Gin is one of the liquors I never really cared for until I stumbled upon the right brand. That brand is Hendrick’s Gin. Made small batch and infused with rose petals and cucumber, it’s like no other gin you’ve had before. I’ve talked to quite a few people about Hendrick’s and the positive reaction is basically unanimous. “Oh, I love Hendricks!” “My favorite!” “There’s something special about it,” and like myself “I never liked gin until I tried Hendrick’s.”
Take a closer look at any wet bar pins on Pinterest and chances are there’s a bottle of Hendrick’s in there. Get some.
But gin isn’t the only player in today’s spirited adventure. A classic martini is also coupled with a dry vermouth, which I think similar to bitters, adds a touch of spice that makes or breaks the drink for most people. I think today’s take will have you on the right side of the fence.
To start this recipe you’ll need to do a couple infusions before hand. If you’ve never done this, don’t sweat it, it’s super simple. It’s so easy, in fact, you might be wondering why you never tried it before.
Vermouth de Provence - from Speakeasy book
- -1/2 bottle dry vermouth
- -1 tablespoon herbs de provence
Set a saucepan over medium heat and add the dried herbs de provence. Heat for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add 1 cup of the vermout and bring to a boil.
Once it begins to boil remove from heat and let stand until cool – allowing the herbs to steep. Add the remaining vermouth and then strain mixture through cheesecloth into the bottle of your choice.
Store at room temperature and away from light – it should keep indefinitely.
If you love it, feel free to make a whole bottle. I like to reserve the other half so I have a chance to make other infusions, though. Now for the gin…
Lavender Infused Gin - from Speakeasy book
- -1 teaspoon dried lavender
- -1/2 bottle Plymouth gin
Make this in the same manner used for the vermouth. Heat saucepan over low and add the lavender. Let it warm through for a minute or two until fragrant and then add 1 cup of the gin.
Bring to a boil and then remove from heat and allow to cool and steep. Add the gin and strain through cheesecloth into your storage bottle.
I find the glass hermetic bottles with rubber tops work well for storing infused liquids, plus they look a little old-school – the Container Store is a good spot to pick some up.
Now let’s take those concoctions and make a drink.
Provencal – adapted from Speakeasy book
makes 1 as shown
- -2 oz Lavender-Infused Gin (from above)
- -1 1/4 oz Vermouth de Provence (from above)
- -3/4 Cointreau
- -orange peel
Simply add the gin, vermouth, and Cointreau into a tall mixing glass filled with ice. I then add just a touch of honey to my bar spoon (about 1/4 tsp) before stirring things up until well mixed. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Now cut a small slice of orange peel using a paring knife and float on top. Voila!
With a taste that’s herbal and floral, the drink sings with the voice of Fiona Apple – powerful, edgy, yet beautifully melodious. Love it!
Speaking of Fiona, I embedded my favorite track from her new album below. Listen to it while sipping on this drink and you’ll know what I mean.