Freshness and quality ingredients are key to the craft cocktail experience, and they don’t need to be overcomplicated to be a hit. Matt Nurge of Red Rabbit adds an herbaceous touch to a classic Tom Collins for a drink that’s perfect for summertime in Sacramento and elsewhere.
2 ounces gin
1 ounce lemon juice
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.75 ounce rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
Pinch of salt
1.5 ounces soda water
1. Combine all ingredients except soda water in a cocktail shaker.
2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
3. Double strain into a chilled Collins glass with ice.
4. Top with soda water.
5. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and twist of lemon peel.
Rosemary Simple Syrup
Makes approx. 1 liter
This rosemary simple syrup can be kept for a week in the refrigerator, and works well with gin and vodka cocktails. This recipe produces enough to accommodate the cocktail needs for a couple of parties, but can easily be halved.
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 small bunch rosemary
1. Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, while stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
3. Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved. Cool.
4. As simple syrup cools, blanch rosemary in boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove and add immediately to ice bath.
5. Once the rosemary is cooled, remove the leaves from the stems. Discard stems.
6. Combine rosemary leaves and simple syrup in a blender. Pulse five to six times.
7. Strain the syrup into an airtight bottle/container using a fine mesh strainer and run through cheesecloth if necessary. Note: You may need to strain more than once to remove all particulates.