When it comes to shaking up and pouring a cocktail, I take my business very seriously; I want my gin or my bourbon or my tequila very well chilled, my flavors fresh and nuanced, and my garnish a delightful flair. A traditionalist, in my mind, a martini means one thing, and one thing alone; the only deviation really being whether there is a twist or an olive, because, if you have a cocktail onion, that is a Gibson, and if you select vodka as your poison, then that is a vodka martini. So, on the rare chance that while out at a restaurant or a bar and am ordering some aberration that contains cranberry juice for color or Chambord or some other ingredient, I am emphatic that I am simply ordering a cocktail and not some bizarre bastardization of the traditional gin, dry vermouth, and garnish blend. Anyway, I digress.
Gin always has, and always will be, my primary choice for the dominant punch in my drink, the cold and juniper-accented sunshine in my glass, unless I am slumming it in a dive bar, in which case a simple bourbon and ginger tends to suffice. While some friends were visiting for the weekend earlier in the spring, I discovered botanically-brewed Fentimans Rose Lemonade at my local grocery store; seeking a refreshing and more intricate flavor for a simple cocktail to entertain my company, I scooped up a pack. When shaken with gin, in my case Hendrick's or Bombay Sapphire, served either on the rocks in a Collins glass or up in a cocktail glass, the effect is a bombastic floral-fused aroma and taste, simultaneously delicate and overbearing, whispering coolly, but not for the faint of heart. For the less adventurous, and the more modern, easily swayed by contemporary trends, vodka could be swapped in for the gin; organic Prairie Vodka, which is affordable and delicious, would be my preference, however, the surprising and tantalizing rose flavor will be dulled.
(image taken from NJ.com)