Cocktail time! Please check out my Cocktails – thoughts post for some background on why I’m so into cocktail making. The way this recipe came about is that I was visiting my parents for the weekend and I felt like taking advantage of their pretty well-stocked bar and kitchen. My mom and I have a running joke that we should have a “signature cocktail” for every dinner gathering at their house, even though the gathering usually consists of me, my mom, and my dad, who doesn’t want anything to do with our signature cocktail tradition anyway. On top of that, my mom was doing a “dry month” as part of a New Year’s resolution, so the party consisted of JUST ME. But that’s FINE, because the great thing about cocktails is that you can make one at a time!
My safe-space for cocktails is either a whiskey or gin base, so since we’re early on in this risk-taking project, I chose gin for this cocktail. Maybe near the end of this whole thing I’ll be able to combine flavors in a way that makes vodka, or even *gasp* tequila, appealing, but not today. So back to the gin… All my parents’ had was Beefeater, which I tasted on its own and didn’t particularly like, so I added another type of alcohol in hopes that it would mask the flavor a bit. I went with the standard ratio of a gin martini: 2.5 oz gin and 0.5 oz dry vermouth. I’m of the general opinion that gin goes with any fruit juice because of its herby flavor, so I chose the tart cherry juice in my parents’ fridge, hoping it would be pretty sour. Still, I tasted the tart cherry juice and while it was pretty sour, there was definitely still a bunch of sugar according to the side of the bottle, so I tried to add more sour flavors with some lemon juice. For a bit of sweet I added honey. At home I keep simple syrup around in the fridge (1:1 water and sugar), but I didn’t feel like making fresh at my parents. I guessed that honey is probably sweeter per volume than simple syrup because of the lower water content.
Tart Cherry Gin Fizz
I’ll admit, I don’t know what a gin fizz is, but this is fizzy and has gin in it, so…
Makes: 1 pretty big cocktail
- 2.5 oz gin (Beefeater)
- 0.5 oz extra dry vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
- 2 oz tart cherry juice
- 0.5 oz 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice (Initially the 0.5 oz honey was still too sweet, so I had to up the lemon juice, which balanced it, but lost the cherry flavor a bit)
- 0.5 oz (1 Tbsp) honey
- 2ish oz tonic water
- Lemon peel twist
- Stir all but the tonic and lemon peel in a cocktail shaker (most recipes don’t suggest this, but I get worried about thorough mixing)
- Add ice then shake 30 sec until cold
- Strain into glass, top off with the tonic to the rim
- Garnish with lemon peel twist
Not the worst. It was fairly well balanced, and I’ve had cocktails I liked much less/couldn’t finish (like the time I made a French 75 FROM A RECIPE). Too much volume, probably too alcoholic for me, and needed a little something extra. I also didn’t like how cloudy it got – probably from the cherry juice and the lemon juice.
In the future, would probably not add any honey at the beginning, then add to taste, since the juices are so sweet already.