Another side of summer

Volume 17, Issue 7; 21 Apr 2014

A cocktail recipe from the Pacific northwest. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In my recent, lovely tour along the Pacific coast, I had the pleasure of tasting The Other Side of Summer at the Teardrop Cocktail Lounge in Portland, OR. It is described: “eminently refreshing quaff, high notes of citrus & savory melon”.

The listed ingredients are TDL gin blend, mint, lime, lemon, Angostura bitters, cantaloupe-dill-cilantro soda. TDL blend is the Teardrop Lounge's custom gin blend. I have no idea how important that is to the flavor, but neither do I have any hope of reconstructing what it is, so I'm not going to worry about it.

Cantaloupe is one of my favorite flavors and I recently read about an easy technique for making syrups so thought it would be interesting to see if I could approximate the drink. The common recipe for a flavored syrup is to boil water and sugar with some flavoring agent, let it cool, and strain. The other way to do it is through osmosis.

Start by making three syrups: cantaloupe, dill, and cilantro. For each one, chop up the ingredient and put it in a zip top bag. Add several table spoons of sugar. Push all the air out, seal up the bag, mash it up a bit, and let it sit on the counter for several hours. Mash occasionally as you see fit. I thought the dill and cilantro were a bit dry so I added a sprinkling of water.

Cut off the corner of the bag and pour it through a strainer. I got about 1½ oz of dill and cilantro syrups and about 8 oz of cantaloupe syrup.

Make a syrup mixture consisting of 1 part dill, 1 part cilantro, and 2 parts cantaloupe.

My first attempt, Another Side of Summer:

1½ oz   Hayman's Old Tom gin
1 oz   cantaloupe-dill-cilantro syrup
½ oz   fresh lemon juice
½ oz   fresh lime juice
several dashes Angostura bitters
fresh mint leaves
soda water

Muddle several mint leaves in the lemon and lime juices, add the gin, syrup, and bitters. Shake well. Double strain into a highball glass. Fill the glass with ice and top of with soda. Stir to combine. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

My verdict: not too shabby. Maybe more cantaloupe syrup next time.

P.S. Yes, this post also appears in the Mixology community, but for technical reasons I couldn't automatically cross post it from there to here, so I've repeated it.