Greenmarket Cocktails, Take Two

Cherries, Gooseberries and Chamomile

We had so much fun mixing up a few greenmarket cocktails last week that we decided to do it again.

But, this time, a caveat: one of Ryan’s co-workers said that all of our drinks were too girly (hi, Graham!) and requested that we make more “manly” drinks this time around.

I didn’t think any of last week’s drinks were particularly feminine—okay, maybe lavender is a little too “ladies who lunch”—but we aim to please, so this week we broke out the bourbon and mezcal and got to work.

Gooseberries

This week’s cast of characters: fresh gooseberries from Kerran Farms in New Jersey, cherries from Locust Grove Fruit Farm in Milton, New York, and fresh chamomile.

The first drink we mixed ended up being our personal favorite. In fact, we made another one later in the evening and will probably keep drinking it throughout the summer. We’re calling it a Summer In Manhattan.

Summer In Manhattan Cocktail

First, muddle 5-6 cherries with a 1/2 tsp. superfine sugar and a 1/2 oz. of freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Then, add 1 oz. of Luxardo Maraschino, 2 oz. of bourbon (we used Bulleit Bourbon), a dash of Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters. (P.S. you can get them here!)

Cherries, Gooseberries, and a Cocktail

Shake vigorously and served in an old-fashioned glass, preferably with a big ‘ol sphere of ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

The cherries were much sweeter than anticipated so we tweaked this drink a few times until we perfected it. The final product (the above recipe) is a perfect balance—the overly sweet cherries are complemented by the oaky smoothness of the bourbon and the cherry bark bitters added an entirely new dimension. (Of course, I still can’t get over the drink’s carmine hue. I thought my hands would be stained with cherry juice for weeks!)

Next up: gooseberries!

You’re probably wondering a) what is a gooseberry, and b) what can you do with a gooseberry?

They have the texture of a grape, the interior appearance of a more-solid passionfruit, and the flavor of a slightly less sweet raspberry. Now you’re even more confused, I’m sure. Apparently you can make all sorts of tasty jams and jellies with them, but that didn’t sound nearly as fun as mixing them into a cocktail.

Gooseberry Cocktail

I kept it pretty simple with this drink. I initially wanted to do a take on a paloma, but gooseberries are such a strange ingredient that I didn’t want to overwhelm the palate with gooseberries, lime, and grapefruit.

I muddled six little gooseberries (Ryan pointed out that they look like little striped beach balls!), then added a 1/2 oz. of lime juice, 1/2 oz. of simple syrup, 1/2 oz. of St. Germain and a 2 oz. of Fidencio Clásico mezcal. Shake, strain and serve in a coupe, garnished with a lime wheel and a spare gooseberry.

When I went to buy the mezcal at Astor, I actually had the opportunity to meet Arik Torren, the chief operating officer of Fidencio Mezcal. Arik was hosting a tasting of all three of Fidencio’s mezcals and offering tastings of a few different cocktails made with them.

All of Fidencio’s mezcals are “sin humo,” or without smoke, which produces a lighter, smoother mezcal than some others on the market. I initially went into Astor to purchase another brand of mezcal, but after trying all three varieties of Fidencio, I was sold.

Gooseberry Cocktail

The finished product, which we’re calling La Grosella (gooseberry in Spanish), was similar to a margarita, as you would expect, but the mezcal added more depth than just a regular bottle of agave tequila would have. The gooseberries complemented the elderflower notes in the St. Germain, while the lime added a perfect citrus kick at the end of the palate.

I think this drink would be particularly good in a larger scale—perhaps in a pitcher at a barbecue? (If you host, I’ll make it.)

Finally, the chamomile.

The chamomile was a total impulse buy at the Union Square Greenmarket the other day.

We were down to our last dollar when I saw it and knew it was a must-get. A must-get for what, I didn’t know, but the ropy, fragrant vines sold me right away.

I made a few different drinks with it, but I ultimately decided it works best in a Tom Collins or Gin Fizz-type drink, and thus, the Chamomile Fizz was born.

Chamomile Fizz Cocktail

I coarsely chopped the chamomile, blossoms and all, and muddled it with a 1/2 oz. of sugar and a 1/2 oz. of lemon juice. Then, I added 2 oz. of gin. We used Plymouth again here, but Hendrick’s would really be fantastic, if you have it. Then, add an egg white to the shaker.

Shake, strain, and serve in a Collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with more chamomile.

If you shake vigorously enough (which you always should!), you should have a beautiful white, foamy head after topping with the soda. Ours almost looked like cream!

Chamomile Fizz Cocktail

This drink, despite the feminine ingredient, was quite possibly the most manly of the bunch! The chamomile was incredibly earthy and played so well with the botanicals in the gin. It also remained subtle and not too sweet. It was a great drink to sip slowly, even after the enthusiastic foam had subsided.

We were quite pleased with this batch overall. If the market agrees and offers more fun bounty, we’ll be mixing even more creations up next week.

- Laura

8 Comments

  1. Michele Busch
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 02:52:52

    okay guys, I haven’t had a chance to try the last drinks you made but now these look great too! Love that big ole sphere of ice…totally cool no pun intended! beautifully presented…

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Jul 01, 2011 @ 12:49:18

      Thanks! In addition to looking great, they’re practical too—no more watered down drinks from ice melting too quickly! -LR

      Reply

  2. Amanda
    Jul 02, 2011 @ 09:02:53

    Oh, wow! What interesting ingredients. All of these sound amazing—especially the chamomile fizz.

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Jul 02, 2011 @ 18:12:23

      Thanks Amanda! The Chamomile Fizz was definitely the most fun to make. -RS

      Reply

  3. Devin
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 14:37:56

    These cocktails look and sound so tasty as well! Do you shape your ice balls from a mold?

    I made the lavender aviation after I came across some lavender the other day in Berkeley. Perfect for the hot weather we have had here. Guess I need to go out and find some gooseberries. :)

    Devin

    ps I did read your SF post. I haven’t had a chance to make it to Wilson and Wilson but I have been to The Alembic! I love the duck hearts. They also make this awesome drink called ‘The Bone’. Rittenhouse Rye, Lemon juice, Simple Syrup and Three dashes of Tabasco! So simple and weird, but so good!

    Did you try the Rangoon Cobbler?

    Reply

  4. Brodsky Organization
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 09:51:31

    These sound delicious! If you’re keeping it local, you should try Tuthilltown Spirits from Upstate New York.They make some great whiskeys and bourbons for those “manly” drinks. We’re going to have to have to try the Chamomile Fizz recipe.

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Jul 17, 2011 @ 14:46:41

      Thanks for the recommendation guys!

      Let us know how your fizz turns out if you try it. -RS

      Reply

  5. Fajfar Gregor (@Fajfar_Gregor)
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 15:07:59

    A Summer in Manhattan. A spin on the original Manhattan, but with fresh cherries and maraschino. http://t.co/cxxFQlE

    Reply

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