i have a confession to make. i love cocktails. ok, so i also love beer and wine, but cocktails are where my true love lies. that might make me sound like more of a serious drinker than i’d like you to suspect, but my “day job” is in a restaurant, it’s kind of expected, right? since moving in together my boyfriend and i have created a pretty awesome bar cabinet (complete with hijacked glassware) and we love recreating our favorite recipes from work.
last weekend we were at a really cool event hosted by our friend (who happens to be a Flying Dog Brewery beer rep) and 8407 kitchenbar in silver spring where they were featuring some beer cocktails (ears perking up…) they had made a few really delicious drinks by reducing some of flying dog’s beers into syrups that they then used in creative cocktails. my favorite was called the atlantic shandy, using flying dog’s underdog atlantic lager. a shandy is typically a light beer mixed with lemonade or sprite or something to make it more refreshing. at 8407 they one-upped the typical shandy by adding gin and a homemade rosemary lemon simple syrup (hello, you had me at rosemary… ok, you had me at gin.) it was the most drinkable, refreshing, light beer cocktail i’d ever had! whether or not it was the only beer cocktail i’d ever had is besides the point. i spent the next morning googling how to make rosemary lemon simple syrup (seemingly simple- pun intended- even to my anti-culinary brain) and yesterday i took the plunge and decided to give it a go.
usually i let jesse handle the mixology in our apartment, but this was my project. i started off making the lemon rosemary syrup which was as simple as i thought it would be. i used a recipe i found and pinned from here.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 lemon (zested, cut in half, and seeds removed)
1 handful of rosemary (i plucked the leaves off of about 2 long stems)
once you’ve dissolved the sugar, bring it to a boil. remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. rosemary is my favorite herb of all time, so i would probably boil it with lemons on a regular basis just to keep our apartment smelling fresh, but in this case we get to add it to a cocktail- bonus! after it’s steeped, squeeze the lemons (careful, they’re probably still toasty), and then strain it and cool it for awhile (or until you’re so excited about your cocktail you just can’t help yourself. been there. no worries).
since we didn’t actually have a recipe to follow (i’m a sucker for following recipes, i consult them about 100 times throughout making anything, even easy mac) it was a bit of trial and error. we mostly use hendricks gin in our apartment because the bottle is pretty and it tastes yummy with notes of cucumbers and herbs. jesse and i each made our cocktails a bit differently (trial and error!) but we’ve decided that this is probably the most accurate recipe. it didn’t taste exactly like the one we had at 8407 but i think that’s because we used a different gin, and my syrup is very strong on the rosemary flavor (where it was barely noticeable in their shandy) but it will nevertheless be a go-to drink for me because it is incredibly refreshing!
1-1.5 oz hendricks gin (i used 1.5 oz, jesse used 1oz – to each his own!)
½ oz rosemary lemon syrup
1 oz lemon
flying dog underdog atlantic lager
add the first three ingredients into a glass with ice and stir. add 2 lemon wheels for a garnish, and top with flying dog underdog atlantic lager.
then take a seat, a sip, and enjoy!