Welcome to Part Two of the Journey from Consumer to Creator cocktail series from ‘Straight to the Hips, Baby’!
Playing catch up? Read Part I of my series HERE! I highlight several simple techniques, including homemade cocktail syrups & muddling, while shaking up my recipe for a delicious Grapefruit Basil Smash!
This drink is an intermediate-level cocktail, something that I would say puts you in the ‘cocktail connoisseur’ level of home mixology! What do I mean by leveling up? We will be making an herb-infused simple syrup, adding a fortified sweetened liqueur, and going crazy with an egg white! I will show you the step by step process of making what I consider to be one of the absolute best Winter cocktail recipes, The Holiday Gin Sour with Cherry and Rosemary Simple Syrup!
With the help of expert mixologist Vance Henderson, the U.S. National Brand Ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin, we are guiding you through a series of cocktail recipes aimed at helping you up your cocktail game at home! To help you along the way, we will be arming you with all of our best tips & tricks.
What is a Sour?
One of the earliest known mixed drinks, a sour is traditionally a cocktail with a base liquor, such as gin or whiskey, a sweetener, and an acidic ingredient like lemon or lime juice. Oh, and the best ones usually come with a raw egg white – but don’t panic, we’ll get to that part! The whole thing gets vigorously shaken with ice until frothy and cold, which transforms all of the individual parts into a tart, sweet, well rounded, and elegant drink, topped with a luxurious velvety foam.
But, but… What About that Raw Egg (gulp) you Mentioned?
I know many of you are wondering if drinking raw egg white is safe… the short answer? Yes! And chances are you’ve already had some if you’ve ever had a cocktail with that amazing white foam on the top of it. As long as the eggs are fresh and kept cold, it’s perfectly safe. The egg white is essentially flavorless until mixed with the cocktail, and the sensual foam it creates is just divine.
If the idea of mixing a raw egg white into your drink isn’t for you, no worries at all! As Vance writes below, there is a vegan alternative that works equally well! Aquafaba is the flavorless liquid that can be found in your pantry shelf can of chickpeas. The unique combination of proteins & starches found in this viscous liquid mimics egg whites very well in mixed drinks. Simply add a tablespoon or two to your cocktail shaker in place of the traditional egg white. Shake up as usual, and you end up with a lovely vegan eggless sour!
Back to our Cocktail…
When it comes to holiday entertaining, serving cocktails is a must for me! Presenting a signature drink from your own home cocktail list is not only impressive, but a lovely touch. It creates a real specialness to your gatherings, whether it’s for a small family dinner, or just for two. During this festive time of year, I enjoy mixing the flavors of traditionally savory herbs with touches of sweetness. Rosemary cocktails, in particular, just shout “holidays” to me!
The base spirit I chose for today’s cocktail is the standard Hendrick’s Gin, a light and floral gin with touches of cucumber & rose. A gin sour is a classic cocktail that everyone should have in their repertoire, and I chose to use a rosemary syrup because it plays extremely well with Hendrick’s in particular.
My Holiday Gin Sour with Cherry and Rosemary makes me imagine pine forests with a light snow falling on a crisp night. Deep red cherry mixes with bright lime juice for a fruity base, while a homemade rosemary simple syrup really helps to refine the green herbaceous notes that I truly enjoy. I can imagine sipping from one of these pretty cocktails in front of the fire with friends, and I honestly have! A gorgeous holiday-ready cocktail is right at your finger tips!
Tips from the Master…
Vance Henderson shares some gin sour secrets with us:
~ When using egg whites, it’s good to crack and add the egg white to your cocktail shaker before adding any other ingredients. By adding the egg white first, you avoid the potential of breaking the yolk and contaminating the other ingredients. This way you won’t have to throw out any booze or other ingredients, you can just use another egg.
~ As an alternate to egg white, you can substitute the juice from a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) called Aquafaba. This alternative is vegan friendly, and will yield a similar silky-smooth texture to your cocktail.
~ When using egg whites it’s an easy plus-up to finish your cocktail with citrus oil like expressed lemon, lime, or orange peel. This will add a pleasant fragrance over your crown of egg white foam.
~ Always remember to pour cold drinks into cold glassware. Pre-chilling your glassware contributes to a longer and more pleasant sipping experience.
The Cherry Rosemary Gin Sour
makes one drink
2 1/2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce unsweetened natural cherry juice
1 ounce rosemary simple syrup
1/2 ounce St~Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 fresh egg
garnish with fresh rosemary, freeze-dried edible flower petals, frozen blackberries or cherries
In the cup of a cocktail shaker, muddle the top needles of a rosemary sprig with the fresh lime juice.
In the other half of the cocktail shaker, or using a small bowl, crack and separate the egg. You need only the egg white.
Add the rest of the liquids to a shaker with the separated egg white.
Next, add a a large handful of ice.
Close and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Reserve.
Run a bit of fresh rosemary along the edge of a chilled coupe glass.
Strain the drink into the coupe.
Garnish with fresh rosemary, berries, or freeze dried edible flower petals.
Rosemary Simple Syrup (Rosemary Infused Cocktail Syrup)
makes 1 cup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 large fresh rosemary springs
In a medium sized saucepan, combine the ingredients and stir lightly.
Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, while stirring occasionally.
Let boil for 5 minutes.
Take off the heat and let cool for 3 minutes.
Strain the simple syrup into a glass jar, using a fine mesh sieve to capture the solids.
Close tightly and chill until use.
Holiday Gin Sour with Cherry and Rosemary Simple Syrup
- 2 1/2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 ounce unsweetened natural cherry juice
- 1 ounce rosemary simple syrup
- 1/2 ounce St~Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 1 fresh egg
- fresh rosemary
- garnish with fresh rosemary freeze-dried edible flower petals, frozen blackberries or cherries
- In the cup of a cocktail shaker, muddle the top needles of a rosemary sprig with the fresh lime juice.
- In the other half of the cocktail shaker, or using a small bowl, crack and separate the egg. You need only the egg white.
- Add the rest of the liquids to a shaker with the separated egg white.
- Next, add a a large handful of ice.
- Close and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Reserve.
- Run a bit of fresh rosemary along the edge of a chilled coupe glass.
- Strain the drink into the coupe.
- Garnish with fresh rosemary, berries, or freeze dried edible flower petals.
Rosemary Simple Syrup (Rosemary Infused Cocktail Syrup)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 large fresh rosemary springs
- In a medium sized saucepan, combine the ingredients and stir lightly.
- Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, while stirring occasionally.
- Let boil for 5 minutes.
- Take off the heat and let cool for 3 minutes.
- Strain the simple syrup into a glass jar, using a fine mesh sieve to capture the solids.
- Close tightly and chill until use.