Whoever says drinking and health don’t mix has clearly never had their hands on a craft cocktail!
With the onset of Florida summer sun and the arrival of Jules Aron’s master mixology guidebook, Zen and Tonic, I had no choice but to do a bit of experimenting.
First up is Jules’ quintessential summer cocktail…
1/4 cup strawberries 3 sprigs thyme 1 lemon wedge 3 ounces gin* 1 tsp maple syrup*
*I would advise going with a smooth and refreshing gin, such as Hendricks. *Maple syrup was not in the original recipe, I added it in order to appease the sweet tooth.
Place the strawberries, two of the thyme sprigs and the lemon wedge in a shaker and muddle well; alternatively, you can juice them, fill the shaker with ice add the syrup and gin and shake well. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the remaining thyme sprig.
The following was a pleasant outcome of experimentation…
Watermelon Basil Cooler
1 cup watermelon, juiced (yields about 2 ounces of juice) 4-5 leaves fresh basil 2 ounces gin
Throw ingredients in shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain off into a martini glass or enjoy over ice. Garnish with fresh basil.