Sarah and I are two very lucky people who made one very unfortunate mistake – I’m typing this blog post on an 11-hour flight to Honolulu, HI, after staying awake for 24 hours in order to sleep through this 5,000 mile journey. To help with this endeavor, we decided to invest in a sleep-aid – just in case. So, reasonably, we waited until we boarded the plane and were comfortably seated, and then we took a dose each, and then after two hours of sight-seeing the outside of the New Jersey airport from the runway, we were kindly informed to step off the plane and re-board an hour later.
A few restless hours of trying to get comfortable later, I’m fairly positive I’m writing this from the back of a 14-mile-long levitating airplane that’s spinning slowly around an axis over the pacific ocean. The lesson here is that you’re supposed to actually sleep on sleep-aids.
But beyond this unceasing discomfort, and past the slow-stoked fury of enduring a plane ride that fell straight out of a sitcom, Sarah and I are dreaming of cocktails. Cocktails on the beach, cocktails in our hotel room, and cocktails in the airport to help us forget this miserable experience.
(Trivia Question: How long do you think a child can scream at the top of its lungs?
Don’t feel bad either. It was over a toy).
As we’re preparing to land now and abandon many of you to the fashionably late Northeastern winter, we leave you with this deliciously spiced (and perhaps appropriately bitter) winter cocktail.
…No, it’s not a trip to Hawaii, but it’s definitely wroth a trip to the store.
Spiced Gooseberry G&T
This one has quite a few layers of flavor, sort of like a fine whiskey (or a wine, but I couldn’t promise you that since the only wine I drink tastes like jam.) It’s pleasantly bitter with gooseberry overtones and a delicious herbal finish. Unfortunately, the ingredients might be a little hard to acquire depending on where you live. I suggest a health food store like Whole Foods, and if you absolutely can’t find green peppercorns, you can use a third as many white or black ones as long as they’re very crushed or very coarsely ground. (Green peppercorns are far less potent and have much more of an herbal, “grassy” flavor, so if you substitute them out the drink will be slightly different – but still delicious!)
- 1.5 oz. gin
- 1/2 oz. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 10 green peppercorns, crushed
- 2 small-medium sage leaves, bruised
- 5 gooseberries
- tonic water
We used Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin, and I suggest sticking to a gin with a lot of herbal character (Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, etc.) rather than things like Hendrick’s or Tanqueray Rangpur.
- Bruise the sage leaves by placing them flat on the counter, then pressing into them with the bottom edge of your shaker or a heavy glass.
- Crush the peppercorns with the bottom of a heavy glass, or basically anything with any weight at all.
- Put all ingredients minus the tonic water into the shaker and muddle until pulpy.
- Add ice and shake – that’s right, I’m telling you to shake your gin – then strain over new ice into a glass.
- Top with 2 to 4 oz. of tonic water, to taste, and garnish with a lemon peel.
And there you have it. Enjoy!