Indian Summer. We most commonly think of an Indian Summer as a warm period in early fall. A time where we’ve had a short spell of cool weather then summer seems to return for one last fling. Cool weather in early fall is not all that common in the South. We get a taste of the cooler season in bits and pieces before summer finally decides to make its exit.
Some beverages translate through the seasons. But some seem to define a time of the year. I ran across this cocktail in a wonderful book, “Shake, A New Perspective on Cocktails” written by Eric Prum and Josh Williams. It’s a book full of fun beverages, tips and ideas and a great addition to anyone’s bar.
The Indian Summer cocktail takes gin, one of my favorite spirits and combines it with St-Germain, a lovely French liqueur made from fresh elderflowers. This recipe makes two cocktails so adjust to accommodate the number of guests you’re serving. I add a touch of simple syrup to soften the edges. The cocktail is rounded with splash of lemon and a fun muddling of grapes. Together, this blend creates a lovely and refreshing cocktail for those warmer fall days!
The Indian Summer. A Fall Cocktail.
4-1/2 ounces good Gin, such as Boodles, Hendricks or Plymouth
1-1/2 ounces St-Germain
1-1/2 ounces simple syrup, see note below*
1-1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
10 fresh red grapes, plus extra for garnish
Toss the grapes into a cocktail shaker.
Using a muddler, crush the grapes to release their juice. The original recipe calls for Concord grapes which are sometimes a challenge to find. Using red grapes yields a lighter color but the taste is still wonderful.
Add the gin, the St-Germain, simple syrup and lemon juice. Add about a cup of ice and shake until the cocktail is well chilled.
Strain into coupes or martini glasses and serve!
Garnish with fresh red grapes! A refreshing cocktail for a warm fall day!
*Note: To make a basic simple syrup, combine two cups of sugar with one cup of water in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate until needed. Wonderful to keep on hand for cocktails and sweet tea!