Friday, August 17, 2012

Hendricks Carte Blanche

This weekend I'm drinking the good stuff. Today was a wonderful day: I got a job, an AP award for my other blog, and this weekend we're having some friends over to our new place. (Our first visitors! Other friends, take note!)

So tonight, I'm having cocktails with Hendricks, my favorite special occasion gin, and champagne.

I splurged on a bottle last year after starting a very different job. Since it's the good stuff, I usually reserve it for something where its flavors will really shine, like a simple gin and soda. But since this is a special occasion, how could I not mix it with champagne?

Actually, I checked out the recipes on the Hendricks website (which is acutally pretty cool) before I chose this particular recipe. (No, I'm not getting paid for this; but Hendricks, if you're listening, I'd love another bottle.)

For two cocktails, muddle four cucumber slices in a shaker. Top with 3 parts Hendricks, 1 part fresh (please, use fresh!) lime juice, 1 part simple syrup, and 4 dashes orange bitters. Add ice and shake.

A note on simple syrup: I don't usually keep it around. I definitely don't buy it; it's just sugar and water. If I know I'll be using it ahead of time, I'll make a batch. Just boil equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. But if you need a quick sugar fix, just put a little water and sugar in a jam jar and shake it up. It'll work just fine.

Strain your Hendricks mixture into coupe glasses. The Hendricks recipe says to double-strain, because those pesky cucumber seeds will slip right through the holes in the strainer. Ours were strained but once, and they tasted just fine. A little extra fiber never hurt anyone.

Top the drink with some brut sparkling wine, and garnish with a cucumber wheel.

We were a little worried there would be too many flavors happening for us to really enjoy this cocktail, but it's really quite nice. The cucumber and lime make it refreshing and perfect for summer.

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