When QDP starts criticizing the choice of glassware I know he’s straining to do some complaining.
We were coming back from an afternoon out and I’d been semi-obsessed with this blog post I had read a few days ago so I suggested a late afternoon cocktail. Sometimes I’m in the mood to go that very extra long mile for a drink and this was one of those times. A quick stop for a pint of strawberries, basil and tonic water and we were back home by three. Just enough time to make the strawberry mixture and put together the drinks while it was still late afternoon.
QDP had already made rumblings about not being in the mood for a strawberry drink but I was determined to make this happen so like a dog with a bone I wouldn’t let him near the kitchen and kept moving forward. I put everything together as directed and before I knew it had the strawberry mixture ready for the cocktails. OK, so I had to wait 15 minutes for the strawberries to macerate and putting that mixture through a fine sieve would have tried the patience of a saint, but in the end it got made.
Putting it together was no more difficult than making a standard G&T. I did make one modification to CozyKitchen’s instructions by putting a splash of tonic water in with the basil when I muddled it.
Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonic
2 oz gin (your choice)
2-3 tbs strawberry mixture*
Basil – good amount in each glass
Place basil in the bottom of each glass. Add a splash of tonic and muddle. Fill with ice. Pour 2 oz gin, 3 tbs strawberry mixture, and top with tonic water (not too much, a little over a splash should do). Stir gently and garnish with basil top.
I thought this drink was excellent and the perfect choice for a late afternoon cocktail. The strawberry and sweetness were both subtle which made it all the more enjoyable. Too often when fruit and sugar are used in a cocktail it’s to mask flavors and not enhance them. The addition of the salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar to the strawberry mixture more than enhanced the flavor of the strawberries and gin. Overall it’s a very well balanced cocktail which if I received in a bar I would be extremely happy with. A big thank you to ACozyKitchen for the recipe.
A note on the gin. Since I had so much strawberry mixture I ended up making two of these. The first I made with Gordon’s and the second with St. George Rye Gin. Both were very good. The difference in flavor was significant, however. The Gordon’s has that classic yet forceful juniper flavor which pairs so well with tonic, and very well in this drink overall. It was simply delicious. The St. George Rye added a dimension of flavor that was surprising at first (it was second), but I found very flavorful and worthwhile. With the St. George the drink was more assertive and demanded attention.
Would I want to make it at home again? Let’s just say I don’t need to go that extra mile for a cocktail anytime soon. But I would happily make this for guests.
As for QDP and his glassware complaint, he said “It’s good. But I don’t really like it in this glass. I’d prefer something clear.” Which means, “I really like this drink, too.”
*Strawberry mixture – Slice and hull a pint of strawberries in a bowl. Add a scant 1/2 cup sugar, pinch of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, and 1 tbs balsamic vinegar. Let sit for 15 min. Throw all of that in a blender and pulse until it’s pureed. Put that through a fin sieve. Pushing with a spatula helps to run it through faster. Letting it sit would take hours. Done!