Saturday, July 7, 2012

blackberry gin fizz

blackberry gin fizz

Look, guys. It’s Saturday. I don’t want to blow anyone’s cover or make you feel worse if you shivered out the week in an over-air-conditioned cubicle but I have to tell you: I think everyone is on vacation but us. I think they’re on beaches, building sandcastles, accumulating freckles, having lobster rolls for lunch and cherry pie and juicy peaches for dessert. I don’t think they’re thinking about us at all. I’ve already broken my please-don’t-be-so-dull-as-to-discuss-the-weather-Deb rule once this week and I don’t want to do it again, nevertheless, given the state of That Which Shall Not Be Named, I think it’s about time we stopped pretending that we’re actually going to be turning on our stoves until sometime in October.

straining to strain the puree

With all that out of the way, may I offer you a drink? It’s cold; the ice clinks against the side of a very full glass which, you know, is about the finest sound there is. It’s the kind of fizzy that gently mists your face as you lean in for a sip, which would be annoying in, say, November but is exactly what I always hope for in July. It’s magenta and seasonal and it has an old soul, something I kind of dig that in a drink. Shortly after I moved to NYC, I remember going to a bar with a friend of mine from college and she ordered a Sloe Gin Fizz. I looked at her like she had two heads. “Is that an old man drink?” I told her, with (clearly) all of the class I could muster. But she insisted that there was something grand inside that glass, something worth getting to know. I, of course, ignored her, and ordered my usual a gin-and-tonic.

blackberry puree

If you’re sitting there thinking, “okay, sounds good but have no idea what you’re talking about because I don’t speak your goofy cocktail-ese,” it’s cool: the drink category that goes by the name fizz are carbonated with water (club soda, seltzer or sparkling water) and something acidic/sour, like lemon or lime, often with a bit of sugar and ice. Sloe gin is a red liqueur flavored with a small fruit that is a plum relative called sloe berries; usually the gin is infused with them. But personally, I have little interest in infused cocktails. I don’t buy lemon-flavored vodka, when I’d rather put a real live actual wedge of lemon in a glass and I always preferred the cherry Cokes you could sometimes beg your parents to order for you in restaurants, with the slip of *totally natural* cherry juice in the bottom over the kind they eventually bottled. Man, I sound old.

squeezing lime juice
discarded limes

This is where the blackberry gin fizz comes in, all of the fizzy gin but the fruit isn’t “infused;” it’s just there. And yeah, it’s a bit fruitier than the classic, and it’s also a lot prettier. It’s surprisingly tart and really refreshing and did I mention it was once a breakfast drink? What, you couldn’t drink gin for breakfast? Could you eat blackberries? What about a blackberry spritzer, with lime juice and a little sparkling water? What if it was the liquid format of this totally-acceptable-for-breakfast cake? Right, then. I think you know what needs to be done.

adding the fizz
blackberry gin fizz

One year ago: Whole Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones
Two years ago: Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint
Three years ago: Light Brioche Burger Buns and Blueberry Boy Bait
Four years ago: Chopped Vegetable ,Watermelon and Feta Salad
Five years ago: Israeli Salad with Pita Chips

Blackberry Gin Fizz
Adapted from Bon Appetit

For 2 tall drinks

1/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (4 liquid ounces or just shy of 3 shots) gin
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from two juicy limes)
Club soda
2 sprigs sweet basil or 2 thin lime wedges (for garnish)

Purée blackberries and sugar in a blender until as liquefied as possible. Strain purée through a fine-mesh sieve or tea strainer into two tall or collins-style glasses; discard seeds in sieve. Divide gin and lime juice between glasses and stir to combine. Add ice to glasses then top each with soda and a sprig of basil or wedge of lime. (Might need another quick stir to combine.) Share with someone you like.


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