Most people do thirsty Thursdays or cocktail Fridays. I do Wednesday night imbibes. I’ve been pretty busy at work, so this week has been flying by, and because of that, I’m treating myself to a drink. The middle of the week is always begging for a cocktail since you’re this close to Friday, and this gin soda with macerated grapes is a great mid-week reward.
Last Friday I was fresh out of cocktail ideas. I had no idea what to make; I needed some inspiration so I contacted the one person that I knew would be able to give me some great ideas.
So, of course that meant I texted my brother, Rich, who works at a very nice restaurant in Charleston, SC to see what his bar was serving. Rich is a server at the restaurant but also bartends AND he’s a sommelier. He’s our family’s go-to person when it comes to wine. He loves good cocktails as well, and has even made his own vinegars for mixing.
He sent me his cocktail list and as I was going over them, a few in particular stood out to me, especially one that had grapes in it. It was a mocktail of a grape vinegar and it sounded delicious. I drew my inspiration from that and created a grape simple syrup and topped it with my liquor of choice, gin.
The grapes really brighten up from the lemon and mint in the syrup and pair perfectly with the juniper from the gin. It really is the perfect Wednesday night reward.
Gin Soda with Macerated Grapes
For the grapes:
(Adapted from Epicurious)
1lb of red seedless grapes
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
The rind of 1 lemon, being careful to not get the pith
4 mint leaves
Place the grapes (on the stem) in a heat proof bowl. In a saucepan, mix the sugar, water, lemon rind, and mint leaves and bring to a boil. Once it has started boiling, take off the heat and pour the hot syrup over the grapes. Let the grapes return to room temperature, turning the grapes every 15 minutes for about an hour. Cover the grapes and chill in the refrigerator. Strain off the syrup and put in an airtight container and save grapes in another container.
For the cocktail:
In a glass with crushed ice, mix 1 1/2 oz of gin with 1/2 oz of macerated grape syrup. Top with club soda. Garnish with a few grapes from the syrup and mint leaves.