It's common practice these days for chefs to tout their use of local produce, littering menus with the names of small farms in various states around the Midwest. But the same can't really be said about the beverage side of things. Sure, fresh fruit has helped perk up drinks since hard liquor has been coming off stills, but it's usually not celebrated in quite the same way. But Clint Rogers, the spirits director and head mixologist at Henri, has been blogging about the connection between the two all summer. Interested, and a little thirsty, we stopped by to see how to make his latest seasonal cocktail.
Just about every week Rogers heads over to the Green City Market, picks out some fruit, and then takes it back to Henri. He's written about what to do with raspberries, blueberries, cherries, and many, many more. While you'll have to wait until next year before you'll be able to make his Black Currant Gimlet, he's currently in the midst of preserving pounds and pounds of huckleberries, which he's using to create the riotously red Huckleberry Sling.
Soon, you'll be able to taste the drink at Henri, but you can get a headstart by checking out his recipe for the drink below.
1 ounce huckleberry simple syrup (recipe follows)
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces Death's Door Gin
2 drops Angostura Bitters
In a shaker, combine all the ingredients. Shake with ice and strain into a Collins Glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with fresh raspberries and blueberries.
Huckleberry Simple Syrup
2 part huckleberries
1 part water
1 part sugar
In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients. (As long as the proportion is the same, the amounts can vary to your liking.) Turn heat to medium, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once huckleberries start to burst, transfer mixture to a blender and puree. Strain mixture into a clean jar, and stash in the fridge until ready to use.