Arriving at work on my birthday last week, I unexpectedly found this bottle of Monkey47 gin on my desk, with a handwritten note from Carsten. He is a member of my exclusive “in vino veritas/in Negroni veritas” club AKA drink-at-your-own-risk-while-I-get-inside-your-head-in-11-questions club. It’s endearing that he gifted me with this.
I’d been complaining about hitting a food-photography-and-writing block, and what better way to get my groove back than through experimenting with gin cocktails. After consulting the “Good Things To Drink” book that Ash had given me a while back, I settled on a few flavour combinations and ran around gathering the ingredients for my experiment.
These ingredients I picked up at Sebastian’s, who, with his wife Katerina, co-owns Von und Zu Tisch on Augustraße in Berlin Mitte. The two of them (and their staff) always hear me out on whatever flavour combinations or ingredients I’m currently obsessed with and they always work with me to achieve the dish or concoction or care packages I imagined. Like the Emergency Kits I put together for my colleagues a couple of weeks ago.
Soon I was on my merry way to up my cocktail game. Just for this blog, ‘cos, you know, with Bar Milano, Redwood and Buck & Breck all within crawling distance from my home, I’m spoiled for choice. The handsome-and-talented husband was all game for a boozy weekend of gin cocktails: “I can always do my 5K on a weekday…”
Note: all recipes below are for 2 drinks.
First up, blush gimlet. The lovely shade of fresh grapefruit juice lends this cocktail its name. Can’t go wrong with an easy peasy classic. Gin, lime juice and rosemary syrup, topped with fresh grapefruit juice. I used the Monkey47 gin for this, because I thought its herbal notes hold up well to the grapefruit and complements the rosemary.
- 4 oz gin
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rosemary syrup
- ice cubes
- 6 oz fresh grapefruit juice
Took out our crystal tumblers for this. Shake everything in a cocktail shaker. Pour over ice cubes in the tumbler. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.
Second in line, gin and jasmine. Something season-and-weather appropriate, I thought. The weather warmed up considerably this week, on my birthday, in fact, and when it’s this hot out, somehow my sense of smell is more sensitive. Delicate and floral, it is then! I used Hendrick’s gin for this. It has floral notes to begin with, so I figured it would play well with the jasmine syrup.
- 7 oz gin
- 2 tablespoons jasmine syrup
- 10 oz fresh white peach juice, strained/without pulp
- ice cubes
- apple or peach slices
Instead of tumblers, I used two of our tall glasses for this, what we typically use daily for water, juices and beer. Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Pour over ice cubes in glass. Garnish with apple or peach slices.
Last but not least, tea & G. A twist on the classic G&T by steeping the gin with Earl Grey leaves. I used the Berliner Brandstifter gin, so smooth I’d drink it straight. This batch we got is dominant in elderflower flavour and I intuited that elderflower and Earl Grey would go together to make a sweet and fruity tea & G. The colour after steeping came out as a lovely golden whisky colour; could easily mistake this for a refreshing iced tea.
- 5 oz gin
- 1 tablespoon Earl Grey leaves: use less if you prefer a weaker tea flavour
- 2 lemon wedges
- 9 oz cold tonic water
- ice cubes
- orange or lemon zest for garnish
Place the gin and tea leaves in a Weck jar and steep in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight. Pour the gin over a strainer into a cocktail shaker, then divide into two tumblers with the ice cubes. Squeeze one lemon wedge after the gin in each tumbler. Add the tonic water and stir. Garnish with orange or lemon zest.
Happy end of a boozy weekend!
Thank you, Carsten! Thank you, Sebastian! Thank you, Robert, my handsome-and-talented husband, the original member of my in vino/cocktails veritas club, for drinking my cocktails as well as all the leftovers!