Not that there's anything wrong with pretty pink potables, mind you, but variety is the spice of life and I aim to please.
I've also got a ton of fresh mint and an absurd amount of lemons in my fridge. Naturally, that combination puts me in mind of the South Side, a classic cocktail of Chicago-themed lore. I made a batch of mint infused lemonade and used that as the base.
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 3 strips of fresh lemon peel
- 7 large springs of mint
- 6 large lemons
- 5 cups of water
Juice the lemons into a large pitcher - no seeds please, so use a strainer. Add the water and stir to combine. Strain the syrup mixture and add it to the pitcher, stirring well to combine. Serve as is, or use it to form ...
The West Side Cocktail:
- 1/2 cup of minted lemonade
- 6 large mint leaves
- 2 oz. of good quality gin
- 3 drops of orange bitters
- some plain selzter for topping up, if desired
- a sprig of mint and a slice of orange or lemon for garnish
As written this recipe will make one cocktail ... and its a beauty! Light, refreshing, slightly astringent - but not overly so - and altogether delicious. If you want to kick it hard-core, you could certainly skip the ice and seltzer and serve it straight up as a martini. Either way it goes down smooth and look ...
... its not the least bit pink!
This is my version of the classic, named for my 'hood, and I'm well-pleased with it. If you're feeling lazy, by all means go ahead and use some prepared lemonade. If you're feeling abstemious, go right ahead and serve the lemonade without the booze. Its all good and all delicious, I promise.