Gin and tonics are everywhere these days. The New York Times says the drink is having a comeback, and it made an appearance on Mad Men last week, so I thought I’d get on board. G&Ts also seem to be quite popular in Berlin—we actually ended up at a bar a few weeks ago that sold the gin by the 0.2 liter, with separate tiny bottles of artisan tonic to DIY.
While I have always thought of gin as fairly flavorless, distillers like Alameda’s St. George and Brooklyn’s New York Distilling Company are showing the clear liquor can be floral, botanical, and pungent, and easily stands up to the darker-spirits competition. Although I’m not much of an on-the-rocks kind of girl, the really good stuff is wonderfully refreshing, great to sip on over ice on a warm sunny afternoon. There are a few German distillers making gins that are supposed to be quite good; both Monkey 47 and Berlin-based Adler Gin are on my list to try.
I received three pretty stalks of rhubarb this week in our farm share, and not sure what to make, I realized it has been quite awhile since I’ve made a cocktail for the blog. We still have a nice bottle of St. George Dry Rye Gin from TH’s parents visit and in the spirit of Memorial Day weekend, and the thought of everyone grilling and enjoying the start of summer back at home, I made this refreshing cocktail for us to sip on over the rainy Berlin weekend. The rhubarb syrup, spiked with a touch of orange zest, gives the drink a beautiful pink hue, which is enough to brighten any day.
Servings: 3 cups
1½ cups water
1 cup sugar
3 stalks rhubarb, rinsed, leaves removed, and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon orange zest
In a medium pot, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and add the rhubarb and orange zest. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain, pushing the rhubarb pulp* with the back of a spoon to release all of the juice. Cool the liquid.
* I reserved the rhubarb pulp to make a baked oatmeal dish. Recipe coming soon!
Rhubarb Gin and Tonic, adapted from The Year in Food
Servings: 1 drink
4 ounces rhubarb juice
3 ounces gin
5 ounces tonic water
Combine the rhubarb, gin, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a highball glass and top with the tonic water.