I’ve been playing around with some cocktails using the spirits from Finger Lakes Distilling (FLD).
First up is their Seneca Drums Gin. A little about the name – Seneca is the name of the lake the distillery overlooks and it’s one of 11 lakes that comprise the Finger Lakes in upstate NY – it’s 38 miles long and at one point, 618 ft deep. The Seneca Drums refer to the booming sounds that can occaisonally be heard over the lake on warm summer evenings – some attribute the noise to geothermal reactions while the more mystical among us think it’s a message from the Iroquois who used to inhabit the area. Given the other things I’ve heard them referred to as – “guns of the Seneca” and “lake farts” – I think FLD made the right choice.
The gin is 86 proof with a 75% (local) grape base/25% grain base. It’s zippy and fresh and will keep you coming back for more. The signature blend of 11 botanicals gives notes of citrus peel, juniper, cucumber, clove and light anise.
Since we’re finally starting to feel a little summer, I decided on a very refreshing cocktail. I started with a cucumber – it’s a great partner with gin and who doesn’t want to be cool as a cucumber? I removed the skin and the seeds and cut it into small pieces.
I cut enough to fill the bottom of a rocks glass with a single layer, I added the juice from 1/2 a lime and a pinch of salt and then I muddled.
After the cucumbers were sufficiently muddled, I added 2 oz. of the Seneca Drums Gin, 1 oz. of Dolin Blanc Vermouth, and enough ice to almost fill the glass. I chose the Dolin Blanc because it has a touch of sweetness and I wanted to balance the tart citrus from the lime and the herbal qualities of the gin. Then I transferred everything back and forth between the glass and a shaker a few times to cool everything down as well as to mix the ingredients. I topped it off with a splash of tonic water and garnished it with a cucumber ribbon (which I made using a vegetable peeler) and a lime segment. Voila – summer refreshment in a glass.