Gin French 75

The French 75 is a magical drink perfectly geared to the spring but works equally well in the winter months because of some of my ingredients. I twisted up the preparation a bit by adding a good splash of Absinthe, along with a dollop of simple syrup woven with fresh raspberry juice.

Note: To make raspberry simple syrup, puree about a cup of fresh raspberries and add them to a cup of simple syrup. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator to combine flavors and then strain out the seed laden flesh of the raspberries.  

Tenneyson Absinthe
• Hendrick's Gin
The Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
• Ice
• Raspberry simple syrup to taste
• Sparkling wine to finish - Cava works well.
• Citrus wheels for garnish

1. Mix bitters with raspberry simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
2. Fill the shaker about 3/4 full with ice.
3. Add 2 oz. Tenneyson Absinthe.
4. Add 1 oz. Hendrick's Gin.
5. Shake for 20 seconds or so...
6. Strain into tall Champagne flutes and top with a good splash of the Cava.
7. Garnish with lemon wheels.

Gin Mojito

This Downtown New York styled Mojito-influenced cocktail features botanical gin in a wake up to your winter palate with plenty of aromatic citrus elements. I use grilled orange chunks which have a haunting aroma and a tart juice element that works beautifully with Hendrick's Gin.

• 1/4 cup cucumber chunks
• 1/4 cup lime chunks
• 1/4 cup grilled orange chunks (sear in cast iron pan or on a grill), plus additional for garnish
• Ice
• Hendrick's Gin
• Simple Syrup
• Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

1. In a Boston Shaker, muddle cucumber, lime and grilled orange chunks with 2 oz. Simple Syrup.
2. Add 4 oz. Hendrick’s Gin and ¾ fill of ice to the shaker.
3. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
4. Strain into a rocks glass and top with a good splash of the Perrier Mineral Water to finish.
5. Garnish with a few lime chunks or a grilled orange chunk.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

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