Here’s how it went down: it was a beautiful July afternoon. There was a pint of organic blueberries and a massive bouquet of fresh bay leave branches on the counter, a couple of limes rolling around in the produce drawer and a bottle of gin in the cupboard. What’s a girl to do? Mix it all up and call it homemade happy hour, that’s what.
This is a true Northwest-style refreshment. The blueberries came from a farm just a short drive outside of Seattle and the bay leaves came from my dear friend Renata’s gargantuan laurel tree. The bottle of gin wasn’t just any gin either, but a tall bottle of hand-crafted Counter Gin from Seattle’s very own Batch 206 Distillery, which is a pretty cool venue, ran by some pretty awesome people I might add. The limes, well, they were from Trader Joe’s down the street.
It took about five minutes of active time to throw this baby together and it’s well worth the extra love. It could have been an excellent gin and tonic but it was brought to a whole new level with a few extra ingredients; rosy and refreshing, with a limey bite and an herbaceous finish. Yes please and thank you.
Fresh Bay & Blueberry Gin Fizz
If you don’t have a muddler, don’t let that stop you! Get creative and use another kitchen utensil, such as, err the end of a pasta fork.
Fresh Bay Leaf Syrup
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
4 ounces (118 grams) water
5 fresh bay leaves
1 heaping tablespoon (30 grams) fresh blueberries
½ ounce (20 grams) Fresh Bay Leaf Syrup
1 ounce (30 grams) fresh squeezed lime juice, plus lime wedges to garnish
6 ice cubes (70 grams)
2 ounces (56 grams) gin
3 ounces (88 grams) sparkling water or tonic
Make the bay leaf syrup. In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar, water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, and then taste the syrup; if it’s to your liking, remove the bay leaves or leave them in to continue to infuse the syrup. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Pour yourself a drink. In a rocks glass, muddle the blueberries with the bay leaf syrup (include a whole leaf if you like) and lime juice. Add the ice, then the gin and top with sparkling water. Serve immediately, garnished with a lime wedge.