This Garnet Spritz Can Show You That Not All Gins Are Alike

Brooklyn bartender Olivia Hu gives us a refreshing cocktail to make for summer parties.

The Garnet Sprit is a beautifully refreshing summer cocktail. Photo by the author.

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The best warm weather memories center around spending time with family, sticky ripe sliced fruits at the center of the picnic table. As we get older, boozy refreshments become the seasonal must-have, so what could be better than combining nostalgia, tangy citrus and craft spirits?

Gin is commonly known as the spirit with juniper-dominated flavor profile. While juniper is often the dominant essence of most gin, modern distillers create deep, multi-layered flavor profiles comprised of various hand picked botanicals—foliage that grow local to the region of the distillery. On a hot day, I crave a drink that elicits the bright freshness of fruit from my childhood, with each component accentuating the botanicals of a craft gin.  

This cocktail features Ethereal Gin Batch 13 by Berkshire Mountain Distillers, a spirit produced in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Each version of Ethereal is a limited-edition gin, the recipe changing with each batch. Ethereal Batch 13 is distilled with a total of 14 carefully selected botanicals. Its profile involves deep layers of citrus: grapefruit, lemon, lime and orange. This recipe showcases the grapefruit and lemon aspects of Batch 13, named “The Garnet Spritz” for the addition of fresh pomegranate seeds and sparkling white wine topper.  

The Garnet Spritz
2 ounces Ethereal Berkshire Gin
15–20 pomegranate seeds
2 wheels of grapefruit
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce homemade simple syrup*
Approximately 2 ounces sparkling white wine or Brut

Add pomegranate seeds, grapefruit wheels and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Muddle seeds and grapefruit until the ingredients have the consistency of paste. Add gin and ice. Shake aggressively, thoroughly combining the muddled ingredients. Dump contents of shaker in a Collins glass. Fill Collins glass with fresh ice. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with grapefruit peel.

Owing to the small-batch production of Berkshire Mountain Distillers, it may be difficult to find this specific brand at just any liquor store. If you can’t find Ethereal Gin Batch 13, you can opt for any citrus-forward gin as a replacement. If you have the desire to experiment yourself, you should try a small sip of the spirit alone. Aside from juniper, what stands out to you the most?  White stonefruits, citrus, pine and so on? To create a stunning gin cocktail at home, you can pick your favorite note of the spirit, and accentuate it with fresh ingredients. Make it the star of your cocktail—I guarantee you can’t go wrong.

*Homemade simple syrup: Combine 1 cup raw sugar with 1 cup boiling water.  Stir until dissolved. Allow to cool before using in cocktail.

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Olivia is a bartender and bar manager at Sunrise/Sunset in Bushwick, Brooklyn.