Ah - spring has finally arrived after such a long and brutal winter. I've been enjoying all of the spring blossoms so much: the trees finally green and the Kwanzan cherry trees bright and pink. This is cause for celebration! A cocktail, you say? What a divine idea!
I've been obsessed with the small batch Cherry Bitters from Cecil & Merl, and when I first tasted them they reminded me of spring. They are lighter than most other cherry bitters, with sweet subtle flavors of vanilla and molasses, and I think they call for gin so much more than the traditional whiskey. I always crave Gin Fizzes in the spring - there's something rather comforting about them, yet fresh, bright, and full of flavor. They also taste exquisite while sitting outside and enjoying the warm sunshine on one's still pale and freshly exposed skin!
This is a variation of a classic Gin Fizz, that swaps out the traditional syrup for Luxardo Cherry Maraschino liqueur and a dash of Pama Liqueur just to give it a fuller fruit flavor. The egg white makes this cocktail light and fluffy - almost as fluffy as those cherry blossoms outside. I used Hibiscus Flower Crystals on the rim - they are sweet, floral, and have a bit of citrus to them, adding a nice bright zip to the cocktail. Be warned, the hibiscus sugar rim is so delicious, you'll be back for more!
Cherry Blossom Gin Fizzie
1 1/2 oz Gin (I used Beefeater)
1 Egg White
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
1/4 oz Pama Liqueur
1/4 oz Cream
10 dashes Cecil & Merl Cherry Bitters
Seltzer Water to Top
Hibiscus Flower Crystals for Rimming
Equipment: Boston Shaker
Swipe cocktail glass with a lemon slice, and dip into the Hibiscus sugar crystals, rimming your cocktail glass. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and vigorously shake (do not add ice yet, this is your dry shake). Add a few cracked ice cubes and shake a second time. Strain into a cocktail glass, and top with seltzer. Squeeze an lemon peel coin over the foam, and discard.
Pro Tip: For years I failed miserably at making any egg based cocktail - the shaker would always pop open and I would end up wearing my drink instead of drinking it (blasphemy!) - but now I know the trick. You have to use a Boston Shaker for egg based cocktails! No exploding tins!