minty orange gimlet

minty orange gimlet

This is one of those cocktails that it’s best to feed a crowd. You’ll need to make a flavoured simple syrup which will make six drinks, and if your usual drinking partner switches to beers after one cocktail, too, you might find that this is too many drinks. Especially if you have work in the morning.

It’s worth it, though. I think it’s perfect for when you get home from a wintry afternoon walk, the kind where you wear your hat pulled right down over your ears and your breath makes little clouds in the air.

minty orange gimlet
Recipe entered into Food52’s your best cocktail contest. I didn’t use a cocktail shaker, and I didn’t miss it, so I’ve given my lazier method below.

For the simple syrup (enough for 6 cocktails)

1/2 cup (or mug) caster sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup (or mug) water

Put everything in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from the heat and let cool for 2 hours. Strain the liquid and set aside.

For each cocktail

1/4 orange, sliced
Mint leaves
3/4 fl.oz orange simple syrup (see recipe above)
1 1/2 fl.oz gin
1/2 fl.oz lime juice
Soda water

Muddle the orange slices and mint in the bottom of a short glass. Top up with ice, then add the syrup, gin and lime juice and stir. Top up with soda water.

Leftover syrup can be stored in the fridge for weeks.


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