One of my favorite cocktails of the last year is the Tally-ho!; to be honest, if you used Pimm’s as a base I’d drink a Pimm-tini. That’s right – I love Pimm’s enough to forgive a -tini. Luckily, no-one so far has offered me such a tasty abomination, and my pride remains mostly intact.
Last night I was looking for a light, tasty aperitif, and the Tally-ho! came to mind. However, I wanted to play with my new alcohols, and so I came up with a variation that I think stands on its own. It utilizes not one but two delicious, gin-based ingredients and one of my new bitters. I can write Wednesday off as a win.
Alley-oop (mine, sort of)
- 1 oz Pimm’s Cup #1
- 1 oz Damson Gin (Averell, but you could sub Plymouth Sloe Gin)
- 1/2 oz raspberry syrup (homemade)
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1 barspoon Pimento Dram (homemade)
- 2 dashes cardamom bitters (Bob’s)
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. You could (I didn’t) garnish with a sliced strawberry or or, even better, a borage leaf.
This drink is like summer: fresh fruit, some spice, and a juniper-and-cardamom backbone to bring it all together. I’m serious about using a borage leaf, if you have one, as a garnish; borage (which is mildly hepatoxic, so don’t overindulge) is a classic garnish for a Pimm’s Cup, and its pleasant, cucumber fragrance would work equally well here.
I don’t think I’ve gotten the chance to mention how much I love the Averell Damson Gin, yet. Damson gin is a close cousin to the recently popular sloe gin. Averell is sold by everyone’s favorite cocktail boyfriend, Haus Alpenz, with the old-timey labeling to prove it, but I believe it’s based on the American DH Krahn gin; both are made by the American Gin Company, so I think I’m right, but their advertising and target audience are clearly different. Averell Gin is targeted to cocktail curmudgeons, like myself – misanthropic shut-ins and bartenders – while DH Krahn, according to their website, is being marketed to people who beg to be punched in the face for a living. Regardless, Averell is delightful: fruity, tart, and noticeably gin-based. It’s a lovely, domestic (and more affordable) substitute for the Plymouth Sloe Gin.