With all the recipe developing for menus and blog posts, my refrigerator becomes a graveyard for fruit, herbs and miscellaneous syrups. I try my best to eat and repurpose most of it for cooking, smoothie bowls, or other recipes through out the week but sometimes there's a little waste. I'm implementing a new rule that if I make it, I have to use it! I made syrups for posts on A Beautiful Mess and Palm Springs Style last week and was wondering what my next cocktail would be on my own blog. Fresh ginger and hibiscus, does that work? You bet it does!
One of the first cocktails that came to mind was one that I learned when I worked behind the bar at Flatiron Lounge, the Gin-Gin Mule. It was created by Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club in 2000 and was a milestone drink of the 21st-century cocktail renaissance. It has inspired countless spin-offs and heavily influenced the use of fresh ginger and homemade ingredients in cocktails. It's a drink that I still find myself making for people at Dutch Kills when they request a bartenders choice, "I'll have something with gin that's refreshing", I pretty much immediately make a Gin-Gin Mule.
This cocktail is essentially a fusion of two classics, the Mojito (rum, lime, sugar, mint) and a Gin Buck (gin, lime, fresh ginger, soda). I've replaced the call for simple syrup in this recipe with hibiscus syrup. You can find out how to make ginger syrup here and my hibiscus syrup here.
Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule, serves 1
2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Hibiscus Syrup
1/2 oz. Ginger Syrup
Add lime juice, hibiscus syrup, ginger syrup, and mint to your shaker and muddle. Lightly tapping the mint is sufficient. When muddling a good rule to follow in the words of Sasha Petraske is "bruise don't abuse". Add gin, ice, and then shake. Strain into a highball glass over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and ginger candy.
I've always loved this cocktail but the hibiscus syrup adds a tart, fruity, and floral element that makes this drink even more perfect for summer (if that's even possible). The sweet floral element of the hibiscus blends perfectly with the spiciness of the ginger and freshness of the mint. More than 10 years later and this cocktail is so good it still influences how I develop cocktails. Some of the most delicious drinks are so perfect just because they're simple. Less IS more. What's your favorite modern classic? Do you ever put your own spin on it? Tell me about it in the comments below.