I mean, it is July. Days are just long enough and evenings fade from gold to grapefruit to navy. The air feels a little bit thicker, wrapping you up in the magic feelings of summertime.
Those golden evenings are perfect for several things. Patio dinners. Book reading in the sunshine on the front porch. And cocktails as the day dissipates.
The best evenings are the ones that involve cocktails, a front porch or patio and a few friends. A few hours spent solving all the world’s problems. Fixing boy situations (because, let’s face it, there is always a boy situation).
The best cocktails for these kind of evenings are crisp, refreshing drinks that play up the flavors of the season. And at the moment, I am loving all things gin. (Which is new to me, I used to think cocktails were best when made with whiskey).
I think you start liking gin when you start getting old. Or maybe I just know how to use it now (and I am not having the kind that comes in a plastic bottle…). Its herbal flavors make it a great base to build on top of.
While a Rosemary Gin Fizz might be nice on a summer evening, but The Heat Wave (a crowd-sourced name) hits the spot. Inspired by a drink I had at 24 in Austin last month, this particular cocktail is slightly sweet but a bit sour. Throw in a little basil to up the herbal aroma and you have all the best of summer in a glass.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 1 1/2 ounces grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 3-4 basil leaves
- grapefruit wedges to garnish
- Fill a shaker with ice, the gin, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and 2 basil leaves.
- Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. You want to bruise the basil to release its flavor.
- Strain into a glass over ice. Garnish with an additional basil leaf or two and a grapefruit wedge.