Monday, May 30, 2011

Strawberries, Fresh Herbs & Balsamic Syrup?

Of course we're talking about a cocktail!
2 small strawberries cut in half
.5 oz. Home-Made Balsamic Caramel Syrup
1/2 of a fresh rosemary sprig
2 torn mint leaves
Muddle well in bottom of a mixing glass
.5 oz.  Fresh Lime Juice
Dash of Burlesque Bitters
.25 oz. Strega or .25 oz. Velvet Falernum Liqueur
2 oz. Junipero Gin or 1.5 oz. Agua Libre Pure Cane White Rum
Shake very well with ice; strain into a Collins glass over new ice
Top with a splash of Seltzer Water
Garnish:  Half of a strawberry attached to edge of the glass; 1/4 of a rosemary sprig in center of drink

There's a couple of spirit and modifier options listed above to play with, so have some fun with this one.  I love using the Junipero gin as base spirit, with 1/4 oz. of Strega, Falernum, or even Barolo Chinato as a subtle modifier.  I am currently using the Strega, as it blends so well with the fresh rosemary, mint, and the various botanicals found in gin.  The end product is a light yet herbal cocktail with nice acidity.

If using the Agua Libre rum (it's bold, briny stuff), scale it down from 2 oz. to just 1.5 oz.  The Velvet Falernum liqueur works particularly well as modifier when using the rum, but it works in the gin version too.  Agua Libre is a funky rum with strong flavors, but I'm really liking the end product here.

The gin version is more "fan friendly" if you will, resulting in a light, refreshing, easy-drinking cocktail that's perfect for a sunny Spring day.  It's also a great vehicle for getting Vodka drinkers into a Gin cocktail ;)   


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