It’s time for a drink – a summer cocktail that is, and not just any summer cocktail. For those of you who drink alcohol, you will understand it when I say that choosing alcohol for your drink, is almost like choosing what you are going to eat for dinner (unless you happen to be in college…then it seems that any alcohol will do, but now that I have children, I am choosing to ignore that for the moment). Everyone seems to have a personal preference, or at least certain types of alcohol that is off-limits - either the flavor is not appealing, the smell, or you just happened to overindulge a little too much one night, and it reminds you of that time that you really just want to forget.
I am not a big drinker, but making cocktails has become more and more interesting to me over the years, now that it has become similar to cooking. Mixing different flavors to create something extraordinary – and just like cooking – I love it when I can make something that people gush over. Gin is one of those types of alcohols that I always hated – that was until I found Hendrick’s. The combination of cucumber and rose petals really creates an aromatic wonder. I have blogged about this before, because I am still in awe how different Hendrick’s is to other types of gin. Recently we came across a local stuff called Counter Gin, which is also excellent – and they even sell it at Cost-Co now!
The other weekend when I was visiting my parents, I made this cocktail for my family. My step-sister can’t stand gin, but she LOVED this – so did my grandmother, and everyone else who had a sip. There is nothing not to love about this recipe. The blueberry infused gin is incredible, and paired with the cardamom simple syrup – I am telling you, this is one to write home about. The inspiration came from a recipe I found in Cooking Light, but I adapted it below, based on my own taste. So – if you are looking to wow someone this weekend, look no further. Now, cheers to that!
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 1/2 cups dry gin
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- Additional blueberries (optional)
Place 2 cups blueberries in a large, heavy stainless-steel saucepan; mash with a fork or potato masher. Place over medium-high heat, and cook 3 minutes or until berries begin to release juice. Remove from heat; add gin. Cover and let stand at least for 1 hour or up to overnight. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing berries with the back of a spoon to remove as much juice as possible; discard solids.
Combine 1/2 cup water, sugar, and cardamom pods in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Cool completely; discard cardamom pods.
To serve, add the ice to a cocktail shaker to come halfway up sides of container. Add 1/4 cup blueberry-gin, 1 tablespoon cardamom syrup, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice; shake until chilled. Strain cocktail into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with additional blueberries, if desired. Serve immediately. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients.
If you prefer a fizzy cocktail, pour gin, cardamom syrup, and lemon juice over crushed ice in a glass; top with chilled club soda.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Blueberry Bliss