Friday night in our house is date night. Date night usually consists of some good food, usually homemade because money, and a drink. A few weeks ago one drink turned into 5 and I can’t tell you how that night ended but it definitely didn’t involve a staggered walk home. Date nights at home are always my favourite.
I thought that our Friday night cocktails would make a good blog post so I’m thinking this will become a permanent feature. It just means that I’ll have to get a little bit more creative in making drinks which is always a good challenge. I’ve been going on for ages about setting up a catering van, one of those cool ones, and driving it around little foodie festivals making artisan cocktails and pizza. Or cocktails and cake. Basically good food and good drink! I don’t own a cool catering van, nor can I even drive, but a girl can dream.
I like my drinks to have a bit of twist to them. Whenever I go out I always look out for interesting flavour combinations and something a little bit complex (I do enjoy a classic G&T though). Gin is my go-to. I love, love gin which is odd because up until a year ago my taste buds weren’t that refined for it. I got two massive bottles for Christmas, one that I gifted to Chris and I for our moving-in-christmas-gift, and another that I received as a leaving gift from work. It reminds me of our Madrid holiday, sipping it from bowls by pool-side bars in the sweltering heat.
Herbs are a great way to add cool flavour notes to your drinks. You can play around with them and you’ll probably see quite a lot of my cocktails involving thyme, mint and rosemary. You can make really quick, easy simple syrups by boiling together water and sugar and leaving the herbs in to fuse. It’s best to remove the leaves from the stalks as they get a bit intense. You don’t want your drinks to taste like a forest!
This cocktail is clean, fresh and perfect for the arrival of spring. The fresh grapefruit juice is a great alternative to tonic water, as it provides the bitterness we’re used to but with a zap of fruitiness.
for the rosemary syrup/
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 2 sprigs of rosemary leaves, stalks removed
- Bring the water, sugar and rosemary to a boil. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for a few minutes with the lid on.
- Turn off the heat but leave the mixture to cool slightly in the pan.
- Strain the syrup through a mesh sieve and leave to cool completely.
- Once cool you can bottle this up and keep it for a few weeks.
for the cocktail/ serves 1
- 50ml preferred gin, I used Hotel Chocolat’s Cocoa Gin
- 1/2 cup grapefruit juice, I used fresh but from a carton should be fine
- 30ml rosemary syrup
- grapefruit slices, rosemary sprigs to garnish
- Pour the gin, grapefruit juice and syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake until the outside of the shaker feels icy cold, around 30 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into your glass using a little strainer. Add ice, grapefruit slices and fresh rosemary sprigs. Enjoy!