Cesar Ritz cocktail

Another winner from The Modern Mixologist!

2 oz. Hendrix gin

1 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur

6 chunks of peeled English cucumber

10-12 fresh spearmint leaves

1 oz. of fresh squeezed lime juice

In a mixing glass, muddle the cucumber, and mint    and St. Germain. Add gin and lime juice.Shake with ice until well blended. Double strain into a chilled glass and garnish with cucumber slices.

Summer Cocktail

The Modern Mixologist by Tony Abou-Gamin is a fabulous book with exciting cocktails!

2 oz. rosemary infused Hendrix gin (if you don’t want to infuse the gin, just muddle the rosemary with the strawberries etc. in step one.

2 oz. lemon sour (made by making 2 parts fresh lemon juice and 1 part simple syrup) Simple syrup is made  with sugar and water, equal parts, boil until sugar is dissolved, cool and store in refrigerator

1/2 t. balsamic reduction (made by reducing one bottle of balsamic to a syrupy stage)

2 fresh basil leaves

2-3 fresh strawberries, or fresh seasonal fruit

In a mixing glass, add strawberries, basil and balsamic reduction and muddle. Add gin and lemon sour and shake with ice until well blended. Double strain, if desired into a chilled glass.

Caramel Cake

This recipe came from Gourmet magazine, January, 2008

2 cups plus 2T. sifted cake flour

1 t. baking powder

3/4 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 t. pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temp

1 cup well shaken buttermilk

Caramel Glaze

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 T. light corn syrup

pinch of salt

1 t. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the middle. Butter an 8″ square cake pan, line with parchment and butter the parchment.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer and medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. At low speed beat in the buttermilk-it will look curdled and separated but do not despair! Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing each until just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on the counter top several times to eliminate air bubbles Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a rack to cool for one hour. Discard parchment paper and flip cake right side up and cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the glaze, bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil until glaze registers 210-212 degrees on a thermometer or at least 15 minutes, then stir in vanilla.  Pour glaze over the cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.