Every week when I finish a post for Friday Cocktails I have a little conversation with myself about getting ahead a bit; promising that I will make another cocktail that same day and quit with the waiting until Thursday business. But that never happens and then Friday comes and goes too and the weekend seems to fly by with yard work and more and it’s Monday and it will wait until Tuesday and well…you see how it goes right? EVERY single week. I really must change that but it’s hard to plan ahead. I like to share when the spirit moves me…and sometimes none of them move me until Thursday. This week it’s Friday at 11:03am and the spirit didn’t move me until last night with this Rosemary and Gin Sparkling Lemonade.
I had a plan for today; I have a great fall-centric cocktail that I made years ago for the blog that I wanted to redo it; seems every couple of years I look at old photos and cringe and can’t share something again without a redo (Ugh…small, horizontal AND I cut off the bottom of the coaster? Look for this one next Friday!). So I had a plan BUT (always a but huh?) I totally spaced that those two apples I thought I had in my fruit bowl ended up in the Boozy Apple Crisp I posted yesterday; deciding to make it a bit larger than normal. (Update – thought you might also enjoy this Bourbon and Apple Cider Cocktail that I did finally update!).
Now I could have run to the store last night or even this morning but a quick text from a friend yesterday evening sort of saved the day. She let me know that a friend of hers was doing an event and planned to use a cocktail from my blog, the Ophelia, a Rosemary and Gin Sparkling Lemonade, as her signature cocktail. Great idea…and thanks for reminding me of just how much I love this drink! I actually was worried that all the photos were some awful, horizontal pics (all I used to shoot) but was pleasantly surprised that they were not totally awful but still, they made me cringe just a little so I did a re-shoot this morning. Hence my excuse for just barely publishing this post by Cocktail Hour (whatever time YOU start drinking!). I saved the goods for Amy and myself though; she is a willing taste tester and deserves one today for rescuing Friday Cocktails; her friend too!
I recently received a bottle of Brockman’s Gin and this was a good opportunity to try it out. Distilled in London, this is no London Dry Gin. Billed as intensely smooth, what I noticed most was the light hand with the juniper and the evident presence of the blueberries and blackberries the distillery includes in their botanicals which also include Bulgarian coriander, Valencia orange peels, orris root, cassia bark, angelica root, almonds and lemons. I have so many friends that eschew gin because of the pine notes of the juniper so it will be interesting to see how this fares with them. Since mixing with a cocktail that already has the evergreen scent of rosemary I thought this would be the perfect use and it was. I can imagine it would also be terrific in a Bramble with blackberries and Crème de Mure.
When I first published this cocktail, it was after being contacted by a magazine staffer from Denver’s 5280 Magazine. They had recently published a ‘Best’ list that was near and dear to my cocktail loving heart, ‘The 35 Best Bars in Denver.’ They wanted to know I would be interested in featuring one of the special cocktails that they discovered in this gargantuan effort. Of course I said yes but let’s be honest; they really should have contacted me BEFORE so that I could have helped them narrow down those decisions…don’t you think? I knew you would agree!
My only caveat was that I preferred preparing a cocktail that would not require weeks of preparation (as in no home brewed bitters please). I wanted one relatively easy to prepare so that both myself and my readers could pull it together without having to search far and wide for ingredients. During my conversation with Natasha, the editor of the piece, it was suggested that I prepare the The Ophelia Cocktail from Olivéa’s, a restaurant and bar located in an area in Denver called Uptown; located east of Denver’s downtown area along 17th Avenue (so sad; they have since closed!).
I have to tell you; this cocktail is a keeper. Combining the scent of Juniper berries in the gin with the herbaceous pine scent of rosemary in a simple syrup and then melding those aromatics with fresh lemon and club soda made for an excellent libation. The only change I’ve made over the years from the original recipe was to add a squeeze from a lemon wedge and put it in the cocktail as garnish with the rosemary. Probably stemmed from me having some leftover lemons when I squeezed the juice and it just happened. Totally optional too!
This is a sophisticated cocktail that I am so glad I was asked to re-create. As much as I love the plethora of pink cocktails that appear on these pages from the bounty of fruits I enjoy incorporating into drinks, I’m delighted to have a less ‘girly’ cocktail in my repertoire…this is definitely a drink everyone will enjoy…Cheers!
I was provided with a sample bottle of Brockman’s Gin but all commentary is my own.