Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Cucumber-Rose Lemon Drop

You might wonder if I'm mad. If you've never had Hendrick's gin, I would understand. The first time I heard of a cucumber rose gin, I thought it sounded crazy, too.

But it works. And it works so, so well. It's hard to explain, so I'll just leave you for now with:  try it.

For New Year's Eve, it was suggested that we make "French 75" cocktails since we're in Paris. Lemon, gin, sugar, champagne. Definitely the sort of thing that has "hangover" written all over it. And easy-to-drink, too.

So we made them, using Hendrick's, because it's our favorite gin. And they were fantastic. But while I was making them, I tasted the syrup that you pour into the champagne, and realized that it would make a great drink all by itself.

And so here it is:

The Cucumber-Rose Lemon Drop

You need:

  • Two fresh lemons, of a good, tasty variety. I used some in-season Spanish ones. You'll be tasting the flavors of the lemon in the end product, so use something that's tasty, not just sour and bitter.
  • Extra-fine sugar (poudre is extra-fine, don't use powdered, it has corn starch in it to stop it from clumping)
  • Hendrick's Gin
To make:

1)  Halve your lemons, and prepare your favorite juicing device. I got about 75ml of juice out of these guys.

2) Sweeten to take the edge off the lemons. This is going to be entirely subjective. Add slowly, mixing well, and taste until it goes from "too tart", to "slightly sweet and still tart". For me, with this batch, that was 4 of these spoonfuls.

Note these are not typical kitchen spoons, they're tiny little spoons about the size of my thumb. I may have used a table-spoon all told.

3) Pour into a small glass, and add gin to taste. Again with that subjective bit. As you add the gin, the cucumber and rose will get stronger vs. the lemon. Stop when you have a nice balance.  50/50 is a good starting point, and then adjust to taste from there. At some point I'll actually measure these, but honestly, it's not how I make them, and the lemons are likely to be different from batch to batch.