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Daily Libations March 2021

Joe Daily.

How to make garden fresh cocktails at home and the tools needed to get there

 

By Joe Daily
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

 

Hi and welcome to the very first column dedicated to imbibing! My name is Joe Daily and you can consider me your spirit guide on this libatious cruise of an adventure moving forward. A little about me, I am a national educator and mixologist for the largest liquor distributor in the U.S. I hold several internationally recognized certifications in the alcohol industry and teach two of them. I have been a keynote speaker and educator at the Culinary Institute of America in Texas with a focus on cocktails, as you could probably imagine by now. I am also the founder of Jig + Spoon Impact LLC. We are a group of hospitality experts diligently working to bring the world of bars and restaurants back to and beyond where we left off pre-pandemic.

Joe Daily.

As we all know, 2020 came to a close and it is now 2021. We have light at the end of the tunnel and quite possibly some new hobbies, including making cocktails at home. As we meandered around our households in sheer boredom with bars, restaurants, hotels, night clubs and the like shut down, many of us found ourselves wandering into the liquor store more often than ever before. Oh yeah, we have the data and it’s okay. We were there too! Consequently, there is quite possibly an overstock of alcohol at home. Today we are going to discuss “Garden to Glass” and spring forward cocktails! The sunshine is right around the corner and I have several recipes to keep you fresh as spring rolls, from front porch sippers to low ABV. 

First on the list is one of my all-time favorite cocktails known as the East Side cocktail. This cocktail consists of fresh mint, fresh cucumber, simple syrup and a splash of fresh lime. The East Side is also versatile. Feeling sparkly? Add a splash of bubbles on top or soda water and you are off to the races! Fresh is best and many of these ingredients can be found in your garden. Keep in mind, “Garden to Glass” doesn’t mean it has to come from your garden but is more of a representation of the freshest quality ingredients possible. Now let’s talk about technique!

Tools required to tipple your senses:

1 oz to 2 oz jigger (a bartender’s tool to measure)

Boston shaker (tin to tin or glass to tin, I prefer tin to tin)

Hawthorne strainer (I prefer a strainer with a very tight spring to catch particles)

Muddler 

8.5 to 9 oz (coupe glass for the still cocktail version or 16 oz collins glass for the sparkling version)

Where the magic happens:
Recipe for the still version served up in a coupe glass

2 oz gin (I prefer Sipsmith)

1 oz fresh lime juice

.75 oz simple syrup 1:1 (1 cup water: 1 cup sugar, blended together)

3 slices of cucumber and 8-12 mint leaves muddled

Garnish: cucumber wheel/mint bunch

Ice: no ice in finished cocktail. Served up.

Directions:

Muddle 3 slices of cucumber and 8-12 mint leaves in larger shaker tin

Add liquid ingredients

Fill with ice

Clap tins together and vigorously shake for 12 seconds or until the tins begin to frost over

Strain ingredients into a chilled coupe glass, garnish and enjoy!

Where the magic happens:
Recipe for sparkling version served in a collins glass

2 oz gin (I prefer Sipsmith)

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz simple syrup 1:1 (1 cup water: 1 cup sugar, blended together)

Muddled 3 slices of cucumber and 8-12 mint leaves

Top with sparkling wine or soda water. (Have a sweet tooth? Lemon lime soda is okay too)

Garnish: cucumber wheel/mint bunch

Served over fresh ice

Directions:

Muddle 3 slices of cucumber and 8-12 mint leaves in larger shaker tin

Add liquid ingredients

Fill with ice

Clap tins together and vigorously shake for 12 seconds or until the tins begin to frost over

Strain ingredients using your Hawthorne strainer over fresh ice into a collins glass, garnish and enjoy!

Do I have your attention? I hope so, and I hope you have enjoyed this introduction and we will continue where we left off next month with the next edition of, “Daily Libations.” 

As always, 

“If you drink it. I study it”

– Joe Daily

Instagram: jigandspoon #pinkiesup