The perfect summer cocktail – 2011 edition

We’ve been on vacation this week in Palm Springs where the daytime temperature has been over 110° each day.  In our family, vacations call for adult beverages. A desert vacation calls for an icy adult beverage.

When we were first together (e.g. no house payments, no children), my husband and I would save all our vacation days and then spend 2, 3, even 4 weeks in Hawaii.  Most evenings we watched the sun set while sitting on the steps down to Kamaole II beach with a Vodka Collins in hand.

Last year was the summer of the Caiparinha, when we bought countless bottles of Cachaca, boxes of superfine sugar, and bags of tiny key limes.

This year I whipped up a Gin Fizz on one of the first summer evenings at home and decided this was to be my drink of summer.  Light and refreshing, tart and slightly sweet, this isn’t a high maintenance cocktail yet involves a little mixology.  It’s a sipping cocktail. It’s a “cools you down on a hot day” cocktail.

If you Google “gin fizz” you’ll find many recipes, some that include egg whites, others that include ingredients such as cucumber or basil. Personally, I don’t think a gin fizz is meant to be so fussy.  But on the other hand, such a simple drink does lend itself well to being personalized.  So fuss if you must, but try the basic recipe first, you may not need to go on from there.

Refreshing Gin Fizz

Fresh lemons, juiced
Simple syrup*
Good quality gin
Club soda (not tonic!)
Ice cubes

*Sure, you can use granulated or superfine sugar instead of simple syrup, but why?  It’s this easy: put 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar into a small saucepan; stir and bring to a boil, the sugar should be dissolved; remove from heat and cool. I keep my simple syrup in a jelly jar in the refrigerator.

Fill your glass of choice – I prefer a highball glass – with ice cubes, then dump the cubes into your cocktail shaker.  Add 1-1/2 oz. of gin, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of simple syrup. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, then pour it all back into the glass.  Top with club soda.

Like it a little more tart? Add more lemon juice. Like it a little sweeter? Add more simple syrup.  Prefer vodka over gin (like my husband)? Go for it!

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One Response to The perfect summer cocktail – 2011 edition

  1. Pingback: The perfect summer cocktail – 2012 edition | A Suburban Life

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