The theme for this month’s Mixology Monday, chosen by our host Andrea at Ginhound, is “Blue.” The experts are predicting that blue cocktails are set for a resurgence. Thus, this theme for the first Mixology Monday of 2015 is perfect. We ended up going with blueberries, which are purple, but hey, BLUEberries. So, for starters, I wish to pay respects to the first blue drink, the Blue Hawaii. Invented in 1957 by Harry Yee of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It was an instant hit and, yes, the movie was named for the drink! (Source: the imitable Beachbum Berry) The recipe follows.
I found this theme to be quite a challenge, or at least I made it one. I wanted to avoid the ubiquitous blue curacao. So I tried using Creme de Mure and turn the purple to blue by adding green. I used Midori, (major fail on multiple levels!) and muddling parsley or cilantro – also fail! Nothing came up blue. I might have pulled those off with vodka, but I was using gin. Plus, I read the labels to discover that creme de mure and creme de violet are both artificially colored, so what the heck!
I attended the gin seminar at the recent San Antonio Cocktail Conference. The discussion covered aromatics, gin and tonic. Thus was born our Blueberry Sage Gin and Tonic. I tried several gins and settled on St. George Botanivore and Fords. Both are excellent. I can’t decide which I like better. So you can make each and choose for yourself!
Blueberry Sage Gin & Tonic
- 2 oz. Gin – either Fords or St George Botanivore
- 3 oz. Fever Tree Tonic Water
- 1/2 oz. Blueberry simple syrup – see below
- 5 Blueberries plus 2 for garnish
- 1 small sage leaf plus one medium to large for garnish
- 1 dash Fees Brothers Mint Bitters
- 1 lemon peel
- Muddle the blueberry simple syrup, the 5 blueberries and 1 small sage leaf in the bottom of a mixing glass.
- Add the gin, tonic water, bitters and ice – stir to chill
- Double strain into a chilled old fashioned glass over fresh ice.
- To garnish, pierce each of the remaining blue berries with a tooth pick and slide them onto the sage leaf. Drop onto the drink
- Express the oils from the lemon peel and discard.
Blueberry Simple Syrup
- 1 Tbl. Blueberry Preserves
- 1 Tbl. Filtered water
- Place both ingredients in a small dish and microwave for 20 seconds.
- Stir to combine and pass through a fine mesh strainer.
- Allow to cool slightly.
- 1 ½ oz. vodka
- 2 oz. pineapple juice
- ¾ oz. lemon juice
- ¾ oz. blue curacao
- ¼ oz. simple syrup
- ½ t. cream
- Shake with crushed ice
- Pour unstrained into tall glass
- Garnish with fruit stick