Tipple Tuesday: Blackberries Three Ways

I like strong warming drinks in the winter, but when the heat rolls in I prefer light refreshing drinks made with in-season ingredients. Blackberry season is in full swing right now, so here are three refreshing drinks made with fresh blackberries. All three have different liquors and flavors, but each is refreshing in its own way with a wonderful blackberry base.

One is made with gin, one with rye whiskey, and one with vodka and St-Germain. Each of these drinks contains simple syrup. If you need a refresher on how to make it, I’ve got you covered.

Save these recipe card images to your iPhone and import them into the free Highball app.

Blackberry Gin & Tonic:

Blackberry G&T

 

Rye Whiskey Blackberry Smash:

Rye Blackberry Smash

 

St-Germain and Vodka Blackberry Smash:

St-Germain Blackberry Smash

 St-Germain Blackberry Smash 

Tipple Tuesday: Infusing Gin with Rose

“Infusion” is one of those words that sounds more complex than it really is. Infused spirits are all the rage right now at cocktail bars, but you don’t need to go out to enjoy them. You can make your own infusions with your preferred ingredients at home.

There are three main ways to do infusions:

  1. Classic immersion method: Mixing the ingredients in a glass gar and letting them sit for a few days to a few weeks in the dark at room temperature. Better for fruit and herbs.
  2. Heat infusions in a sous vide: Heat speeds up infusions (think coffee and tea) and using a sealed bag in a sous vide helps keep the alcohol from evaporating. This method is better for spices, but can be used for some fruit under a time crunch.
  3. Rapid infusion with a whipped cream whipper: To quote Dave Arnold, “Rapid infusion makes flavored liquors almost instantly using nothing more than an iSi whipped cream whipper.  This technique works really well, and anyone can do it.  Briefly: put any porous item into a cream whipper, charge it with N2O, swirl it for about a minute, vent, strain, and drink.”

This time around, I’m using the classic immersion method. In the near future, I’ll walk you through the sous vide method, and in the meantime I’m going to experiment with the rapid infusion method in an iSi whipper.

Classic Rose-Infused Gin

  • Mix some high-quality rosebuds with a good gin of your choice in a glass jar or an old liquor bottle. I got my rosebuds from Spices and Teas(e) and I used Berkshire Mountain Greylock, a nice London dry style gin. Use the ratio of 1 cup of dried rosebuds per 750ml. This makes it easy to infuse a whole bottle or to do some quick math and scale it for less than a bottle.
  • Shake up this mixture and set this jar in a dark place at room temperature. I put it in our liquor cabinet.
  • Shake it a little each day. After 5 days, strain it through a filter into a bottle. (These Bormioli Rocco glass flasks are fantastic for this.) Make sure to squeeze out the rosebuds, as they will hold a lot of liquid after straining.

Do you want ideas on how to use it in drinks? Scroll to the bottom of this post!

Infusing is forgiving. You can taste it after a few hours, or after a few days, or after a few weeks and decide what kind of flavor intensity you like. You can also dial the ratio of rose to gin up and down to see what happens. If the flavor is too intense for your tastes, you can always cut it with more gin.

I used 200ml of gin and 0.267 cups of dried rosebuds. 200ml doesn’t sound like much, but this will make a few good cocktails, but isn’t so much that it will sit on the shelf for a few months until we get a taste for rose-flavored spirits again. If we do, it is easy enough to infuse that I can make another small batch.

Here is how the rosebud gin infusion should look when it is shaken up (it will only look like this for a few minutes before the buds turn yellow/brown, so snap your photos quickly):

Rose-infused gin

More gin infusion ideas:

 


Rose-infused Gin Cocktails

Rose Gimlet

  • 1 oz rose-infused gin
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • Splash of soda water

Shake with ice, strain into a martini glass, and garnish with a fresh rose petal or dried rosebud.

Rose Gin & Tonic

  • 3 oz rose-infused gin
  • 6 oz tonic water

Serve in a collins glass with ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

Lillet Blanc & Rose Gin

  • 3 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1 oz rose-infused gin

Shake with ice, strain into a martini glass, and garnish with an orange peel.

Tipple Tuesday: Mount Gay & Tonic

It is hot here in NY, and by looking at the map, it is pretty hot in most of the US. I can’t think of a better time to sip our favorite simple, refreshing summer cocktail, the Mount Gay & Tonic. You can make it in under a minute and it is so good that you’ll keep the ingredients around precisely for hot days like this when you don’t have the energy to make anything else.

Before we get to the recipe, here is a fun fact:

Mount Gay is the oldest known existing brand of rum in the world, as they have a surviving company deed from 1703.

Mount Gay & Tonic

  • 2 oz Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
  • 4 oz tonic water
  • 1/4 of a fresh lime
  • Ice

Fill up your glass halfway with ice. Pour in the rum. Squeeze in the juice from the 1/4 of a lime and drop the remaining shell into the glass. Top off with the tonic water.

We were introduced to this drink by our friend Thomas a few years ago. We will forever be inebriated in his debt.

If you don’t have Mount Gay Eclipse, suitable substitutes are Angostura 1919 or Cruzan Estate Diamond.

If you use the Highball app from Studio Neat (and I suggest that you do), you can import this card directly into the app for the fully editable recipe:

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