It’s no secret that I like to spend summer evenings on my patio with a good book and a cold cocktail. It’s what summers are all about! I like to switch up my cocktails depending on my mood (and how lazy I’m feeling), drinking anything from a simple white wine spritzer to a margarita with fresh-squeezed lime juice.
I’ve recently started to develop an affinity for gin, so when I heard Beehive Distilling released the first legal Utah-made gin in 140+, I beelined (pun intended) straight to the liquor store to buy a bottle of their small-batch Jack Rabbit Gin.
Now, I don’t claim to be a gin aficionado. In general, I prefer my liquor in cocktails. But what I like about this gin is that it’s smooth and flavorful enough to be sipped while also playing nicely in a mixed drink. Which, according to Chris Barlow, partner at Beehive Distilling, is exactly what they were going for.
“We’re confident that Jack Rabbit’s bold taste and smooth floral finish will resonate with gin lovers and casual drinkers alike,” said Barlow.
The first drink I tried after purchasing my bottle of Jack Rabbit Gin was a simple gin fizz. Naturally this got the boozy wheels in my head turning and soon I was inspired (thank you, Pinterest) to try a Watermelon Mint Gin Fizz. And, honestly, this might be the most refreshing cocktail I’ve ever had.
Watermelon Mint Gin Fizz
3 oz Jack Rabbit Gin
1 (very generous) cup cubed watermelon
1 lime, juiced
6-10 mint leaves
Add watermelon, mint and lime juice to blender or food processor; blend well. Fill highball glass with ice. Add 1.5 oz of Jack Rabbit Gin to each glass. Add the watermelon puree, divided evenly between glasses. Top with tonic water.
Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, the watermelon puree probably could have benefitted from either being strained or more thoroughly blended. But I am impatient and lazy and don’t mind little bits of mint all that much. It totally depends on your personal preference.
While I really think you’ll like this summer cocktail you definitely shouldn’t stop there because I got the Jack Rabbit Gin creators to share there favorite gin drinks, too!
Wyoming native Chris Barlow is on a Fitzgerald kick:
2 oz Jack Rabbit Gin
1 oz simple syrup
.75 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
A couple dashes Angastora bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake, strain and garnish with lemon.
Matt Aller (hails from good ol’ Bountiful) loves an upgraded mojito. Enter Cucumber Gin Mojito:
5-6 mint leaves
1.5 oz. Jack Rabbit Gin
1 teaspoon superfine sugar (Tablespoon+ if you like it sweet!)
3 wedges lime
3 cucumber slices
4 oz. tonic or soda water
Muddle mint, gin, sugar and lime in shaker. When beaten up and smelling good, throw in the cucumber slices and shake well. Pour shaken, fragrant mixture into glass filled with ice and top with fizziness.
Lastly, Alaska transplant Erik Ostling gets all fancy with The Great Secret:
2 oz of Jack Rabbit Gin
1 oz of Cocchi Americano
Dash of Angostura Bitters
Place cracked ice in a mixing glass, add all ingredients and stir 30ish rotations. Twist orange peel/zest over the top and drop in the glass (or not, just make sure you’ve twisted the zest over the drink).
I have a feeling I’m going to be reaching for gin more often this summer. Got a favorite gin cocktails I should try?
For more information, cocktail recipes and a list of Utah establishments serving Jack Rabbit Gin, visit www.beehivedistilling.com.