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Pink Baby Cocktail

Pink Baby:

2 oz gin (Plymouth)

1 oz Sirop de Citron (homemade)

1 oz pomegranate grenadine (Stirrings)

1 egg white

Shake all ingredients over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with top with Bittercube Jamaica #1 bitters (opt.)

One of the major benefits of making candied citron for cocktail garnishes and other cooking purposes is the leftover syrup, a slightly obscure classic cocktail ingredient, "sirop de citron". We found our recipe for both from the always entertaining David Lebovitz here. This prompted a quick search in our files for classic recipes utilizing the citrus syrup and we came across the Pink Baby cocktail. The result is a wildly sweet and creamy cocktail reminiscent of a lemon-gin Creamsicle. It was appealing in a way, and a nice desert cocktail but needed some tinkering. The sirop de citron carries the pleasant bitterness of the fruit, but the sweetness is too concentrated to be desired by most at these proportions. We took a tip from DrinkGal who swapped the syrup for limoncello in her version of the Pink Baby. We took things one step further and came up with our favorite iteration that still nods it's hat to the Pink Baby, but is different enough that we'll call it the Pink Baby Improved.

 Pink Baby Improved:

2 oz. gin (Plymouth) 
.75 oz. limoncello (Ventura Limoncello) 
.5 oz grenadine (Stirrings)
.5 oz lemon juice 
1 egg white

Shake over ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with *Rhubarb Bitters (opt.).

The lemon juice really helps to cut through the sweetness that is now toned down from the replacement of limoncello with the sirop de citron. It also assists in highlighting the brightness of the limoncello and allows it to pop through the mix, a greatly desired result as Ventura Limoncello is one of, if not the tastiest limoncello's currently on the market. Their limoncello is an example of a hand-crafted product and carries the true sign of an all natural Limoncello, “Il Collarino” (the little collar). This is formed by the citrus oils that gather at the top of the bottle. A quick shake before serving mixes everything back together in the bottle. A family run operation following a recipe handed down from the maker's Italian grandmother ensures her contribution to drinking culture will not be lost to history. Thanks Nonna!

*The Rhubarb bitters was a bit of an afterthought and can be substituted with a favorite bitters of your choosing.

The Lantern- 1.25 oz vodka, 1 oz @DomainedeCanton, .75 oz satsuma and .5 oz lime juice, dash @Bittercube Jamaican #1, absinthe rinse

The Lantern:

1.25 oz vodka (Organic Nation)
1 oz. ginger liqueur (Domaine de Canton)
.75 oz Satsuma juice
.5 oz lime juice
Absinthe rinse (Pernod)
Dash Jamaican #1 Bittercube bitters

Shake over ice. Pour into chilled cocktail glass after first rinsing chilled glass with absinthe.

We haven't created many vodka cocktails on the blog, but intend to change that going forth. Part of this inspiration came from the recent attendance and the high quality cocktails of the Belvedere Unfiltered release at Teardrop Lounge covered in depth at DrinkSpirits.com, and part came from the shift taking place within the vodka realm where flavor (not artificially added) is now a desired attribute (Belvedere included) after years of clean, though most often flavorless premium vodka brands. We aim to highlight more of these craft vodkas in upcoming posts.

Organic Nation is a family run small craft distillery located in Ashland Oregon that is a great example of a company creating a delicate, yet flavorful vodka, and take things one step further by ensuring that every ingredient that goes into the spirit is certified organic by the Oregon Tilth, an organization with some of the strictest standards for organic certification. The vodka is a blend of rye (65%), wheat , and corn (% not listed), and evokes notes of cocoa, hay, and grain. It is great on its own, as well as a joy to mix with.

The cocktail is a fantastic amalgamation of flavors. Satsumas are a fun citrus fruit to work with, though sweet, and therefore trade high amounts of citric acid for sugars. The lime is included to make up for the lacking acid, and creates a nice blend of citrus flavors. Ginger plays very nicely with citrus of all kinds, and we have found it makes a particurly good partner with Satsumas. The bitters add a bounty of spice notes, with the flavor profile for Bittercube Jamaican #1 listed as Jamaican spice overtones, ginger, and black pepper. The bitters help transcend the cocktail from good to great, a difficult chasm to cross. The absinthe rinse also adds it own herbal richness on the nose, and lingers faintly on the swallow.

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