My old navy buddy Coy just texted, said he had a rosemary cocktail recipe that they have been enjoying lately and said I should give it a try. A Google search of the ingredients led me to a couple of similar drinks, the closest is ‘The Ophelia’ from Olivia’s restaurant in Denver.
Whatever the actual name is, it’s pretty awesome.
Rosemary muddled in lemon juice with gin and ginger beer? Luckily, I have rosemary in the garden, lemons, and Fever-Tree ginger beer in the fridge and Hendricks gin in the bar. So, of course, I immediately made one and yeah, it’s really good.
Never Shake Gin Cocktails
Gin has an interesting similarity with red wine and aeration and 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, and swirling the wine in the glass prior to drinking. Decanting red wine and exposing it to oxygen for a short time will soften the flavors, allow 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 an extended amount of time, 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, and the process of 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 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, with all of the amazing botanicals that are so desirable lost to the inside of a cocktail shaker
Here’s The Ophelia Cocktail recipe:
The Ophelia Cocktail
- 2 Ounces Gin
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
- 3 Ounces Ginger Beer
- Muddle the rosemary with the lemon juice
- Strain into a tumbler glass over ice, with the gin and ginger beer, stir