Winter is normally a time for brown spirits, rich spices, and warm drinks. But sometimes I paradoxically find that I need a tall, cool, refreshing beverage right when it's coldest. It's like I have to fool my body into thinking that it's high summer based on my cocktail choice, nevermind the thick sweater and blankets everywhere.
Then again, maybe I'm weird (hah - maybe?!?) or perhaps I just wanted an excuse to test-drive this blueberry syrup. In any case, we'll revisit this one in six months or so.
1 1/2 oz gin (Tanqueray, naturally)
1/2 oz blueberry syrup*
1/2 oz cryo-cucumber juice
1/2 oz lime juice (lemon would easily do)
Combine over ice in a tall glass; top with 3-4 oz soda water to taste. Garnish with a couple of fresh blueberries, as though you can get fresh god-damned blueberries in the middle of fucking winter; maybe in a few months' time. Keep drinking until then.
* You could juice your own blueberries, although it'd be a mess; instead we found a pure blueberry juice (from concentrate, but at least it's all blueberry) on sale down at our local "hippie grocery place", as my sister dubbed it recently after a couple cocktails. I added 12 ounces of this stuff to a saucepan, added 8 ounces of natural sugar, brought the whole thing to a simmer, and reduced it back down to 12 ounces. I then added 1/2 teaspoon citric acid and about ten drops of rose water, just to get some of that perfume-y essence back. You can probably tell by the fact I'm recording it that the result was pretty fucking tasty. I expect to use it in more appropriate winter cocktails very soon.