By The Gentleman
As you may recall it was end of semester time around Cocktail Challenge HQ as The Lady knuckled down to smash out her last essays. As the night dragged on, the light summer fruityness of the Campari and Corona didn’t cut it. This was serious business with a serious deadline and The Lady needed something strong. Enter The Deadline, a spicy, herbal libation that will help you own your deadlines (or at least that’s what we would say if advertising regulations didn’t forbid the promotion of the effects of alcohol in such a way).
45 ml Four Pillars Gin
30ml Pineapple Sage and Juniper Simple Syrup
20 ml fresh lemon juice
2 good dashes of Angostura Bitters
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and with ice. Give it a good shake. Then strain into glass.
So you’re probably noticing this Pineapple Sage and Juniper Simple Syrup. Yeah I was tinkering again. During the summer I planted a whole bunch of herbs to make shrubs with and now that we are in Winter they have mostly died off, except this Pineapple Sage plant which must have ‘I Will Survive’ as it’s theme song. It keeps growing bigger and bigger and I decided it was about time I did something with it. You can definitely use normal Sage for equally as good results. The method I used for this simple syrup is a little different to others you might have read but I read on some blog somewhere that this method gives a better flavour. Who really knows but for me it worked fine. I also used raw sugar because that is what we always have handy. I think it gave the syrup a deeper caramel sort of flavour and colour.
Pineapple Sage and Juniper Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup raw sugar
8 Pineapple Sage leaves
15 Juniper Berries + 5
In a pan bring your cup of water to a simmer over a medium-high heat. Add your sage leaves and the 15 juniper berries. Simmer for about 2 and a half minutes. Add your sugar and simmer until dissolved. Remove from the heat to cool then add the extra 5 juniper berries. Once cooled strain into a jar or bottle.
By now you’ve probably realised that we are fans of gin and have a particular love affair with local distiller Four Pillars. Surprisingly this was the first drink we had made with Angostura Bitters that classic bitters everyone knows about and everyone seemingly has stashed away somewhere (like we did…it was a rather vintage bottle I think). The two combined exceptionally well to make this drink. The first thing you’ll notice about The Deadline is it smells amazing with all the spices from the bitters, the simple syrup and the botanicals from the gin. I could strongly smell juniper and allspice berries (or something like that). I was a little heavy handed with the bitters (what’s a dash anyway) but luckily Angostura Bitters have both a pleasant aroma and taste that it didn’t really matter. It reminds me of when I was little and would bake with my mum. I’d open the cupboard to get the spices and you’d just be hit with this strong yet enticing and warming baking spice smell. Anything that reminds me of those good childhood times is definitely a plus in my book. The drink has a really pleasant sweetness to it, not overly sweet but more of a tangy sweetness probably from the lemon juice. The drink is quite layered between all the flavours and a bit mysterious, but like I said I went a little crazy with the bitters and they really rock it. One sip was heavily spiced then another was citrusy, another sweet and finally boozy. It leaves a very nice feeling in your mouth, with a good coating and nice pleasant burn. The Lady could also pick up some pineapple from the pineapple sage which is good as I wasn’t sure how much flavour the leaves would give out and whether the raw sugar would overpower them.
A spicy, sweet, bold drink that doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to flavour The Deadline is what you need when you’re working to a deadline. A serious drink for serious business.