With a few isolated exceptions across the country--grab a sweater, Minneapolis and San Francisco--it's pretty warm out there this weekend. Standing in my yard just now to chat with a neighbor, I was slightly singed by the sun, and from looking at the weather map, I'm not the only one needing a quick break from the July heat. Fortunately, there's booze.
Here's a crisp little number I came up with a couple of Julys back, one that I served to several hundred hot and thirsty people last week at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans to generally good effect: the Dunniette. Built around the crisp, juniper-ey backbone of gin, the Duniette matches the bitter-orange aperitif Aperol with the gentle elderflower liqueur St. Germain, which--when combined with fresh lemon juice--creates a flavor not unlike that of fresh grapefruit. Sure, it'd be easier to just squeeze a grapefruit in a glass and add a hit of vodka, but the Dunniette fleshes out the flavor a little, while adding a bit more heat-beating complexity.
It's easy to batch these for a crowd, and while I haven't experimented in this direction I'd wager the Dunniette might function well as a pitcher drink. Either way, if you're firing up the grill this weekend or simply hanging out in the air conditioning, the Dunniette can take a poke at the summer heat and leave you the better for the experience.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin (a classic London dry like Tanqueray or Beefeater work well)
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce Aperol
- 1/2 ounce St. Germain
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a bit of lemon peel.