The Holiday Fizz
I saw a Tweet a few days ago from my friend Garrett Peck, spirits writer and author of the fascinating book The Prohibition Hangover, about a variation on a fizz he discovered in GQ magazine a few years back and served on Christmas this year. I asked him for the recipe, which sounds so tasty that I need to whip up a batch ASAP. If (like us) you tend to like your drinks less sweet, cut back on the simple syrup (or on the amount of sugar in the syrup--maybe use 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup.) Rosemary is fragrant and totally makes me think of the holiday season, but the sky's the limit when it comes to infusions. We think that orange or lemon peel, basil, or even lavender would work just as well.
THE HOLIDAY FIZZ Adapted by Garrett Peck from a recipe in GQ Magazine Serves 6.
6 branches fresh rosemary 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 12 oz. gin 8 oz. lemon juice 32 oz. chilled club soda Fresh red currants, cranberries, or pomegranate seeds
Strip each of the rosemary branches, leaving a tuft at the tip, and set aside. Pulverize the rosemary leaves.
To make the simple syrup, heat 1/2 cup water. When it boils, remove from heat and add the sugar. Continue stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the rosemary leaves, return the pan to a low heat, and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain the syrup into a small container, let cool, and then chill.
To assemble the drink, divide the gin and lemon juice among 6 highball glasses filled halfway with ice. Give each glass 2 oz. of the rosemary simple syrup. Fill with club soda and garnish with the rosemary branches and berries.
Variation: A classic fizz is made with egg whites (1 per drink), rather than club soda. Pour all the ingredients (but remember, no club soda!) into a cocktail shaker with ice. Give it a hard shake for 1-2 minutes, until the egg whites are creamy and almost meringue-like. Your hands will get quite cold during the shaking. Pour the Gin Fizz into a highball (but don't add ice) and serve. No need for the berries: they'll just sink to the bottom and disappear.