Cocktails and mocktails made with real fruit juice always taste so delicious. I like to make many batches of different kinds of fruit syrup during the summer – they freeze beautifully and can help bring a little sunshine and warmth into the colder months of the year. The combination of raspberry and mint makes a really fantastic syrup; note that it’s best made a day or two before you want to start mixing drinks so it will be chilled. Using a contrasting but complementary fruit to garnish – in this case, blackberries – gives this updated version of a classic cocktail an extra visual appeal.
For the Raspberry-Mint Simple Syrup
- 12 ounces (340 g) fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 cup (250 mL) tightly packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
For the cocktail
- 1.5 ounces (45 mL) raspberry-mint syrup
- 1.5 ounces (45 mL) Premium gin (I like Ungava)
- 1 ounce (30 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
- Lime wedge
- 4 ice cubes
- Soda water
- Blackberries (or raspberries) to garnish
- Combine raspberries, mint leaves and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir well and let sit, covered, for 6 – 12 hours to macerate and draw juice out of the fruit.
- Add water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Let sit, covered, for 10 minutes then strain through a fine sieve, pressing down on solids to extract as much juice as possible.
- Refrigerate in a tightly-covered jar until ready to use. Keeps in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- To create a cocktail, put syrup, gin, lime juice and lime wedge in a highball (tall) glass.
- Add cubes and top with soda water. Garnish with berries.
- To make a mocktail, simply omit the gin!
Makes 1 cocktail.