Playing Gin

Refreshing and sometimes floral, the evocative flavors of gin account for some of the most versatile cocktails, many of which are particularly suitable for summer sipping. The clear spirit now appears in a variety of iterations, some marrying botanicals with subtle hints of juniper and others more juniper-forward, so gin selection can significantly change the flavor profile of even the most traditional drink — depending on the style and brand poured, a simple Gin & Tonic can run the gamut of tastes, from floral and citrusy to refreshing and clean. Indeed, gin is a generously prolific spirit, enabling bartenders to serve up innovative drinks with a few simple ingredients — syrups, fruits and fresh juices. Pair the right gin with the right ingredients, and within a few sips, your guests will be transported from your bar stool to a unique flavor experience while your register reaps the benefits.

Black Rose
Created by Darren Crawford, Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco.

2 ounces No. 3 London Dry Gin
¾ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce honey syrup (2:1)
1 dash black pepper tincture*

Gently muddle rosemary with honey syrup in a mixing glass. Add other ingredients and shake. Serve on the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

*Steep black peppercorns in grain alcohol. Once desired spice is achieved, filter and bottle.