Monday, August 26, 2013

R is for: Raspberry Lime Rickey Cocktail

I made this delicious concoction before I took off for Williamsport, PA for two weeks with every intention of working on my blog during my down time while covering the Little League World Series.

Like most well-laid out plans, that didn't happen. Instead, I spent any free time hanging out with my newfound friends on this amazing crew and sleeping in to make up for the evenings spent at 33 East, Francos and Brickyard. 

I made a great choice. Though exhausting, I'm so thankful for the opportunity to cover such an incredible event and I'm confident these people will be in my life forever.

Long story short... this blog post is long overdue.

The inspiration for this post is two-fold. The first part came from a recent trip to Lyman Orchards. It's a great little pick-your-own produce place about 30 minutes from Hartford. At the time they had raspberries and blueberries. Currently, the farm is featuring pears, apples, nectarines, peaches, squash and squash blossoms. (Stuffed squash blossoms??? MMMM. Might need to make another trip soon). You pick your own fruit and veggies, they weigh it and you pay a fraction of what it would cost at a grocery store or even a farmer's market.

Not knowing what to do with all of my yummy berries right away, I froze most of them. To do this, I lined a sheet pan with foil and spread them into a single layer. I flash froze them for a few hours and then dumped them into a freezer bag for future use.

The second inspiration came from a recent meal at Half Door in West Hartford. It's an Irish gastro pub, and they have awesome brunch on the weekends. They generally feature a breakfast special and a drink special each day, complete with hilarious descriptions. The raspberry lime rickey caught my eye, so I decided to go with that. It was made with fresh raspberry syrup, lime juice, gin and a little bit of soda water. Ironically, they had run out of the raspberry syrup, so mine was actually a blueberry lime rickey... but I decided to make the real thing for the blog. As an added bonus, this drink (with or without alcohol) is a New England staple, so I was excited to continue embracing my new surroundings.

I used about a cup and a half of the frozen raspberries (because that's all I had left), but feel free to use more and double the recipe. I added a cup of sugar and a little water (about 1/4 cup) and heated it on the stove over medium heat. Cook until berries begin to release their juices, and gently mash. Continue cooking for another five minutes or so, and remove from heat. Allow mixture to thicken and cool slightly.

To remove the seeds, push the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. This can sort of be a cumbersome task, so I used a ladle to help speed the process along.

I ended up with about 1 1/4 cups of liquid. I then added 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice. Refrigerate and cool until you're ready to use. 

To serve, mix together a shot of gin, soda water (about 3/4 cup or so), and enough syrup to your liking (2ish tablespoons). I think this would also be fantastic with vodka, and it's also great to make raspberry margaritas!

Raspberry Lime Rickey

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: beverage cocktail gluten-free gin raspberry

    For the raspberry syrup:
    • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    For the drink:
    • 1 ounce gin (or vodka)
    • 3/4 cup soda water
    • 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup
    • ice
    • lime wedges (optional, for garnish)
    For syrup:
    1. Combine raspberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium until berries begin to release their juices and sugar dissolves. Stir and continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, allowing to cool and thicken slightly.
    2. Stir in 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice and refrigerate until ready to use.

    For the drink:
    1. Pour soda water, gin, and syrup over ice. Stir well and serve! Garnish with additional lime wedges if desired.
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