Hot, sticky August evenings, where everything is lazy and you move through air like syrup. These aren’t evenings built for toil, no matter how noble the effort. These evenings call for something wet, cold and particularly easy.
So sing it with me…
Let’s do the smash! The bourbon giiiiinger smash!
I read an article about how grapefruit is the under-appreciated citrus (it has no special citrus press!). But considering how often I reach for it for summertime cocktails, on the advice of any number of recipes, I figure I can’t be the only one with a growing appreciation for its own bittersweet charms. In the Salted Tarragon Greyhound, for example. Or this guy here – the (not) Knob Creek Sour Ginger.
I nicked that recipe up above, with a couple of tweaks. Now, it calls for Domaine de Canton liqueur, which (while absurdly delicious) is a pretty major investment. I had a couple of mini bottles that I picked up at Legacy, but I used them already and I haven’t seen them since. As I was just the maid of honour in a wedding and my discretionary spending is thus…limited, I was forced to improvise. I used Giffard Ginger of the Indies, which has a really nice intense ginger flavour, but lacks the sweetness of the Canton. I made up for some of that by adding about a half-ounce of honey syrup – I felt ginger syrup would gild the lily a bit, and honey syrup tastes miraculous with grapefruit. I also tried it with both the Maker’s Mark and the Basil Hayden’s, and found I preferred the former – the latter was just a bit too smooth.
What I wound up with was just the trick to deal with Vancouver’s uniquely deceptive heat. A little sweet, a little tart, a little bitter and very much like a drinkable version of those little spray bottle fan things.
- 1.25 oz of your preferred bourbon
- .75 oz of ginger liqueur (Canton, ideally, but Giffard will work)
- 2 oz good quality grapefruit juice
- .5 oz lemon juice
- .25 oz honey syrup (omit if using Canton)
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, shake to chill. Pour over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge, but give it a squeeze over the drink before you drop it in. Now take that drink, put a record on and sit on the balcony with your eyes half closed and your feet up. There ya go…
I love Pinterest. For many reasons, not the least of which is the frequency with which I run across cocktail recipes that I desperately want to try. I’m not savvy enough yet to go without training wheels on a regular basis, so I’m basically constantly hunting for new concoctions to add to my ‘Must Make!’ list, some of which I make to the letter, some of which I play around with to suit my own whimsy.
This was one of the former. I put off attempting it for a while, simply because every time I remembered that I wanted to make it, I hadn’t gotten around to prepping the infusion. And that’s just sad, because when I finally did manage to quit sucking and plan ahead, this thing was delicious
For those who, like me, have not yet embraced the wonder that the world tells us grapefruit really is (bullsh*t), don’t worry – the salt and the agave mellow the bite to a friendly little nip, and the tarragon does beautiful citrus-y, vaguely anise-y things. It’s still bitter, but it’s less in-your-face about it.
I’m not going to reiterate the method, as you can just click that link above. You’ll need the following:
- Grapefruit tarragon infused vodka (this stuff is delicious, and you should always have some, btw)
- Flaky salt (I used Maldon, but fleur de sel would work just fine)
- Grapefruit juice (recipe calls for freshly squeezed, but I can vouch for the less ambitious store-bought)
- Agave nectar (do get this – don’t try to sub simple syrup or honey – the agave works really well here. Unless you’re against the amount of processing that goes into agave syrup, at which point I’m not invested in arguing otherwise.)
Shake the hell out of it, else your salt and agave won’t incorporate properly, and you’ll get some weird super salty or sweet mouthfuls. Not recommended. I had some challenges with over-sweetening at first as I thought the infusion would be too much added bitterness (I was wrong, obviously), so be careful there. Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 an ounce should do you just fine.
Bonus: actual greyhound. Sort of. Half greyhound, all awesome!