As promised, this week in Alphatinis is a savory sipper perfect for hot summer days.
I knew, when I (loosely) planned out this series, that D would have something to do with dill. A dill cocktail practically cries out for gin–it all but hops over and into the bottle just to be closer to the already herbalicious spirit. So a dill-infused gin it would be but then! Then I remembered this really nice cucumber-mint mojito with cucumber-infused gin I had once at Bonefish (whose cocktail menu I’ve found lacking in the past) so I decided to throw cucumber into the mix.
Infusing liquor is a fairly simple process: put your fruits or veggies or herbs* into a seal-able glass container, cover with base alcohol of choice and let sit until ready. It does, however, take time. I’m glad I started the infusion 5 days before it was time to try out the cocktail. In about 2 days the dill had made it’s mark but it took the other 3 for the cucumbers to really join the party and mellow the whole mix out. (For the curious I used half a cucumber, sliced, and one very fluffy sprig of dill to about 8 oz of dry gin.)
But what would I pair this very interesting gin with? I didn’t want to go too sweet, obviously, but I didn’t want it to be like drinking pickle juice, either!
Thinking about the gin drinks I enjoy–gin & tonic, gin & cranberry, gin & grapefruit–oh, wait, a twist on a Greyhound might be just the thing. And I happened to have a bottle of Pamplemousse rose Perrier on the shelf as well as pink grapefruit juice. Sold!
2 oz Cucumber-Dill Gin
1 1/4 oz Pink Grapefruit-flavored Sparkling Water
splash of Pink Grapefruit Juice
garnish: cucumber, dill
Combine gin, water and juice over ice in a mixing glass and stir like a dog chasing his tail. Once thoroughly chilled, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.
I used a long strip of fresh cucumber threaded with dill and a bamboo skewer as a garnish but you could also use some of the cucumber rounds from the infusion. Keep in mind, though, that those cucumbers will be super-potent.
This cocktail turned out so well, my take on the more traditional Greyhound, that I’m keeping the infused gin on hand to make more this weekend–it’s a fabulous, low-impact summer cooler.
*Yes, I know you can infuse with proteins, too, but I just don’t see the point. Fat-washing doesn’t really appeal to me.
No clue, yet, what our e-themed cocktail will be. Guess we’ll all be surprised next week!