In honor of the Strawberry Moon a couple nights ago (!!!) and the arrival of summer, we're celebrating with a cocktail made for sipping on the porch with friends while the weather's warm! Although this recipe calls for strawberry rhubarb syrup, feel free to substitute other berries or fruits as they come in season throughout the summer, or use whichever fruits are going soft in your fridge. Also feel free to experiment with herbs and spices as well--try a handful of rosemary, ginger, clove, or thyme, either on their own or as additions to the fruit.
FOR THE SIMPLE SYRUP:
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 in. pieces (feel free to use the end trimmings that most people throw out)
- 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced (we used strawberry tops leftover from baking a cake. After you trim off the tops, simply pull the leaves off, and use the bit of fruit left for the syrup. See photo for illustration)
- 2 tsp vodka (optional, added to keep the syrup fresh longer)
Combine the sugar, water, and fruit in a small saucepan. Cook over medium high heat, until sugar dissolves and syrup simmers, gently smashing the fruit on the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon as you go. Reduce the heat and let syrup simmer for 3-5 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Strain into a jar over a sieve or several layers of cheesecloth. Add vodka, if using. Keep in a tightly covered jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
FOR THE COCKTAIL:
- 2 oz. gin
- 2 Tbsp. simple syrup
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- Ice cubes
- Club soda to top
Combine gin, syrup, lime juice, and a couple cubes ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until combined + cold. Strain into a glass, add ice, and top with club soda. Take two cocktails (one for you and one for your lover, friend, neighbor) out on the fire escape and cheers!