It's shaken — you would think there are ten ingredients and five or six steps.
The strawberry-rhubarb gimlet is the result of a quest to find the perfect San Diego winter cocktail, says Andrew Guerrera, Top of the Hyatt’s assistant food and beverage manager.
One Market Place, San Diego
“And since we are in San Diego, you want to put ‘winter’ in quotations,” he tells me. “We’re not New York or Chicago, so we were looking for something with a familiar homey flavor combination to brighten it up and make more mild — like a San Diego winter.”
According to Guerrera, as he developed the recipe, the biggest challenge was figuring out how to avoid “jamming” the drink.
“We had a hard time figuring out how to balance the sweetness from the jam and agave and also the drink’s viscosity,” he says. “We use a prepared jam — but we didn’t want the drink to be thick like a Mud Slide. So getting the right viscosity was the biggest balancing act we had.”
Besides possessing the right seasonal flavor, the strawberry-gin-lime combination, Guerrera says, connect with each other in surprising ways.
“You’re going to get some layers with this drink,” he says. “The first thing you’re going to taste is the strawberry, then the juniper from the gin, and the acidity from the fresh lime juice.”
What came next surprised Guerrera and his bartending team.
“The drink balances out with the rhubarb,” he says. “That’s what gives the cocktail a little earthiness to balance with the sweetness from the strawberries and sugar from the jam. It’s a shaken cocktail and, not getting into a whole lot of steps to prepare it, but given the flavors you experience, you would think there are ten ingredients and five or six steps to make the cocktail.”
Strawberry Rhubarb Gimlet
- 1 ¼ oz. Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin
- 1 oz. strawberry rhubarb jam
- ½ oz. agave
- ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 splash soda water
- Add first four ingredients, shake and strain into a bucket glass, top with soda water, and garnish with 2–3 freeze-dried strawberries.