One of my favorite hobbies in the summer is experimenting with mixology-- aka I love a good cocktail! As a former bartender, I love that a cocktail has the ability to brighten someone's mood. Everything including a cocktail's color, flavor, and name is important in how a cocktail might make someone feel.
On my most recent night of experimentation I made something that I absolutely loved, a cherry ginger gin and tonic. Anyone who lives in Spain knows how popular the gin and tonic is here. From Schweppes line of gourmet botanical tonic waters (ginger cardamom, pink peppercorn and orange blossom lavender) to a wide array of infusing ingredients (cinnamon sticks, juniper berries, loose leaf tea, etc.) gin and tonics have been the cocktail of choice in Spain over the past couple of years.
Spain's cherry season starts as early as April, but prices are still high until late May and June. The cherries are blood red and juicy, both sweet and tart at the same time. They are among my favorite fruits without a doubt. Ginger on the other hand, isn't Spanish and most Spaniards don't ever cook with it. That said, you can easily buy fresh ginger at almost any Madrid fruit market.
Cherry Ginger Gin and Tonic
- 1 inch stalk of ginger
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Handful of fresh cherries
- Tonic water
- First you have to make the ginger simple syrup. This recipe makes enough for 4-6 cocktails of the syrup (depending on how sweet you like them).
- Peel and chop the ginger into thin disks and add to a sauté pan.
- Cover the raw ginger with both of the sugars and the water.
- Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and let cool. This syrup can be refrigerated for a few weeks and used in cocktails, as a topping for sliced fruit, or for ginger lemonade.
- To assemble your cocktail first you must remove the pits from the cherries.
- Next, add the cherries to your glass and muddle with the back of a spoon.
- Add a tablespoon (or more) of the ginger syrup.
- Fill you glass with ice cubes and add a shot of gin (I used Tanqueray)
- Fill with tonic water (I used Schweppes Classic) and enjoy!
This simple cocktail is easy to make and tastes like Spanish summer. I urge you only to use fresh cherries, or it won't have that same sweet and sour taste.
What do you think? Would you like to see more fun cocktails on Spanish Sabores? I can always go hunt down my little handwritten bartender's book...