Hey, it’s 5 o’clock wherever you are. Have a drink with us. Better yet, make this gorgeous original citrus drink for the both of us, two please! -Maggie
One of my closest friends, Shari, used to tend bar at a local music venue, and I would go there one or two nights a week to hang out. On busy nights, I would sit around and people watch, or strike up a conversation with any person who happened to be near me. On slow nights, Shari and I would make up drink recipes. Often, we would browse through the Mr. Boston Official Bartender Guide and look for forgotten-about libations to test out.
So when it came time to make an old dive bar drink new (with a twist), I asked Shari. Her suggestion was to work off a Sloe Gin Fizz base. A traditional Sloe Gin Fizz is made with sloe gin, lemon juice, sugar and club soda. Easy enough to play around with, and there’s a lot of wiggle room.
Shari thought freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and a bit of tarragon might compliment the flavor of the sloe gin nicely. She was correct. Additionally, I swapped out the club soda for a natural ginger ale, although I could have used a ginger beer or even a Lambrusco for similar results.
Sloe gin, which is made from drupes, a relative of the plum fruit, can be found in the United States in two forms: the cheap kind and the not-so-cheap kind. My neighborhood store only had the cheap kind. However, if you add a bit of actual gin to the final mixture (when using the less expensive counterpart), it helps to even out the flavors.
Another option is to make your own slow gin. It requires a bit of planning, but from what I hear it is well worth the wait! Making sloe gin from scratch is definitely one of many things on my “must try” list.
This sloe gin grapefruit fizz has a refreshing citrus-berry flavor, and is complimented by the fresh tarragon mixed in, making for an easy to drink delight. Might I also add, the color of this particular combination is quite eye-catching and added a bit of brightness to a gray winter day.
Sloe Gin Grapefruit Fizz
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 2 or 3 fresh tarragon leaves
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 2 tablespoons sloe gin
- 2 tablespoons of regular gin
- 1/3 cup ginger ale (or other sparkling liquid)
- 1 grapefruit wedge (for garnish!)
- Combine the sugar with the tarragon leaves and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Muddle together. Add ice.
- Add the sloe gin and the regular gin. Top with about 1/3 cup ginger ale.
- Garnish with grapefruit wedge and enjoy!
Photos taken and styled by Matthew Petrelis.
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