My Juniper Sour Cocktail recipe is a take on the classic Whiskey Sour, with gin and a Juniper Simple Syrup that is seriously whomped up with spices, citrus, and herbs. Juniper berries can be bought online or in stores, but I’m lucky enough to have a Juniper tree in my garden, so I use fresh ones. Junipers are pretty common, so if you can find one in your area and you trust the tree is organic, pick them fresh, they’ll have a better flavor and they’re free, right?
By using a good quality herbaceous gin the flavor battle is already won, my favorite gins for this cocktail are Hendricks or The Botanist. If you love the flavor of gin, this Juniper Simple Syrup will help push the boundaries to create a really, really gorgeous herbal gin cocktail.
Never Shake Gin Cocktails
Gin has an interesting similarity with red wine and aeration. I’ll use this as an example of why never to shake gin. We are all familiar with the practice of letting red wine ‘breathe’. Decanting red wine, swirling the wine in the glass, and exposing it to oxygen for a short time will soften the flavors. This allows some of the more volatile aromas to escape and release the more pleasant fruit and oak aromas in the wine. However, if allowed to breathe for too long the finer subtle qualities of the wine will not only disappear but eventually, the wine turns to vinegar.
Gin is very similar to red wine in this matter. Shaking gin accelerates the breathing process exponentially.
Gin has a complex mixture of aromas divided into three parts; top notes, middle notes, and base notes. With gin, the most desirable qualities are in the top note. All of the botanicals: juniper, pine, fruit, spice, and floral are top notes. Unfortunately, when gin has been agitated by shaking, the top notes are the first to go. Leaving only the less desirable middle and base notes. Bruising the gin won’t turn it to vinegar, but it will leave the gin dull and lifeless. All of the amazing botanicals that are so desirable lost to the inside of a cocktail shaker.
Here is my Juniper Simple Syrup recipe:
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Crushed Juniper Berries
- 1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Rosemary Leaves
- ½ Cucumber, peel only
- 6 Whole Black Pepper Corns
- 1 Green Tea Bag, individual serving
- 1 Orange Zest and Juice
- 1 Lemon Zest and Juice
-Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, cover and let steep 20 minutes
-Strain mixture into a sealable jar, store in the refrigerator for one week
Here is my Juniper Sour Cocktail recipe:
- 1 ½ Ounces Gin
- ½ Ounce Orange Liqueur
- 1 Ounce Juniper Simple Syrup
- ½ Lime, Juice
-Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice
-Stir 40-50 times, until ice cold
-Serve in a tumbler on the rocks with a garnish of sliced lime, cucumber, and a rosemary sprig