Many of you may or may not know that lemon is one of my favorite flavors. It doesn’t have to be summer to enjoy the lovely citrus fruit. Whether you’re cooking or creating a cocktail, using fresh fruits and vegetables is the key to the most natural taste. Lemon is one of my favorite flavors to use in cooking or cocktails. I love the citrus flavors, the tart and fresh taste of a fresh lemon.
Some years ago I was introduced to infused cocktails. I tasted the most flavorful blood orange infused vodka. It was a deep red-orange color, sweet with a bit of tang, and did not require much of a chaser to go with it. It was so delicious and intriguing. In culinary school, I had a beverage class and researched infusing of spirits. That one cocktail inspired my imagination and piqued my creativity on the many flavors in which you can use in creating a signature cocktail. Simplicity is best when creating a cocktail, craft or otherwise. So in the spirit of the holiday, I am sharing with you a lemon zest simple syrup to make a refreshing cocktail that I created to enjoy all seasons.
Lemon Simple Syrup
Lemon zest of 2 lemons
1cup of water
1 cup of sugar
Bring the water and sugar to a simmer. Stir the sugar until dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the lemon zest. Let the lemon zest steep in the pot uncovered to infuse the flavor. You can strain the zest out if you like, but I prefer to leave it. It makes it more authentic looking. Syrups can last up to 6 months.
Ruby Red Sunset
2.5 ounces of vodka
Ruby Red Grapefruit juice
1 jigger of Lemon simple syrup
Top off with Tonic Water
Drizzle in a little Grenadine
The drizzle of grenadine will float to the bottom of the glass creating a sunset effect. Add a slice of lemon peel for garnish. You can serve on ice or not, depends on your preference.
This is a cocktail that is good for sitting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather, for a barbecue, or for a small gathering any time of year.
Creating your own craft cocktail is really about what flavors you like, what fruits are in season, and the ingredients you can dream up to use. There is no real science, except to taste along the way and use what makes sense to you. It’s all about trial and error really. It should be fun and you should enjoy the process. Once you get to your desired taste, enjoy.
Remember, when life gives you lemons make a cocktail.