When it comes to gin, there are generally two camps: the lovers and the haters. For most of college, I was in the hater crowd, though more indifferent leaning. I preferred rum because it was sweet, vodka because it was versatile, and I stayed away from tequila because it was dangerous. All that changed when my good friend and neighbor introduced me to the gin and tonic. He served up g+t’s by the pitcher on countless occasions, so I had little choice but to switch to the lover camp. This classy cocktail’s simple and strong flavors had me hooked. Probably had something to do with the strong flavors…
Ultimately I realized that I didn’t just like gin and tonics, but actually liked the taste of gin. (Boy did that make me feel like a grown up!) Since that fateful day about a year ago, I’ve taken the simple drink in different directions, depending on my mood, the weather and what’s in season. This particular version merges the bite of the gin and ginger with the tart sweetness of the cranberry and vodka for a twist on the classics that lets the ingredients shine.
Juliana Barton is a recent graduate from the University of Virginia, who would do just about anything for a perfect gin and tonic and a chance to meet Tina Fey (ideally together). Read more…
Cranberry Ginger Fizz
Makes about 3 drinks
For the cranberry ginger syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
5-6 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
For the cocktail:
2 lime, cut into wedges (plus more for garnish)
1/4 cup drained cranberries
¾ cup cranberry ginger syrup
½ cup gin
1 ½ – 2 cups sparkling water
In a small saucepan, bring sugar, water, and ginger to a boil over medium-high heat. Once sugar has dissolved, turn heat down to a simmer (medium-low) for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and strain ginger slices.
Bring syrup back up to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Add cranberries and simmer until cranberries begin to burst, about 2-3 minutes Remove from heat and let syrup cool. Once cooled, strain cranberries and set aside. You should have about ¾ cup of cranberry ginger syrup
Combine half the strained cranberries (about ¼ cup), ¼ cup cranberry ginger syrup and lime wedges in a medium pitcher. Mash with wooden spoon until limes have released all their juices. Stir in gin, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add sparkling water and remaining syrup to taste. Pour in glasses over ice and garnish with remaining drained cranberries and lime wedge.