A flavourful, refreshing cocktail (or mocktail)
I find there’s no better way to chase away the midwinter blues than by cranking up the heat just a little, putting on some summery tunes and whipping up a delicious cocktail that just tastes like warm sunshine. This one fits the bill; it’s refreshing and colourful, like all good warm-weather cocktails, plus it’s packed with flavour. Mint, coriander and citrus might seem like an unusual combination for a cocktail but in fact, these ingredients feature prominently in several world cuisines, including Moroccan, Mexican, Spanish, Thai and Indian. Smash cocktails are typically made with gin; they usually also include herbs, seasonal fruit, ice and water. Many smash recipes include a little sweetener; you can include or omit the sugar depending upon your preference.
I recommend mixing this with a gin that has strong botanical elements. All gins include juniper as an ingredient; other commonly-used botanicals commonly used are coriander, angelica, orange peel, lemon peel, cardomom, cinnamon and nutmeg. I like Canadian-made Ungava gin; its botanicals hail from Northern Canada and include cloudberry, northern juniper and Labrador tea. Ungava has the typical piney notes common to most gins, but also strong notes of citrus and coriander, which are complemented and enhanced by the elements of this cocktail. Note that you can easily omit the gin to make a mocktail; just muddle the mint, coriander and sugar with half the juice before assembling the drink.
- 1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) gin
- 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon white sugar (optional)
- Handful fresh mint leaves
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) freshly-squeezed blood orange juice
- 3 ounces (1/3 cup) soda water, to top
- Blood orange slices, for garnish
- Put gin, crushed coriander seeds, sugar (if using) and mint in a cocktail shaker or sturdy glass jar.
- With a muddler (or the handle of a wooden spoon), mash (or muddle) these ingredients for a minute or two, until you can smell the mint leaves releasing their oils.
- Strain the muddled gin into an old-fashioned glass. Add ice, juice and soda water and garnish with a half slice of orange.
Makes 1 drink.