Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Gin Stevie and Bruschetta Make a Perfect Pairing

Ah, the Gin Stevie. Watermelon–Sake ice cubes slowly melting in a pool of muddled mint and basil bathed in gin and lime juice.

Watermelon is still in season as we enter late summer. So Steve came up with an amazing cocktail that is perfectly paired with bruschetta topped with heirloom tomatoes and just a hint of red jalapeño. It’s called the Gin Stevie, and you will fall in love by drink’s end. Two drinks and you’re ready to walk down the aisle (sadly for us that is not a reality here in Brooklyn).

Politics aside (though you should be gearing up to vote this November), we are concerned now with the success of your cocktail party. Perhaps you are planning one this coming weekend and want something different, something relatively simple, and of course something delicious. Steve has crafted his Gin Stevie in a highball glass using chilled Hendrick’s gin, fresh lime juice, some watermelon–sake ice cubes (which were inspired by a recipe in Imbibe Magazine), and basil and mint leaves. Top with a little soda, garnish with a sprig of the mint, and bingo! the taste of summer comes sharply into focus.

We pair the Gin Stevie with bruschetta. Why? Because watermelon and tomato know how to get down and boogie-oogie-oogie with each other without stepping on one another’s toes. Balance is key, so we added a bit of red jalapeño to the bruschetta topping to bring out the sweetness in the Gin Stevie. Bruschetta is so easy to make, a real no-brainer, that requires you to grill some sliced baguette, chop up some tomatoes and red jalapeño, and sprinkle on some salt and pepper with a little drizzle of olive oil (oh, and you have to rub a little garlic on the bread once toasted). Simplicity at your grill.

Making a classic tomato bruschetta is easy. Just a few ingredients, and a hot grill are all you need.

Gin Stevie
(created by Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz)

2 ounces gin (we like Hendrick’s for this)
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
5 spearmint leaves
5 basil leaves
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3–4 watermelon–sake ice cubes*
splash of soda
spearmint sprig, as garnish

In a highball glass gently muddle lime juice, simple syrup, and leaves. Add chilled gin, watermelon–sake ice cubes, and soda. Stir. Garnish with sprig. Add a straw.

* Watermelon–sake ice cubes
4-lb. seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
1 ounce fresh lime juice
up to 1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of watermelon)
180 ml bottle sparkling sake

Add first 3 ingredients to a bowl for at least 15 minutes and up to several days. Transfer contents of bowl to a blender and puree until chunks are broken down. Stir in sake. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until ready to use.

Makes up to 8 dozen cubes. (It may sound like a lot, but trust us, you’ll be much happier with lots in your freezer.)

❤ ❤ ❤

You can learn how to make a Gin Stevie and bruschetta by watching our new video on our Web site, Cocktail Buzz. We had fun shooting it (although we had to wait every time the helicopters whirled above and planes soared by us), and editing was actually a blast. Hope you like the final products. And let us know when you make the Gin Stevie and bruschetta how every little thing turned out. Cheers and Bottoms Up!

photos © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz

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