Gin Yummy! Screen Door Opens New Cocktail Horizons
In June, soon after we featured locally made Ice Glen Vodka from Berkshire Mountain Distillers in Hilary Deely’s Green Greyhound cocktail recipe, the New York Times published a tasting report of gins from small, young U.S. distilleries. Greylock Gin, from Berkshire Mountain Distillers, came out on top, rated #1 of the top ten tasted by the Times.
While the enduring appeal of the classic summer gin cocktails – Tom Collins, Gimlet, Gin Fizz, or the simple Gin & Tonic – cannot be denied, we were hoping to toast this achievement with something new, a bit more timely, and a bit more locally oriented. We went to the source and asked Chris Weld, founder of Berkshire Mountain Distillers, for an of-the-moment, locavore gin cocktail recipe.
Weld delivered with a fresh new cocktail called the Screen Door. It’s made with peak of the season peaches and Aperol, a ruby-hued, rhubarb-based aperitif similar to Campari (its corporate parent) but lower in alcohol. The result is a pretty orange drink that’s refreshing, with body and a fine balance of sweet and tart. (If you don’t strain the peach purée too much it seems practically virtuous, as if you’re drinking a smoothie.) Finished with Vinho Verde, it has a slight effervescence.
The Screen Door happens to go exceptionally well with Alana Chernila’s Corn and Nectarine Salad with Basil, aka summer in bowl – so much so that we’ve nicknamed this cocktail “Summer in a Glass.” The fresh flavor can mask its high ratio of alcohol to fruit juice; it does pack a kick, so don’t let the Screen Door hit on you on the way out.
Screen Door, courtesy of Chris Weld
1 ounce Greylock Gin
1 ounce Aperol
½ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
½ ounce fresh peach purée (from 2-3 fresh, ripe, local peaches)
2 ounces Vinho Verde*
Make the peach purée: cut peaches and remove pit; purée them in a blender. Strain through wide-gauge strainer. (This will produce enough purée for several cocktails.)
Pour the first four ingredients into a shaker over ice. Shake, then strain into a rocks glass over ice. Top with the Vinho Verde, stir and serve. Can be doubled if you have a large shaker.
*We used Casal Garcia Vinho Verde, available at Nejaime’s for about $7. You can spend more, but there’s no need to do so. — Bess Hochstein