Plum Gin Sour

September is hereeeeeee. Fall weather and booties and scarves and VACATION is almost here! We are only six days in and I am as giddy as can be. Our house is a flurry of activity as we prepare for our trip to Europe in two weeks and this is my favorite state to live in. Planning for trips and packing and buying travel sized toothpaste is my jam. I love it. I plan vacations that I am not even going to take… just for the fun of it. I can’t stop.

In all of the hubbub to get ready – we have been slacking on our trips to the grocery store. We clearly need real meals and are not leaving the house for another week and a half, but I am in full “we dont need that – we are leaving!” mode. We were rushing through Whole Foods this week and came across some gorgeous plums so we threw them in the cart without much thought. When I finally got around to eating one, I was floored. They are incredible! I felt inspired to try something new and knew they had a place in a special cocktail.

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This cocktail is our first attempt at adding egg whites for the signature foam that you find in a gin sour. I have done plenty of research on the best way to get silky smooth cocktails and everyone swears by a little egg white. I was a bit nervous about including raw egg in a drink – all I pictured was a beefy man cracking eggs straight into his mouth – but I was delightfully surprised at the texture!

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To spice up this gin sour, I made a fresh plum simple syrup to add some color and sweetness to the drink. I only included plums, sugar, water, and lemon juice – but a chunk of ginger or other spices would be fantastic in this as we get closer to cooler days. Once you have the plum simple syrup ready it is just a matter of shaking. Lots of shaking. This cocktail requires a two-step shaking process. First, the dry shake with all of the ingredients and no ice to build that nice egg white foam. After one full minute of dry shaking, which is one full minute of a total arm workout, you add a bit of ice to wet shake for 30 seconds. The wet shake calms everything down (including cooling everything down) and gives you that silky smooth texture that you only find in cocktails with egg white.

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Ready to shake your way to a plum gin sour? Have I convinced you to add some egg whites to your cocktails? I certainly hope so!


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Total Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 to 2 ounces plum simple syrup
    • 2 plums
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Egg white
  • Cubed ice

Instructions:

Start by cooking plum simple syrup. Roughly chop plums and add to pot with water, sugar and lemon juice. Heat until bubbly and then simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool with plums still in mixture. Strain twice to ensure a clear syrup and store in fridge up to one week.

Add gin, lemon juice, plum simple syrup, and one egg white to shaker. Ensure a tight seal and shake vigorously for one full minute. Stop and add 3-4 ice cubes to shaker. Continue shaking with ice for 30 seconds or until cold. Strain into coup or old fashioned glass and enjoy!

Rhubarb Ginger Gin Fizz

Ready for this week’s cocktail? It’s a mouthful with a mouthfeel that sends you into a mini vacation. The Rhubarb Ginger Gin Fizz is the perfect cocktail to ease you into the weekend and celebrate the end of early-summer harvest. Rhubarb is best consumed in the late-spring or early-summer months and is mostly seen in pie or crumble form here in the South. While I have absolutely consumed my fair share of rhubarb-strawberry pies, it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to learn that rhubarb is actually a vegetable… AND to top it off, it does not produce that bright red juice that I expected out of it. What a letdown. Fortunately, the delicious tart flavor that comes out of these celery-sibling stalks makes up for its lackluster looks.

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To make these cocktails, you have to do a little heavy lifting and *gasp* real cooking. I, of course, think this is all worth it – but I am warning you now! This rhubarb ginger syrup comes together in about 30 minutes and requires you to pull out your cutting board and knife. Make a large batch so you can enjoy the syrup well past a few drinks. Chop up the rhubarb into small cubes and peel one hunk of ginger. Looking for some helpful cooking hints to go with your alcohol? Use the edge of a spoon to peel ginger rather than a vegetable peeler.

Add your rhubarb and ginger to a pot with lemon juice and equal parts water and sugar and set that sucker to high. I bring everything to a boil and then immediately bring back down to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the rhubarb is very soft. I do a little mashing to release more juice and then let the pot sit off the heat for another 10 minutes to steep. After those little nuggets of deliciousness mingle for a bit, strain and keep syrup in the fridge for up to one month! This syrup would be incredible in lemonades or with club soda if you want to enjoy outside of happy hour.

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I am trying not to get too far ahead of myself here, but this may be my favorite cocktail on the blog so far. You all know how much of a sucker I am for pucker-inducing treats. The tartness of the rhubarb is the perfect compliment to the floral notes in gin and spiciness of fresh ginger. This may be my drink of choice for the next few weeks. Move aside Sunday scaries wine night. We are taking these Rhubarb Ginger Gin Fizzes straight into next month!


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Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2 (easily adjusted for more)

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces gin
  • 1 small bottle ginger beer
  • Juice from 2-3 lemons
  • 4 ounces rhubarb ginger syrup
    • 2 stalks rhubarb
    • 1 medium-sized piece of ginger
    • Juice from 1 lemon
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
  • Cubed ice

Instructions:

Start by preparing the rhubarb ginger syrup. Chop fresh rhubarb into cubes and peel ginger. Add rhubarb and entire piece of ginger into a pot with juice from 1 lemon and equal parts water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Once mixture comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until rhubarb is broken down and soft. Mash rhubarb to release additional flavor and remove from heat. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes, then strain out solids and keep syrup in fridge for up to one month. This makes enough syrup for 6-8 drinks.

Add cubed ice, gin, lemon juice, and rhubarb ginger syrup to tall mixing glass. Using a stirring spoon, stir until cold. I add equal parts gin and syrup because I want the rhubarb to really shine. Use extra lemon juice if too sweet, I find that the juice really cuts through the sweetness and allows the tart flavors to shine.

Add mixture to glasses filled with ice and top with ginger beer (I prefer Fever Tree). Garnish with thyme if you are feeling it and serve!

 

The Fizzy Flower

Today marks one full week of vacation for me and man, does it feel good. For the first time in my adult life I have given myself a small break in between jobs. I am the crazy person who decides to move three states away by ending a job on a Thursday, packing up and driving south on Friday, unpacking into a new house over the weekend, and then starting a new job on Tuesday. Who does that?!

No, this time I swore it would be different. And it is lovely. Now, if you know me, I don’t actually know how to “do nothing” for five days straight – so I forced myself into relaxation by scheduling a hair appointment, my very first spa massage, and a nail appointment. I have come out on the other side as a brand new person! Just in time for a weekend wedding in Florida and more relaxation in the sun.

All of this vacation talk leads me right into this next cocktail – The Fizzy Flower. I really leaned into my spa visit and took a note from the herb-infused water I chugged all day long. This cocktail is gin, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, club soda, and lots of fresh basil.

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This cocktail comes together incredibly fast by muddling the basil leaves until they are slightly bruised, and then pouring in your gin, elderflower liqueur, and lime juice. Be sure to wait to add your club soda until the very end or your shake will result in fizzy juice all over the place! Serve immediately, or you can wait to add the club soda until you are ready.

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Now light some candles, put on that playlist of crashing waves, and take a vacation with The Fizzy Flower.


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Total Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces elderflower liqueur
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 4-6 basil leaves (+ 2 for garnish)
  • 1 can/small bottle of club soda
  • Lime wheel
  • Cubed ice

Instructions:

Add 4-6 whole basil leaves into shaker and muddle with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon. Muddle until the leaves are slightly bruised to release the flavor of the basil. Add gin, elderflower liqueur, and lime juice to the shaker with ice. Shake for 30 seconds or until the shaker is very cold to the touch. Add ice to two glasses and strain mixture into each. Pour club soda on top and garnish with a lime wheel and fresh basil leaf!

 

The Negroni

Did you know that this lovely Italian aperitif has its own week of celebration? Welcome to Negroni Week! The Negroni is a classic that was created in Florence back in the 1920s.

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It has stood the test of time and is difficult to get wrong. The Negroni is just equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. It starts off floral and ends on a spicy, bitter note. It is a cocktail meant for sipping and best enjoyed before a nice meal. Campari is a beloved Italian aperitif and has a very bold and bitter flavor. It gives this drink its signature look and can definitely be an acquired taste.

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Now, with that history lesson out of the way, you are probably wondering why we are sharing this drink with you this week. The Negroni certainly strays from our recent fun and fruity cocktail posts – but Negroni Week is special in that it raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for charities around the world. Local bars and restaurants can choose their favorite charity to support and then donate profits from their Negroni classics and spin offs for one week each June. What could be better than drinking in the name of charity? It is Tuesday and I am already three Negronis deep! If you also want to partake in drinking for a cause, check out negroniweek.com to find participating bars and restaurants near you. And once Negroni Week is over, use this recipe below to keep the Negroni party going well past June.


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Total Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • Orange peel
  • Cubed ice

Instructions:

Pour equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth into an old-fashioned glass with ice. I use one large cube of ice to keep the process of melting to a minimum. Stir gently for a few seconds and top with an orange peel. If you are feeling timid about trying something this bitter, you can also add a bit of Prosecco or lemon-lime soda to mellow it out.