I’ve been thinking lately that I’ve been neglecting the “clear spirits” in my cocktails, in favor of my old favorite and standby, whiskey. It was brought to my attention that I am not alone in this oversight as I read this morning’s LA Times article, discussing how “mixologists” (what happened to just being called a bartender?!) are starting to use more clear spirits in cocktails.
This got the wheels turning upstairs… I too, should start expanding my cocktailing into such “clear spirits.” I mean, I have perfectly good bottles of gin and vodka in my cabinet just calling out, “pick me, pick me.” Also, being on the cusp of summer, some people might not want a whiskey cocktail on a warm day. Always being the hostess that wants to keep her friends happy, I decided that I had to start boning up on my crystal clear cocktails.
This was my first experiment, or prototype as the beloved P.H. (my dad) would call it. It’s not necessarily a daytime summer cocktail, but rather a take on the gin martini, for maybe a Spring evening. Now before you stop reading, I know you may be thinking, “gin…yuck,” but as the LA Times article suggests, if prepared properly in a cocktail, you may become a convert. I know this simply because I AM a convert.
Obviously, Spring conjurs up dreams of flowers and lazing about, so OBVIOUSLY a flowery martini is perfect. It just so happens that I recently acquired some lavender bitters that just won’t stand up to whiskey, so I hypothesized that with a little bit of St. Germain (elderflower liqueur), lavender bitters and gin, we might have winner. Here are the results.
3 ounces Gin (I prefer Hendricks)
1 ounce St. Germain
5-7 dashes lavender bitters (I use Scrappy’s)
Chill the martini glass by placing a few ice cubes (don’t add water) in the glass for two to three minutes. I find that chilling the glass with water creates unnecessary condensation, but doesn’t really chill it more than just ice. In a martini shaker, place the Gin, St. Germain, and bitters with ice and give it a good shake (but not too vigorous, as we don’t want froth). Dump the ice from the glass, pour a bit of Vermouth into the glass and swirl, coating the inside of the glass. Dump any of the remaining Vermouth out. Give the drink one quick shake before pouring it into the glass. If you’ve got some laying around, garnish the cocktail with a nice sprig of lavender, or a lemon twist, which might be more readily available. Now, enjoy…outside if at all possible.