Hot Pocket

The Hot Pocket I just saw how gnarly that lime looks. Yeesh.

The Hot Pocket
I just saw how gnarly that lime looks. Yeesh.

This week’s H.O.A.G.Y. [Help Out a Gal/Guy, Yeah?] comes from my college BFF Jalapeño Gimlet. She wrote to me via the ABG Facebook page:

“Hey bourbon gal! Help a gf out! Have a cocktail I wanna make…it’s called the hot christy and it has gin, cucumber, lime and habanero. Like a gin gimlet right? Do I infuse the gin? Can you help me???”

She then sent me a couple of pics of the drink and gave the very helpful info that she was drunk-ass from two of them. Which provided excellent context for figuring out proportions. Though, generally, my gal Jalapeño Gimlet gets pretty drunk off of two of anything. One of the many reasons I love her.

Jalapeño Gimlet and I doing a little wine tasting detour during our recent Epic Road Trip. Eleven am is a perfect time for wine tasting, right?

Jalapeño Gimlet and I doing a little wine tasting detour during our recent Epic Road Trip. Eleven am is a perfect time for wine tasting, right?

She ended up making our version, which she awesomely called the “Hot Pocket” for a friend’s Bon Voyage party and they were a big hit! Additionally, she said the aggressive cucumber muddling and shaking required was particularly helpful in working through the combined joy and frazzle of party hosting with a grin on her face, in spite of recent sad news. Ah, the zen of bartending. I recommended infusing the syrup, not the gin, since as we all know alcohol is a solvent and mixing spicy things like peppers [like we did to make Grilled Jalapeño-Pineapple Tequila a while back] takes some pretty careful monitoring. It’ll go from nicely kick-ass to sweaty eyeballs in a matter of hours.

“Hot Pocket” – A Habanero Gimlet

Rub the rim of a martini glass with lime wedge, dip rim into Redmond Real Salt or kosher salt

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the hell out of ½ cocktail [Persian] cucumber

Add a big handful of ice

Add 2 oz. gin [I like Beehive’s Jack Rabbit Gin for this]

Splash of St. Germaine liqueur

¾ oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

1 oz. habanero simple syrup*

Shake it like a Polaroid picture, then strain into the salt-rimmed martini glass.

Habanero Simple Syrup

Habanero Simple Syrup

*Habanero simple syrup: to a pint mason or other heat-proof lidded jar add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup boiling water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved, then add 2 habanero chilies [cut in half to expose all those spicy innards]. Let cool to room temp, add lids, and refrigerate over night or for at least 12 hours. TASTE. The longer you leave in the habaneros, the spicier this syrup will be; I removed the habaneros after about 24 hours. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

We’ll be using some of the leftover habanero syrup to make more drinks soon. Visit the ‘abourbongal’ Instagram feed to check out pics from some recent research sessions, including a fab twist on a Habanero Margarita. Yum.

Have your own H.O.A.G.Y. request? I love some R&D, y’all! Contact me via the A Bourbon Gal Facebook page, or email abourbongal@gmail.com

 

A Very Patriotic Gimlet

My high school buddy Cuba Libre posted on Facebook today

“Anyone know any noteworthy red, white, and blue gin cocktails?”
Sounds like another H.O.A.G.Y. (Help Out a Gal/Guy, Yeah?) to me!
Cucmber-Honeydew Gin Gimlet.  Plymouth Gin didn't pay me to use their booze.  I just think it's really tasty.

Cucmber-Honeydew Gin Gimlet. Plymouth Gin didn’t pay me to use their booze. I just think it’s really tasty.

Here’s a slightly sweeter and lighter (alcohol-wise) version of a classic cucumber gimlet.  Add a skewer of fresh cherries–beautiful and in season right now!– a honeydew ball, and a couple of blueberries and your cocktail is officially All-American.

Enjoy your 4th, and stay safe, y’all.
Cucumber-Honeydew Gin Gimlet
In a cocktail shaker muddle:
1/2 (about 1/2 cup) small sliced cocktail cucumber (or the same amount of a regular cucumber, peeled).  Really crush the hell out of it.
Add 1 oz. strained honeydew melon puree,
1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice,
1/2 tsp. agave syrup,
2 oz. gin,
and a handful of ice.
Shake like crazy, and strain into an elegant glass.  Add your red-white (well, pale green)-and blue garnish.

Our first H.O.A.G.Y (Help Out a Gal/Guy, Yeah?): Cucumber Gimlet

Of course we take requests here at A Bourbon Gal!

My girlfriend Dirty Martini wrote me, “I can’t make a decent cucumber gimlet. Help!”

Cucumber Gimlet

Cucumber Gimlet

Now, first of all, my gal Dirty Martini has MAD cocktail skillz, so I’m sure her gimlet is pretty tasty, but she is always looking for a more-perfect beverage. And if you’re going to spring for some Very Good Gin (which she does, like Hendrick’s) you want it to be awesome.

Back in the day—meaning Prohibition, gin’s sparkly heyday—a gimlet was usually made with equal parts gin and sweetened lime juice. Another popular gin cocktail, the Gin Rickey, used almost equal parts gin, club soda, and lime juice. Post-WWII, gimlet recipes using lime juice with vodka and either powdered sugar or simple syrup often replaced gin-based cocktails.

Nowadays, if you order a gimlet at a bar you will get a multitude of options: gin or (usually) vodka, lime or another citrus (lemon, grapefruit), and any number of vegetal, herbaceous, and/or fruity additions. A harbinger of the summer party season, super-refreshing cucumber gimlets usually contain vodka, cucumber juice or purée, lime, and sweetener (sugar or syrup). With some pretty cucumber pinwheels in a tall narrow pitcher, cucumber gimlets are lovely made in bulk for quick and easy serving at your next garden party.

Cucumber Gimlet (makes one)

I like using those tiny thin-skinned “cocktail” cucumbers now available in most produce sections. Just a gentle wash and you are good to go: no peeling off the tough bitter skin or scraping out seeds needed. I also like how agave nectar distributes evenly through the cocktail with a nice finish.

1 “cocktail” cucumber, thinly sliced (reserve 2-3 thin slices for garnish), muddled furiously in the bottom of your cocktail shaker (really- juice the hell out of it)

1 tsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice (about ¼ lime)

½ tsp. agave nectar

2 oz. gin

4-5 cubes ice

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake until very cold and frothy. Strain into a martini glass containing 2-3 cubes fresh ice. Garnish with thin cucumber slices.