Special thanks to Drizly for sponsoring this post in honor of World Gin Day. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Use code ELARI to get $5 off your first order. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me creative in my tiny kitchen!
Celebrate your favorite graduate (and World Gin Day!) with a well chilled Gin + Green Chartreuse cocktail. And get ready to slap your herb garnish!
Ah, gin. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
I’m a big fan of gin-infused cocktails. Nothing beats an ice cold gin & tonic on a hot summer night.
But there are so many other things you can do with gin! If you’re new to the world of gin, you are in for a treat! You can learn a lot about the different styles of gin here.
I love experimenting with different brands of gin. There are SO many out there, and there are such a wide variety of flavor profiles available. Some are a bit heavy handed with the botanical and floral elements while others have much more pronounced juniper notes.
I have a few favorite brands of gin, and was excited to see how many options were available on Drizly.com.
I love the idea behind Drizly – it brings the liquor store right to your home. You can get your favorite beer/wine/liquor and even extras like mixers and fruit juices right from your phone or computer.
And there are so.many.options!
So after perusing about a gazillion gin options, I decided to go with a local favorite, Brooklyn Gin.
I find that some brands of gin have a flavor that is a bit too pronounced to use in mixed drinks, but the Brooklyn Gin is perfect. It’s is a craft spirit made right here in New York with fresh citrus peels and hand-cracked juniper and it is oh so incredibly smooth and well balanced.
So, what to make in celebration of World Gin Day?
The inspiration for this cocktail came from a pineapple sage plant that I bought when I was in Indiana a few weeks ago. I was chatting with a farmer at the local farmers market, buying some starter plants to bring home to New York for my garden.
I was checking out the herb selection when he pointed out pineapple sage. I was immediately intrigued – it looks pretty sage-y, but the flavor is like a slightly herbaceous pineapple. He told me it’s great in tea, but my mind went right to happy hour cocktails!
If you can’t find pineapple sage, fresh mint or Thai basil would work beautifully here as well. But it’s definitely an interesting herb, so definitely check it out!
For this cocktail, I’m calling for a fun garnish method – slapping the herb leaves.
I’ve seen this at a few bars in the NYC area. It’s a fun way to leave your herb garnish in tact, unlike what happens when you muddle. And the act of slapping the leaf between your palms releases just the right amount of essential oil to slightly perfume your beverage.
Floating it on top of the cocktail is a fun, elegant alternative to shoving a sprig of herbs into a glass, and the aroma of the herb hits you every time you take a sip.
So go ahead, slap that herb!!
Curious about the name of this cocktail? My son graduated from preschool yesterday, and we attended a class party at the home of some friends who live on Grace Lane today.
The kids were running around in the sprinklers, having a blast, while the parents and teachers chatted it up while snacking and sipping on brunch-time cocktails.
Hey, school is out and those teachers deserve a DRINK!!!
So I was telling everyone about the new, yet-to-be-named gin cocktail I was working on, and it came to me. The Grace Lane Graduate.
I’ve been obsessed with Chartreuse ever since my trip to New Orleans this past December, and it goes incredibly well with gin.
This cocktail calls for Green Chartreuse, as opposed to Yellow Chartreuse. Here’s a bit about the difference between the two from Wikipedia:
Green Chartreuse (110 proof or 55%) is a naturally green liqueur made from 130 herbs and plants macerated in alcohol and steeped for about 8 hours. A last maceration of plants gives its color to the liqueur. Yellow Chartreuse (80 proof or 40%), which has a milder and sweeter flavour and aroma.
Both are delicious (I recently tried Yellow Chartreuse for the first time) but I wanted that slightly absinthe-y flavor here.
To sweeten this cocktail, I used a little bit of simple syrup. Feel free to use more or less to your taste.
My husband has been doing a ketogenic diet lately, so I made a batch of simple syrup with monkfruit sweetener and it worked great here.
Simple syrup is incredibly easy to make in the microwave. Just put equal parts of granulated sugar and water in a microwave-safe container (I like using a Pyrex measuring cup) and microwave, stirring every 15-20 seconds, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool and keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
It’s great for cocktails, iced coffee, iced tea… really great to have on hand, especially in the summertime.
Well, there you have it. The Grace Lane Graduate.
What’s your go-to summer cocktail? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Still thirsty? Check out some more of our happy hour favorites:
- The Herbalist
- Cucumber Gin Elderflower Smash
- DM Bloody Mary
- Chile Libre
- The Aztec
- DM Old Fashioned
- Bourbon Rouge
- DM Espresso Martini
- Rooster Shots
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