When it comes to refreshing cocktails, it’s hard to beat a gin highball, whether that’s a Tom Collins or a simple Gin Rickey or the famed Gin & Tonic. Something about the bitter juniper, tart citrus and a touch of sweetness helps drive off the summer heat. This is precisely the reason for the creation of the Junior Buffalo GDE, which stands for both the greatest dog ever and the greatest drink ever.
“When it’s hot out—and it’s always hot in Arizona—I want something light, refreshing and sessionable,” says Clayton MacGregor, who created the Junior Buffalo GDE cocktail at Phoenix’s Pig & Pickle. “It’s an homage to my late favorite dog ever, Buffalo the Bulldog, and this drink lives up to his standard of greatness.” It’s elegant, refreshing and easy to love.
When making the drink for the bar, MacGregor carbonated orange flower water and orange simple syrup with still water in a soda siphon. While it’s a fairly straightforward procedure, it’s not the most commonplace tool to have on hand unless you’re making a lot of highballs at home. Instead, you can substitute out the still water for any bottled club soda, adding the orange simple syrup and orange blossom water to that. It won’t be as spritzy as carbonating it all together, but it would work well enough in a pinch.
MacGregor’s recipe calls for creating a bit more than a cup of orange simple syrup. Most of it goes into the orange blossom soda water, but if you’re skipping that step and just making individual drinks you’ll have some leftover. Try using it in your favorite Old Fashioned, Mint Julep or Whiskey Sour recipe to add even more citrus notes.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 1 1/2 ounces grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 dash Bittermens orange cream citrate
- 1 1/2 ounces orange blossom soda water*, chilled
- Garnish: orange slice
Add all the ingredients into a Highball glass filled with ice and stir briefly and gently to combine.
Garnish with an orange slice.
*Orange blossom soda water: Add 24 ounces water, 6 ounces orange simple syrup** and 2 ounces orange blossom water to a SodaStream (or similar soda maker) container and carbonate.
**Orange simple syrup: Bring 1 cup water and 3/4 cup granulated sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add sliced peels from 3 whole oranges, and remove from heat until syrup cools. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.