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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.