I always get excited around spring time because the guys and I get to experiment with fresh seasonal flavours and we often draw this inspiration from our gardens.
We often end up with something that not only tastes great, but is easy enough to make. After all, many of the ingredients are in our own backyards.
For inspiration, I took one of the most famous and simple summer cocktails – the Pimms Cup – and gave it a “Bitter Sweet Spirit” twist (emphasis on the bitter). The Pimms Cup is essentially a garden in a glass (strawberries, cucumbers, mint) and topped with some Pimms and ginger ale.
But what could make this drink more garden-y? You guessed it: Artichokes! In place of the Pimms, I used both Hendrick’s gin and Cynar, a delicious bitter digestivo made from a variety of herbs and plants, mainly artichoke (those grow in gardens, right!?).
1 oz Hendrick’s gin
1 oz Cynar
½ oz lime juice
Fill a Collins with sliced cucumbers, strawberries, sliced lemons, and ice. Make it pretty! Put aside. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients except ginger beer and shake well. Strain into your beautifully set up Collins glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a full strawberry and way too much mint.
The result is a refreshing and bittersweet seasonal cocktail. I chose Hendrick’s because it’s a premium gin and has notes of rose and cucumber. The Cynar, despite being fairly bitter and made from artichoke, has a wonderful flavour profile with a hint of sweetness. The ginger beer gives a nice kick to the drink.
As you can see, I’ve really thrown the whole garden at this one.
So take advantage of the season and experiment with what you have at your disposal. You’ll be surprised at what you can come up with in your own backyard.