We spent the weekend in Ramatuelle getting our kitchen touched up for another season of cooking this summer. The good thing about having to clean out all your cabinets is that you come across forgotten ingredients and utensils that can conjure up inspiration. Surprisingly enough, we were moved by a forgotten cocktail shaker. This poor underused accessory literally begged us for some tender loving care.
We seized the opportunity to confect this year’s winter cocktail. You may recall that last year we found novel use for persimmons in our Gin Smash. This year we thought we could use the clementines as a citrus base alongside some unusual bergamot lemons we found at the market in St. Tropez.
For the alcohol we wanted some body so we used a whiskey, and as a modifier we were super excited to use Mandarine Imperiale, an after dinner tradition in our house, and the perfect bridge between our whiskey and citrus. To bring in some herbal notes, we infused some simple syrup with rosemary from the garden (very sad looking i must add). I know the simple syrup is something most people want to skip (I usually do when I make drink recipes), but my friends, it is the extra mile that makes all the difference.
The result was spectacular, a new Riviera tradition. Joshua worked hard to convert the recipe to pitcher quantities, but we made them in a shaker.
For the Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8-10 sprigs rosemary
For the Cocktail:
6 shots Chivas Regal
4 shots Mandarine Imperiale (or Grand Marnier if you must)
2 shots bergamot lemon juice
2 shots clementine juice
2 shots rosemary simple syrup
Lemon twists, for garnish
For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:
Place water, sugar and rosemary sprigs in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a wire-mesh strainer, discarding the rosemary. Cover and chill.
For the Cocktail:
Mix the first five ingredients in a pitcher. Adjust sweetness by adding more simple syrup if needed. Pour over ice and top with a lemon twist.