The first rule of drinking is to stay hydrated, and this refreshing gin cocktail does all that and more while also looking stunning in a glass. I was recently chatting with Hendrick's gin, a sponsor of the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, about the cocktails they'll be slinging at the event, and they shared with me the Night of the Iguana, a green juice-based cocktail riffing off of spa water. I couldn't help but fall in love with the idea, so I headed into the kitchen to whip some up.
Now the cocktail starts with a happy pour of Hendrick's, one of my favorite takes on gin as they add both Bulgarian rose and cucumber to its aromatic mix. It really is quite refreshing and bright, a perfect accompaniment to this cocktail. Next up, some Ancho Reyes Verde, which is actually a very unique spirit. For anyone who grew up loving Southwest flavors (i.e. roasted green hatch chilies), this is the liquor for you. It's a subtly spiced, smokey, and funky addition that I think works really well with these flavors.
Next come the juices: salty celery, refreshing cucumber, and sour lemon. Add to that a little simple syrup for some sweetness and a pinch of salt, and your taste buds will be greeted with what honestly tastes like a spa. Imagine waking up after a long massage to find cucumber petals over your eyes and a melodic harpsichord playing in the distance. It's all the flavors of relaxation rolled into one, and I for sure am going to be drinking these all year-long.
If you're looking to try this sooner rather than later, Hendrick's will be making these at the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival from Aug. 24 to 27.
- Into an ice-filled shaker, add gin, ancho reyes verde, celery juice, cucumber juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, and just a dash of sea salt. Shake vigorously until chilled.
- Strain over an ice-filled glass, and garnish with a cucumber wheel dusted in sea salt.
- Drinks, Cocktails
- 1 cocktail