COCKTAIL SUNDAYS: BLUEBERRY GIN BLISTER

Fresh blueberries temper the grapefruit juice in this cooling gin cocktail using Hendrick’s Gin. A touch of thyme syrup adds a front porch flavor for a great savoring experience.

My first experiences with gin were not my best.  The cheap well brands I drank put me off martinis for years because of their oily flavor that reminded me of lighter fluid.  I had a lengthy romance with Bombay Sapphire for a while, but even it did not measure up in either flavor or potency to the rums and bourbons I found myself gravitating towards.

But I learned that gin, like any other liquor, has its bottom brands and its loftier versions.  I had swum through the bottom strata of gins and been disappointed.  But when I began experimenting with brands like Hendrick’s, Monkey 47, and Brooklyn Gin, I discovered there were flavors and delicate and nuanced as in any fine wine.  And while wine is fine, we all know what liquor is…

I made up this cocktail to take advantage of gin’s fruity bouquet and adaptability to strong flavors like grapefruit.  It doesn’t have quite the crispness of other citrus drinks, but the gin gets out in front and leads the way.  I think it is an elegant cocktail that doesn’t mess around, and perfect for back porch sipping while hanging out with friends.

Chef Jack’s Blueberry Gin Blister:

  •  1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 2 oz. white grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed is best but bottled is okay)
  • 1 oz. of thyme syrup (make your own by seeping thyme sprigs in warm simple syrup)
  • 2 oz. quality gin (I use one of my favorites, Hendrick’s)
  • sprigs of thyme and blueberries for garnish
  1. Pour blueberries into a shaker and muddle slightly to crush the berries
  2. Add grapefruit juice, thyme syrup, and gin.
  3. Add ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds
  4. Strain over fresh ice in a cocktail glass and garnish with thyme and blueberries
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