Snow is on the ground, the air is crisp and cold, and the days are getting progressively shorter, so naturally all I want to do is cuddle up on my couch with a cocktail in hand and stare at a sparkling Christmas tree. This is the time of year where I'd typically stock my bar with warm and spicy spirits ready to pour into hot tea or apple cider but this season I'm all about gin.
A few months ago we (the Flock) had the opportunity to tour Du Nord Craft Spirits, a South Minneapolis Distillery, where I promptly fell in love with their Fitzgerald Gin. Made from Minnesota grown grain, it's crisp and citrusy with strong flavors of juniper, angelica root and licorice root. This is the first and only gin I can enjoy drinking on its own. While I encourage you to do the same, it is also a wonderful foundation for cocktails.
We're really excited to share more about the awesome husband and wife (and adorable son) team that created Du Nord Craft Spirits, but first let's get acquainted with Fitz. This recipe is a little labor intensive so keep an eye out for some **tips to save time.
Pamplemousse Fitzgerald Fizz
Made with candied grapefruit and rosemary simple syrup
**you can either skip the candy garnish or buy candied grapefruit
- 2 grapefruits cut into wedges, remove peels
- 4 cups of sugar
- 1 additional cup of sugar
- 4 cups of water
Rosemary Simple Syrup
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 2 ounces of Fitzgerald Gin
- 6 ounces of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (squeeze juice from grapefruit used for candy) **purchase ready-made grapefruit juice
- 4 ounces of plain sparkling water or Pamplemousse La Croix
- 1 ounce of rosemary simple syrup
- 2 five ounce coupe glasses
- martini shaker
- cubed ice
Start with the candied grapefruit:
Cut grapefruit peels into smaller pieces and place into a medium pot of water, leaving about one inch of water on top. Bring water to boil, once water is roiling remove pot from heat, strain the peels. Put them back in the pot, add water and repeat boiling and straining process. Do this another three times. Grapefruit peels are very bitter and this process will help remove some of that bitterness.
After you've repeated the boil and strain process 4 times, set aside peels and place the 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar into pot and bring put over medium heat stirring to mix the sugar into the water. When it comes to a boil, add the peels and stir occasionally for about 30 minutes or until the peels are translucent.
Strain the mixture over a heat proof bowl. You can save the water for a grapefruit simple syrup or allow to cool an dispose of the liquid. Place peels in additional cup of sugar and mix until completely coated. Set peels on a plate to cool keeping the bowl of sugar, set aside.
Next, or while you're making the candied grapefruit, make the rosemary simple syrup:
Bring water, sugar and rosemary sprigs to boil in medium pot. Stir occasionally. After 30 minutes, strain mixture through wire mesh strainer removing sprigs, place in an air tight container and let cool for at least two hours before using.
Now it's time to put it all together!
Place a handful of cubed ice, gin, rosemary simple syrup, and grapefruit juice into cocktail shaker. Close lid tightly and give it several good shakes. The shaker should feel extremely cold. Poor the mix into coupe glasses (you'll have a little extra) leaving just a little more than an ounce lift on the top. Top cocktail off with sparking water or La Croix. Make a small slice in a piece of candied grapefruit and place on rim of glass alongside a small sprig of rosemary.
For a fun, wintery touch, dip the top of your coupe glass in a little water, then dip again in the bowl of sugar used to candy grapefruit peels.
Feel the warm and fuzzies from a delicious spirit made in Minneapolis. Enjoy!