The caramel depth and toned-down tartness of seared lemon is a total game-changer in this make-ahead gin cocktail that's great for crowds.
Why this recipe works:
- Searing the lemon halves before juicing mellows their acidity and transforms their flavor into something richer.
- Chilling the mixer base lets you mix up a big batch ahead of time and gives the rosemary time to infuse.
- A complex, botanical-rich gin like Botanivore from St. George Spirits makes this drink with a simple ingredient list anything but predictable.
- For the charred lemon juice:
- 12 lemons, halved
- For gin rosemary mixer:
- 8 (5-inch) sprigs of rosemary, cut in half
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups gin, such as St. George Botanivore
- 1 cup charred lemon juice
- For each cocktail:
- 1/4 cup gin rosemary mixer
- 2 tablespoons sparkling wine
- Rosemary sprig for garnish
For the charred lemon juice: Preheat a well seasoned cast iron or stainless steel skillet over high heat. Add lemon halves cut side down and cook until well charred, about about 2 minutes. Let cool then juice, straining out seeds.
For gin rosemary mixer: In a pitcher or quart jar, combine the rosemary and sugar, bruising it with the back of a wooden spoon until you can smell the rosemary. Add the gin and lemon juice and stir to dissolve the sugar. Refrigerate, removing the rosemary sprigs after one hour.
For each cocktail: Fill a glass with ice. Pour in gin rosemary mixer through a fine-mesh strainer. Top with sparkling wine. Stir once. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary and serve.