Lazy. That's been my M.O. this summer. At the end of the day, my head is still popping with things I want to make, learn, and do, but more often than not, all of that latent passion is met with a stifled yawn, a cocktail, and a quick retreat into television series I've missed (so far this summer, I've seen the first seasons of House of Cards, Scandal, and Rectify). The busy days of fall will come soon enough.
Because I've been so lazy, my cocktails have been pretty simple as well. One of my all-time favorites of summer is my husband's Blackberry Smash, and while I'll continue to ook forward to it every season, I've discovered another cocktail that offers me almost as much pleasure with a fraction of the labor. It's just four ingredients - gin, fresh lemon juice, some simple syrup, and a drizzle of crème de mûre, a blackberry flavored liqueur, over crushed ice (essential for optimal dilution).
It's lovely and you'll want to drink bunches of them (even if you don't consider yourself a gin drinker), so pace yourself.
2 ounces dry gin (I prefer Plymouth)
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup (see below)
1/2 ounce crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur)
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, shake together the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup; strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Drizzle the crème de mûre over the top of the ice. Garnish with a short straw, blackberries, a lemon wedge, or both.
Simple Syrup - Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; stir to combine. Bring just to a boil, stir to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat and cool before using. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
I crush ice in what's called a Lewis bag, a heavy canvas bag, and a wooden mallet. But you can improvise if you don't have such tools handy - wrap ice cubes in a clean dish towel and crush them with a meat tenderizer or something heavy.