Hi, Hi! Happy April, friends! Can you believe it? I am in awe at how fast time is going. I know I sound like a broken record, but really, it’s astounding.
I’m both excited and wary for April to already be here. I love spring and have been soaking up the warmer sun and blossoming trees, flowers, and bushes, but I am not looking forward to sneezing like crazy thanks to the pollen. I also have some stressors related to work in the month of April, and I find myself dreading it every year for those reasons. So, to be completely contradictory, hurry up, May!
What always helps with stresses? A cocktail. Or three!
I’ve got the springiest, prettiest, and most fun cocktail to remedy my (our?) woes. It’s perfect for ringing in the month of April. I’m flipping excited about this one.
A couple weeks ago, Dan and I had some friends over for a dinner party. Yes, we actually “adult-ed” with the baby in the house! A huge feat that any newish (or maybe even veteran) parent will appreciate. Lucky for us, Kieran goes down pretty early in the evenings and is a champion sleeper (thank the heavens), so we were left with enough time to hang out, sipping on adults-only cocktails and eating an adults-only menu all while catching up in the comfort of our own home. It was refreshing!
Know what else was refreshing? The cocktails I served to kick things off. I knew we were going to be eating a few courses of heavier food and wine, and so the opening cocktail had to be light and not too overpowering. That much I knew. The rest of it kind of came together with what I had on hand.
Gin? Always. St. Germaine? Yup. Lots of citrus fruit hanging out in my fridge, some of which were on their last legs? Oh yes. It was meant to be. The resulting drink was delicious and light and fun, and I was so pleasantly surprised at my last-ditch effort to whip up something interesting.
The gin and St. Germaine are lovely together. I prefer a lighter, more floral gin over some of the piney ones. I usually opt for Hendrick’s. This time was no different. When mixed with lime, lemon, and grapefruit juices, the booze sort of just…sings. But not in a bad way! Not in a “oh, this tastes like Pine Sol” way. No, in a balanced way! In a delicious way! In a “OK, these are dangerous” way.
Now, if you didn’t have all three citrus on hand, you could definitely make this with just two or even one. I don’t know that I’d go with lime all by itself here (would be bordering on a gin margarita?), but the lemon and grapefruit could stand up to the gin on their own, I think. As long as you’ve got some simple syrup to mellow things out, you should be good.
Oh, and as always, my cocktail recipes are a “to taste” guide. If you like things less sweet, cut back on the simple syrup. My sister might say that the St. Germaine is plenty sweet for her on its own, no simple syrup required. If you like a stronger drink, up the gin. Go for it! Or, if you like things sweeter and more mellow, add a little more simple syrup until you get it right where you want it. There really is no wrong way to make this. As long as you’re topping everything off with a little sparkling water or seltzer, which gives it that adorable foam and effervescence, you’ve got this one in the bag. Easy peasy.
Which is exactly how I like things when there are bigger fish to fry. I’ve got lots of fish in my pond right now, so simple, delicious, and EFFECTIVELY DESTRESSING cocktails are where my mind goes at the end of a long week. Or beginning of a long month!
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Juice of 1 grapefruit
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup St. Germaine liqeur
½ cup gin (I prefer Hendrick’s)
2-4 tablespoons of the simple syrup (or to taste)
Seltzer or sparkling water
Fresh mint or rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, simmer for a few minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature (or better yet, chill in the fridge) until you are ready to make the cocktails.
To a shaker filled with ice, add the citrus juices, St. Germaine, gin, and simple syrup (start with 2 tablespoons and add more as needed). Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, taste for sweetness, and adjust as necessary.
Pour the mixture into chilled glasses and top each glass off with some sparkling/seltzer water. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint or rosemary. Serve immediately!