Summer Pimm’s Infusion

Matthew Biancaniello
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Now that summer is officially here, let’s have a final fling before Brexit.    When the world seems to be falling apart, perhaps we can find some small comfort in this English staple and offer a paean to these months of warm weather.

For me there is no other drink more perfect to celebrate summer than the Pimm’s Cup. I have never been a fan of the original Pimm’s, so I set out to create my own rendition. Using the fruits of the harvest, I created an explosive infusion of apricots and rhubarb.  Of course, there had to be good old British gin, but here it is  infused with Italian vermouth and Danish and French liqueurs.  I added an extra touch with some avocado leaves, so the rest of the world doesn’t feel left out!

Let’s all get in bed together for old times’ sake.

Summer Pimm’s Infusion

Makes 6 cups

Ingredients

7 avocado leaves

4 rhubarb stalks, diced

8 Blenheim apricots, halved and pitted

2 cups Fords gin

2 cups Punt e Mes

1 cup Cherry Heering liqueur

1 cup Grand Marnier

Directions

Place the avocado leaves, rhubarb and apricots in a two-quart jar and pour in the gin, Punt e Mes, Cherry Heering liqueur and Grand Marnier.  Cover and set aside in a cool, dark place to infuse for one week.  Strain into clean glass bottles.  The Pimm’s Infusion will keep in a cool, dry place for up to two months or in the refrigerator for up to six months.

Infusing rhubarb into the base really helps to cut the sweetness and bring out the complexity.  I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t go crazy over this.

Pimm’s Cup

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

¾ oz. fresh lime juice

½ oz. agave syrup

¼ oz. fresh ginger juice

2 slices lemon cucumber

3 shiso leaves

2 oz. Summer Pimm’s Infusion

sprig of flowering wild fennel

Directions

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime juice, agave, ginger juice, lemon cucumber, and shiso leaves.  Add the Pimm’s Infusion and ice, shake and strain into a wineglass filled with ice.  Garnish with the sprig of flowering wild fennel.

Matthew Biancaniello is a premier cocktail chef, author of “Eat Your Drink” and host of the A&E show “Good Spirits.”

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