Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails

Aquarelle

Aquarelle cocktail in a rocks glass, served over crushed ice and garnished with a basil sprig
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Brian Elder

Bars are inspiring. This rings true whether you’re a thirsty patron or an industry pro—anyone can experience a lightbulb moment when tasting a great cocktail. That’s what happened to bartender Brian Elder during a trip to NYC bar, Attaboy. He enjoyed a drink with muddled strawberries that inspired him to create a version of his own.

The Aquarelle, a refreshing, pastel-colored, easy-sipping cocktail, is the result of that visit. But rather than muddling fresh fruit, Elder wanted to lessen the prep time and reduce spent fruit waste, so he created a strawberry cordial to sweeten the drink. He combines it with French gin, Pineau de Charantes (a fortified wine that combines fresh or fermented grape juice or must with cognac), Salers gentian aperitif and fresh lemon juice.

The pineau brings fruity, nutty flavors to the drink, which play well with the herbal gentian aperitif, dry gin and tart lemon juice. A garnish of fresh basil lends extra aromatics with each sip.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce strawberry cordial*

  • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 ounce Citadelle gin

  • 1/2 ounce Pineau des Charentes

  • 1/2 ounce Salers aperitif

  • Garnish: basil sprig

Steps

  1. In a double rocks glass, add the strawberry cordial, then the lemon juice, followed by the gin, Pineau des Charantes and Salers aperitif.

  2. Add 1/2 scoop of pellet ice, and gently stir.

  3. Add more pellet ice to top off the glass, and shape the ice into a rounded crown peaking just above the rim.

  4. Garnish with a basil sprig.

*Strawberry cordial: In a quart container, cover 1 quart strawberries with 1 pint granulated sugar, and let rest overnight at room temperature. Turn the container occasionally to facilitate the extraction process. After 1 day, there should be a good amount of translucent, red liquid. Strain the liquid off, and discard excess sugar and berries. Store in a sealed container and keep refrigerated.