Minty Orange Gimlet (V, GF)
As I walked to class on Monday night, I realized it was getting dark. Dark. At 7:30 at night. So if going to night class wasn’t depressing enough, it was actually getting kind of cold and windy. Not to mention people were rushing around campus looking stressed because they’d likely spent the weekend at the bar instead of the library finishing that paper due at midnight. School worries aside, and being completely honest, I love fall. It’s my favorite season. Sweaters, pumpkins, crunchy leaves, all that good crap. BUT in order to get there I have to endure the waves of sadness that manifest themselves in setting sun shadows of late September. Does it make sense that I love fall with a passion but can’t stand how the earth gets there? Absolutely not. But that’s the way it goes! And with these precious hours of post-7pm daylight dwindling, so is the time for big frosty cocktails leisurely being sipped in the sun. While I’m as big a fan of mulled cider as the next person, I just can’t shake my true fondness for fresh cocktails.
Spoilers, I did make this drink quite a while ago. On a lazy Sunday I peeled an orange listening to the sounds of grass being mowed through the open window. The syrup boiled and I picked mint from the herb planters in my backyard. As I rinsed the leaves off with the garden hose I heard my little next door neighbors attempts to woo passing cars with 25-cent cups of lemonade. I muddled mint and orange and added gin and then I drank that cocktail on my porch in warm July sun. And then I drank two more and then I fell asleep. Sounds just terrible, doesn’t it? And in case you were wondering, orange simple syrup is pretty much how I imagine rays of summer sunlight would taste if you melted them into a glass. Considering the temperature outside is currently 41 degrees, I could really use the reminder of the cocktail hour that once was. I bet you could too.
Gimlet (serves one)
1/2-1 shots orange simple syrup (see recipe below)
1 1/2 shots vodka (or gin)
1/2 shot lime juice
1/4 orange, sliced
Make the orange simple syrup and let it cool completely. In the bottom of a glass, muddle sliced orange and mint. In a cocktail shaker combine syrup, lime juice, vodka and ice. Shake well and pour into the glass with muddled orange and mint and fresh ice.
Orange Simple Syrup (from Bon Appetit)
1/2 c cane sugar
Zest from one orange (removed in large strips with vegetable peeler)
Add zest, sugar, and 1/2 c water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let cool; cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Strain syrup into a small jar or bowl. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for several weeks.