Citrus and herbs perk up summertime cocktails

06/01/2014 2:40 PM

06/01/2014 2:44 PM

When spring changes to summer, bartenders follow suit.

Climbing temperatures are a cue that it’s time to scale back on deep red wines and heavy beers and start pointing customers to more refreshing options: crisp white wines, light beers and mixed drinks swimming with seasonal fruits, herbs and ice.

A warm-weather favorite is Gordon’s Cup, a gin-based drink that mixes two ideal summer flavors: lime and cucumber. And it can be made in large batches, which makes it ideal for parties.

The cocktail involves two mixology basics that home bartenders should familiarize themselves with: The act of muddling and the production of simple syrup.

Muddling involves mashing fruits and herbs and sugars together to extract their juices. Simple syrup, a standard in many summer cocktails, is a boiled mixture of equal parts water and sugar or water and honey, often infused with other flavors.

Gordon’s Cup is made with honey simple syrup and finished with a shake-shake-shake in a cocktail shaker. It’s poured over ice in a rocks glass, finished with a splash of soda water and seasoned with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

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