Gourmet (May 2009)
There's something extremely refreshing about incorporating fresh herbs into a cocktail. Like bitters, they can add a terrific, spicy, almost medicinal note that gives the drink a great depth of flavor -- and keeps the sweetness in check.
With summer beginning to warm up, we thought this Vodka Rosemary Lemon Fizz would make a perfect pre-dinner drink.
The really great thing about this recipe is that it's one of those we like to think of as "roadmap recipes." Sure, it's good for this particular drink. But really, it's a great blueprint for making all sorts of cocktails.
The key here is infused simple syrup. As we've said before, making a simple syrup is, as the name suggests, very easy. It's usually just equal parts sugar and water, which you heat until the sugar is dissolved. Easy! But this recipe offers a great twist: Instead of water, the simple syrup uses lemon juice. The syrup here also incorporates the rosemary (rather than muddling the herb in when you mix the cocktail).
This results in a terrific, intense simple syrup that's already infused with the flavors of your cocktail: in this case, lemon and rosemary. Once the syrup cools, all that's required is mixing it with the alcohol and seltzer.
So there's no chopping, muddling, straining and pouring that's standing between you and a light, crisp, refreshing cocktail.
Perfect for a warm summer evening, when easy is best.
Active time: 10 min
Total time: 1 1/4 hr
* 1 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 (8-inch) rosemary sprigs
* 1/2 cup vodka
* Chilled club soda or seltzer
* Garnish: 8 (3-inch) rosemary sprigs
Bring lemon juice, sugar, and rosemary to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Discard rosemary sprigs.
Fill 8 (8-ounces) glasses halfway with ice. Divide syrup (about 2 tablespoons each) among glasses and add vodka (1 tablespoon each). Top off with club soda.