This Holiday Weekend, Mix Up Some Seasonal Cocktails Crafted by Jason Hedges
Ready to toast the start of summer? In time for Memorial Day weekend, Laurent Tourondel Hospitality Group beverage director Jason Hedges is debuting “The Seasonal Cocktail,” a guide to crafting drinks that make the most of ingredients in their prime. The book is organized by season, and capped with a guide to cocktail “fundamentals” suited for the novice at-home bartender.
Here are four drink recipes excerpted from the book, ripe for the warm season ahead.
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All recipes excerpted from “The Seasonal Cocktail: A Guide to Creative Drink Making” by Jason Hedges.
Mint and cherry, flavors synonymous with scoops of summer ice cream, make for a strikingly vivid and herbaceous drink. The Cherry Blossom is a crowd pleaser: shake up one — or a bunch! — at your next patio gathering.
2oz Mint and Cherry Infused Hendrick’s Gin*
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz maraschino liqueur
1 dash orange bitters
La Marca Prosecco Rosé
Shake all the ingredients except the sparkling rosé.
Strain into a coupe and top with sparkling rosé.
Garnish with mint leaf.
*Mint and cherry infused gin: Add 2 cups of ripe red cherries and a healthy handful of mint leaves to 1 liter of gin. Gently muddle the cherries to extract flavor and color. Let infuse for one to two days, stirring or agitating occasionally. Strain, gently pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids and bottle liquid.
Bergamotto Blackberry Spritz
The floral Italicus shines in this spritz, especially with the counter point of tangy blackberries and bright citrus. It’s a low-ABV (alcohol by volume) cocktail that begs to be refilled on a long, lazy summer afternoon.
1½ oz Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto
¾ oz lemon juice
4 ripe blackberries
La Marca Prosecco
1 thyme sprig
Muddle blackberries and lemon juice, then add Italicus.
Shake with ice and fine strain into an ice-filled white wine glass.
Top with prosecco and garnish with a blackberry, lemon peel and thyme sprig.
This bright, spicy, crisp and refreshing drink packs plenty of complexity. It centers on the mezcal — the structured Los Siete Misterios Doba-Yej, which is of supreme sipping quality. The citrus and agave notes of the mezcal are countered by the fresh cucumber and jalapeño concoction.
2 oz Los Siete Misterios Doba-Yej Mescal
¾ oz Cointreau
¾ oz lime juice
¾ oz fresh cucumber and jalapeño juice*
¼ oz agave syrup
Shake all ingredients and strain into a salt and Tajin-rimmed rocks glass** with one piece of block ice.
*Fresh cucumber and jalapeño juice: Slice the ends off a few large cucumbers, roughly chop, and add to a juicer. Add one seeded and roughly chopped jalapeño to the juicer. Bottle and refrigerate.
**Salt and Tajin rim: Combine equal parts salt and Tajin in a pint container or mason jar. Cover with a lid and shake to combine.
It’s next to impossible to improve on the classic whiskey sour. Instead, I took it in a different direction by adding stone fruit and tropical flavors along with a bitter, aromatic amaro float. This left turn earned the recipe recognition from Whisky Advocate a few years ago.
2 oz Peach Infused Brother’s Bond Bourbon*
¾ oz Velvet Falernum
¾ oz lime juice
½ oz pineapple juice
¼ oz Fernet-Branca
Shake all ingredients except the Fernet-Branca and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
Float the Fernet-Branca on top.
Garnish with an orange crescent .
*Peach-infused bourbon: Combine 2 cups of peeled and chopped ripe peaches with 1 liter of bourbon. Infuse for one to two days, stirring or agitating occasionally. Fine strain, pressing the peach to extract all the liquid, then bottle.
Pro tip: Varying viscosity of liquids allows for layering of color and flavor: lighter liquids float on top of heavier ones. Frothy heads, produced from shaking ingredients like egg whites or pineapple juice, enable liquids to float atop the foam.
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