Gin FizzCucumber-Infused Gin and Grapefruit, Black Pepper Fizz
I simply love the combination of cucumber and Gin, especially when it’s Hendrick’s Gin, and I often have my G&Ts with a little cracked black pepper – it adds a wonderful warm note that contrasts perfectly with the refreshing cucumber and herbal Gin accents.
So I decided to simplify matters and make a cucumber-infused Gin and a pepper-infused sugar syrup, that way I get a more intense falvour of cucumber and a spicier finish from the pepper.
Infusing your spirits and syrups with spices, herbs and fruits is a fantastic way to get other levels of flavour into your cocktails, so don’t stop at cucumber and pepper, try vanilla, fennel, raspberry, star anise – whatever!
White spirits absorb flavour quickly and a sugar syrup is simply equal parts of water to sugar, but make sure to boil for 5 minutes in order to stop it from crystalising when cooled.
I serve this cocktail with grapefruit juice as I don’t like my cocktails overly sweet and the bitterness of the grapefruit cuts through the sweetness superbly. And because I do love me some bubbles, I top the drink off with soda water, which also adds another fabulous refreshing dimension. This drink is perfect for a sunny day, and splendid for a welcoming cocktail at any party. And it is oh-so-pretty-to-boot!
½ English cucumber, thinly sliced into rings
2 cups gin
Place cucumbers in a small pitcher or jam jar. Mash with a muddling tool or a wooden spoon until cucumbers release juices. Add gin, cover, and refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.
Pepper-Infused Sugar Syrup
5 pepper corns
Add all the ingredients into a heavy-based saucepan. Over a medium heat allow the sugar to dissolve into the water. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the liquid to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
To assemble the Cucumber-Infused Gin and Grapefruit, Black Pepper Fizz
pepper-infused sugar syrup
1L freshly squeezed grapefruit
1L soda water.
Place ice into glasses, add 1–2 shots of gin (depending on how strong you like it), 1 tablespoon of syrup, ¾ cup of grapefruit juice and top with soda (about 1/3 cup)