There's nothing cooler than a gin and tonic in the summer. Add a lime and you've got a simple, perfect little seasonal ade.
As far as clear spirits go, gin often gets a bad rap, a scrunched up ew-face, or an eye roll for assumed snobbery. But humor me for a second because really, it's just so versatile and clean.
Gin, no matter the brand, lends itself to any myriad zippy, refreshing, herbaceous delights … punches and gimlets and cups, oh my. Yep, whether you know it or not, a gin cocktail is exactly what you need right now to combat the heat of summer. Which, coincidentally, is also the name of my favorite gin-based drink this season, served up by the team over at Bond Street Social in Fells Point.
General Manager Shane Gerken gets it. That's why he created a gin drink that would appeal to guests who would otherwise not touch the juniper based liquor.
"It's very challenging to create a drink [our guests] love when the base of the cocktail is gin, but it's bouncing back right now, becoming a more popular ingredient," he said. With that in mind, Gerken concocted the Heat of Summer to both mask and highlight the liquor's potent flavoring. The name hints at what you'd expect — a little sizzle and spice, by way of habanero-infused simple syrup. The cocktail is actually built around that peppery flavoring, giving way to a surprisingly light little sipper.
He uses Bombay Sapphire as his gin of choice here because its floral notes blend well with the habanero. He also adds in an equal portion of Thatcher's Cucumber, an organic artisanal liqueur (calling all Hendrick's Gin fans: Yes, there IS a smidge of cucumber here) as well as Grand Marnier for a burst of orange. Playing up the citrus even further, the drink is topped with lemonade, lime juice and soda water. While the drink is spicy, those well-thought fruity elements are a tasty complement.
And what a perfect destination to get into the spirit of the season. If you haven't been out on Bond Street Social's pier, do so immediately. They have everything you need to cool off: water, a panoramic chance to watch the people of Fells in their natural habitat and a strong taste of summer's flavors, all in one glass.
How to Make The Heat of Summer
1 1/4 oz. of Bombay Sapphire
1/2 oz. of Thatcher's Cucumber
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
3/4 oz. of habanero-infused simply syrup
Fresh lime juice
Splash of lemonade
Shake all ingredients to mix, top with soda water and serve in a double rocks glass.
Where to Get The Heat of Summer
Bond Street Social
901 S. Bond St., Fells Point
$10Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun