Crying over the end of Summer with a Blackberry Buck

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Tis a sad sad time over here at Home Bar Girl, for my favorite season, the season of my birth, the season with ALL the fruit, the season of heat, ice-filled Cocktails, swimming, and funnnnnn, is nearly over. I’m crying some real end-of-summer tears y’all.

However, there is one thing about late-August that I hold near and dear to my heart…

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…Blackberries.

When I was a small gurrrrrl growing up in Novato, CA, we lived next to a park with a creek. I spent every day in that park and when the weather was warm enough, I spent a lot of time “creek walking” and swimming in its murky waters. There was one patch of the creek that had a ton of Blackberry bushes, so in late August we’d pick a bucket full o’ berries, take them back home, and Mamoo would put them in a fabulous Blackberry cobbler.

Fast forward to 2016 and I’m city gurrrrrl who dreams, nay pines for freshly picked fruit. I get my fix by going to the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market every Saturday. The minute Blackberries showed up at the market, my heart lept with joy, and I bought some.

Nostalgia, IT’S REAL!

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So dark, so luscious, so tasty.

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So, we’re doing this drink smash style and I’d recommend layering your items in the same order as the above photo. That way, when you put your straw into the bottom of the glass, you get a nice hit of mint.

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I was thinking of making a Bramble, but lack the Crème de Mûre, so I went with a Buck instead:

  1. I decided to use Bimini Gin cause it has a bunch of nice citrus notes which would pair well with this selection of fruit and still retain enough juniper backbone to shine through. If you can get this Gin, do so immediately. It’s the perfect summer Gin and I’ve made a million Gin & Tonics, Collins, and Negronis with it.
  2. Fever-Tree Ginger Beer is real real good y’all. Nice amount of ginger but not too spicy which in the case of this Buck, is juuuust right.

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Blackberry Buck

  • 2 oz Bimini Gin
  • ~3 oz Fever Tree Ginger Beer
  • Handfull of Blackberries
  • 2 Lemon Wedges
  • 5-6 Mint Leaves
  • Garnish: Mint bouquet

Build in Collins glass: Muddle Blackberries, Lemon Wedges, and Mint together. Add Gin, ice and stir til things have combined nicely. Top with Ginger Beer and a Mint bouquet.

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End of summer Cheers to all y’all, may you sip a Blackberry Buck and fight back the tears!

Melissa Negroni

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I’m going FULL #NegroniWeek here at Home Bar Girl because I love rules. Yes, as hilarious as that sounds about a “grrrrrl making fabulous cocktails”, it’s true. The thing I dig about the Negroni rules are that it forces me to stick to an idea. And even though I really like to break the Negroni Rule of 3 (hello, I’m all about a four ingredient Negroni variation), I still have to keep the spirit of the drink intact.

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Today’s variation was totally inspired by my fave summer Gin: Bimini Gin. The very first time I tried this Gin, I knew I wanted to put it in a Negroni Bianco. Bimini Gin is a light, bright Gin from Maine and though the juniper is there, it takes a back seat to a whole bunch of citrus notes.

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And when I find a Gin that’s full of Citrus notes, I think “MELISSA!” Yes y’all, it’s time for another cocktail with Lemon Balm cause I cannot get enough of Melissa officinalis.

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Something else about Bimini Gin in a Negroni Bianco made me want to use two kinds of Dolin Vermouth. The Blanc cause duh, but the Dry was calling my name from the fridge. So I said, “Ok, y’all can both be in the drink but only if the Salers agrees to it!” The Salers DID agree, so here we have a four ingrdient Negroni Bianco. (Rules? What rules?)

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Sweet Melissa, how I love thee, let me count the springtime ways!

Melissa Negroni

  • 1 1/4 oz Bimini Gin
  • 3/4 oz Dolin Blanc
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1/2 Salers Aperitif

Garnish: Lemon Balm leaf

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into double Rocks glass over ice. Spank the Melissa, rub it on the rim of the glass, and garnish.

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SUUUUUUPER nice for this late spring #NegroniWeek! Cheers!

Bimini Gin: Sunshine in a Bottle

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Woooooohoo-hoo-hoo y’all, I’ve got it! I’ve got the fun we’ve been looking for!

I recently had the supreme pleasure of tasting a new Gin at Pouring Ribbons here in NYC. It was one of their Monday night 80s parties and they were making Pretty In Pink themed cocktails. I saw a tasty looking Negroni variation with Bimini Gin, Campari, Red Grapefruit + some other fun stuff and ordered one.

It was totally awesome and the Gin was soooooooo good!

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Like SO SO SO GOOD! Fortunately for me, Darren Case (creator of Bimini) was at the party handing out samples of his fabulous Gin and I got to taste it.

With notes of Citrus peel, flowers, Coriander, Cardamom, a shimmering viscosity, and some kind of extra magic, Bimini Gin is literally perfect for hot weather cocktails. Like, I want to make a million Tom Collins with this stuff.

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But first things first, what do we do when we get a new Gin? We make a Martini.

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For Bimini Gin, I felt a Melissa Martini was the best way to go cause this bright, sunny Gin is begging for Lemon Balm + Dolin Blanc.

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I’ve changed the ratios from the original Melissa Martini and nixed the Absinthe to better pair with the lightness of Bimini Gin.

Melissa Martini No. 2

  • 2 1/4 oz Bimini Gin
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc (Carpano Bianco would be awesome too)
  • Garnish: Lemon Balm leaf

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr til it becomes a bit cloudy. Strain into chilled coupe. Spank the Lemon Balm leaf, rub it on the glass, smell it, and garnish.

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You can bet I will be making more cocktails with Bimini Gin, so stay tuned! Cheers to our upcoming summer weather!