You know that fucking miserable part of the winter when all the cozy holidays are over and it’s just cold and dark and wet and everything’s still dead and it seems like it will never end and all you want to do is wear some cute fucking open-toed flats? Well, we’re way past that because it’s FUCKING APRIL, but it snowed here in Kansas City on Easter and my phone tells me it’s going to snow again on Friday AND on Sunday and really I just can’t take it anymore.
My solution? Stay inside and drink while wearing my cute shoes — at least until it’s safe to go outside in them. My cocktail of choice is the Hazy Shade of Spring, a cold-weather twist on one of my warm-weather favorites, the Paloma. While the Paloma is made with tequila and grapefruit, this gets a hint of smokiness from mezcal. And there’s rosemary too — BECAUSE ROSEMARY JUST FUCKING SCREAMS “WINTER!”
The Hazy Shade of Spring
2 ounces mezcal
3 ounces grapefruit juice
3/4 ounce rosemary simple syrup (see below)
Sea salt (and some grapefruit) for garnish
Rosemary sprig for garnish
Moisten the rim of an old fashioned or stemless wine glass with a grapefruit wedge, then gently roll the rim of the glass on a plate of sea salt and set aside. Add the mezcal, grapefruit juice and rosemary simple syrup to a cocktail shaker or wide-mouth mason jar with a handful of ice, then shake the shit out of it and strain it into the salt-rimmed glass. Add a handful of ice or a large ice cube, garnish with a rosemary sprig and enjoy!
To make the rosemary simple syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 4 to 6 fresh rosemary sprigs in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to low to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain and discard the rosemary, then set the syrup aside (or refrigerate it) to cool. This will make about 1 cup and the extra will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to two weeks (I mean, look, it will probably keep longer but I’m covering my ass here, okay?).
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