Cocktail: Elderflower & Pomegranate Spritzer

It's Valentine's Day week y'all! For me, it's another excuse to eat all the sweets, tell my friends how much they mean to me, mail a bunch of valentines, and cook an indulgent meal at home with G. 

This cocktail is a simple & sweet drink you can easily throw together at home for a pre-dinner treat or for brunch. I try a decent amount of cocktails at home and while I'm out and about, but I'm always drawn to elderflower + gin combinations. Add a few bubbles and count me in. Let's get shaking!

Happy V-day, my loves!

Elderflower & Pomegranate Spritzer

Makes 1 cocktail

3 oz pomegranate juice
2 oz floral gin, such as Hendrick's
1 oz elderflower liqueur

This is a easy one. Fill a high ball glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, shake pomegranate juice, elderflower liqueur and gin and stir over ice. Strain into glass. Top with champagne and pomegranate seeds. Cheers!

Cocktail: Lavender Gimlet

Lavender in my food and drink is a hard one for me. I want to love it, I really do. But anytime I've tried lavender ice cream or a lavender latte, it just doesn't do it for me. I enjoy that they smell like lavender, but the taste always reminds me of accidentally getting perfume in your mouth or just too intensely floral. And, one of the very few times in my life that I've abandoned a cocktail when it was 90% full was with a lavender gin and tonic that tasted exactly like hand soap in a glass. I'll just add, that bar has since closed down.

But I was recently gifted a set of bitters, which included lavender bitters, and knew I wanted to find a way to use lavender in a cocktail that I actually enjoyed. So we've going with the less-is-more method here. This cocktail has all the strong herbal and lime flavor of a traditional gimlet, but with just a hint of lavender.

Lavender Gimlet

Makes one cocktail

2 oz gin
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
2–4 dashes of lavender bitters

In a shaker with ice, add gin, simple syrup, and lime juice. Add 3–6 dashes of lavender bitters, depending how strong of a lavender taste you want, and shake to combine. Strain into a coupe glass.

I know not everyone is interested in garnishing a drink with dried lavender and other flowers. Feel free to garnish this drink with a thin slice of lime. Cheers! 

Cocktail: Pomegranate Gin Slush

It's my birthday and you better believe I'm celebrating it from weekend to weekend. I know that a lot of people aren't fond of birthdays, and maybe I won't be when I'm 65 years old, but until then I'm going to love the hell out of my birthday. I make sure to take a vacation day from work, take the day to relax and think about my life and what I've created for myself, feel grateful, get together with friends, and definitely make sure I eat a good meal (or two).

So because we need to take a moment and celebrate, we're breaking out the blender for this cocktail. I know it's winter and cold and blah blah blah, but this drink is basically an adult slurpee and that's worth turning up the heat and enjoying a frozen drink.

I hope you all have a lovely week, because I'm incredibly grateful for those of you following along at home. I'm thankful that people come to this little part of the internet I've created and hopefully you enjoy it. Cheers! 

Pomegranate Gin Slush

Makes 2 drinks

2 cups ice
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup gin
1/2 lime
pomegranate seeds, optional
lime slices, optional

**If you have a smaller blender or are worried about too much liquid for your blender, half the recipe to make one drink at a time. 

In a blender, add ice, pomegranate juice, and gin. Using a fork, juice half a lime into blender and pulse until the drink is slushy. Pour into a pint glass and garnish with pomegranate seeds and a lime slice. Enjoy!

Recipe: Cranberry Gin Fizz

A story I tell often of my family is that growing up (and I'm sure still to this day I just don't live there anymore), my family ate cranberry sauce all year round and often more than once a week. With a roast chicken or a pot roast, we always had a can of cranberry sauce along with it. I was in college when it was mentioned to me that that was not the norm. I don't remember how that conversation went or how it came up, but I learned that my mother was single-handedly keeping the makers of cranberry juice busy throughout the rest of calendar year.

I do have to say that this is not a complaint by any means, I love cranberry anything and feel bad for the people who don't eat cranberry sauce all year round. You're missing out real bad.

But cranberries do feel very holiday to me, so today we are adding gin and orange juice and making them into their best and booziest selves. 

Cranberry Gin Fizz

Makes one drink

3 oz cranberry juice
2 oz gin
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 dash bitters
club soda
frozen cranberries, sprig of thyme or rosemary, orange slices/peel (optional)

In a short glass with ice, add cranberry juice, gin, orange juice, and dash of bitters and stir to combine. Fill the rest of the glass with club soda, give it one with stir, and top with frozen cranberries and a sprig of thyme or rosemary. Cheers!

Recipe: Blueberry Gin Sour

Today I made you a cocktail that taste like sweettarts.

I don't know if that's something you're into or not, but this cocktail is damn good. Fruity with a bit of tart and without being too sugary sweet. The egg whites make it frothy and seem wayyyy fancier than it actually is. My favorite kinds of cocktails and those that can be made quickly and easily, and thought you do have to prep the blueberry syrup, once that's done a head of time it's just a matter of throwing everything in the cocktail shaker and giving it a good long shake.

If you're not interested in the egg white (or are vegan), you can always leave that out. But if you've never had a cocktail with egg whites I highly recommend them. They don't taste eggy or anything like that (because that would be awful). It just adds a creaminess and a frothiness to the drink. It's fun! Try it! This is a full-on peer pressure situation.

Blueberry Gin Sour

Blueberries Syrup
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

Cocktail (makes one drink)
2 1/2 oz gin
2 oz blueberry syrup
juice from half lemon
1 egg white

To make the blueberry syrup: add blueberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and cold water with a fork. Slowly stir the cornstarch into the blueberry mixture, trying not to pop or crush any berries. Stirring frequently, cook for 5-10 minutes longer, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes, then pour into a mason jar or an airtight container with a lid. Place in refrigerator to cool completely. 

To make the cocktail: add ice, gin, and blueberry syrup into a cocktail shaker. Juice half a lemon and add one egg white. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds until the egg whites are frothy. Pour through a strainer into a coupe glass. Garnish with a sprig of thyme or some lemon peel.