Friday, April 2, 2021

Green Hills Sling (Original Recipe)


This is a light and spritzy cocktail for spring. Asparagus and gin is the perfect flavor combination to captures the newly growing flowers and vegetables of the season, but asparagus is seldom used in cocktails and I've often wondered why. In a world where artichoke and elderflower liqueurs are not only acceptable, but found in nearly every bar, why not asparagus gin?

I made this asparagus gin by infusing vodka with gin botanicals and three asparagus stems (my old bathtub gin recipe modified slightly to make room for asparagus flavors. The botanical mix includes 1 tbsp. juniper berries and a half teaspoon of anise seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and caraway seeds with one long lemon zest. Then I added the asparagus stems and a bottle of 100-proof vodka and let it infuse for three days. (It is easy to over-steep bathtub gin and that makes the juniper more bitter, covering the other botanicals.)

Alternatively, you can take your favorite gin and infuse it with asparagus. I recommend doing it in a large jar rather than dropping the asparagus into your bottle. If you can't get the asparagus out of the bottle after three days, it will start tasting like bitter overcooked asparagus.

The rest of the cocktail is pretty straightforward. Asparagus gin, akvavit, and Dolin blanc for the herbal spirits, lemon juice and St-Germain to balance the acidity and add sweetness and a floral nose. 

  • 1 1'/2 oz. asparagus gin (homemade infusion used)
  • 1 oz. Dolin blanc 
  • 3/4 oz. St-Germain
  • 1/2 oz. akvavit (homemade used)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • sparkling water
  • 3 fresh asparagus stems for garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients except sparkling water in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass full of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with asparagus. 

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