Gartending: Freshly Minted
- posted in:
- Food & Wine
- / Spirits
Gin is in for early spring! Oh, please don’t get me wrong; it’s early spring- even though it doesn’t feel like it outside. Klaus is most concerned about the tasty mint out in the garden. Will the cold damage the mint? Let’s ask the mint!
Klaus: “Will you get frost burned?”
Klaus: “What would you like to do about this?”
Mint: “Pick me and add me to a cocktail with this marvelous ginger ale I just found.”
So there it is. Klaus is determined to have a drink with the mint BEFORE it gets frost bitten. And how will he do that? By picking the mint just as it comes up out of the ground……
Klaus is getting ready for a lovely season of “gar-tending.” You know, making drinks from the garden. Mint is one of the first things to come up out of the ground and one of the last things that remain after the other herbs and vegetables have gone for the season. Freshly picked mint is aromatic and enticing. The oils from the mint stick to Klaus’s little ceramic fingers and some of the bits of mint get stuck in his ceramic beard. There is not nearly enough mint for a batch of mint jelly, but more than enough for a few cocktails.
Klaus is extra thirsty this morning for something more than his usual cup of coffee. He received a few bottles of the Bruce Cost Ginger Ale in the mail yesterday. This is not your usual ginger ale made with corn syrup (Ew!)or other artificial ingredients. Bruce Cost makes his aromatic, ginger ale with real flavor! What makes the Bruce Cost Ginger Ale so amazing is the unfiltered nature of this product. There is stuff floating all around the inside of the bottle! With handcrafted flavors such as their aromatic Original Ginger, Jasmine Tea, Pomegranate with Hibiscus (my favorite) and Passion Fruit with Yellow Ginger (Turmeric).
Klaus has found the Bruce Cost Ginger Ale as a worthy recipient to his cocktailian exploits! And with a small producer, Vermont sourced, handmade gin made with raw honey? It’s practically otherworldly!
Sitting in front of Klaus (and me) is a bottle of the extremely small producer and exotic, Barr Hill Gin from Vermont. It is distilled with raw honey.
Why is this important? Because of the healing nature and energy of honey! The flavor profile is sweet, toasty grains in the background, juniper in the foreground and honey swirling all around, binding the front to the middle to the back of your mouth. For anyone who says they enjoy honey- they probably have never had real honey. Raw honey is never boiled and it is never cut with water to dilute the powerful healing elements of this truly artisan product. Raw honey is rich in antioxidants too!
Barr Hill Gin (or their salubrious Vodka), might as well be made with care by gnomes! Klaus? Did you make the Barr Hill? Klaus?
Oh, he’s wondered off again. Probably looking for a party or a cocktail. Or a little bit of both.
Klaus’s 60’s Dream Parade Cocktail
2 oz. Barr Hill Gin (Distilled from Raw Honey in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont)
.25 Darjeeling Dark Tea (as a wash) in each glass
6 oz. Bruce Cost Unfiltered Fresh Ginger- Ginger Ale – Pomegranate with Hibiscus Soda
4 drops Bitter End Moroccan bitters
Fresh mint (Klaus uses Kentucky Colonel variety)
Wash the tea around the inside of your glass
Rub the inside of an Old Fashioned glass with the orange zest
Rub with the fresh mint
Add one large cube of ice- preferably filtered through a Mavea “Inspired Water” filter. (The final resulting ice turns out nearly crystal clear! It makes a great presentation in your glass)
Add the Barr Hill Gin right over the top of the large cube
I use a silicone 2 x 2 tray for my ice cubes
Top with a measure of the Bruce Cost Ginger/Pomegranate-Hibiscus (ginger ale) soda
Garnish with about four drops of the Bitter End Moroccan bitters and a twirl of orange.
Klaus would want you to have a couple and should you want to be really bad, he’ll join you for another before it’s time to break out the Fernet Branca.