I love a good Paloma, but I have to admit…
You can never have too many refreshing summertime cocktails to choose from. Many drinks can be turned into hot weather drinks if they are served icy cold, but the best summer cocktails will produce a cooling sensation as you sip them. The Southside is one classic cocktail that I never get tired of. It’s a simple drink made with gin, lime, simple syrup and mint. The combination of gin, citrus and mint is amazing – especially as that thermometer climbs.
This cocktail deals with fresh mint in a slightly unusual way: it is shaken in with the rest of the ingredients, not muddled or smashed before mixing. Muddling mint is a great way to get the herb to release its natural oils, however in this case, I like the mint to be mild and understated. You’ll still taste mint in the finished cocktail, but the lime is going to be much more pronounced than the mint. The mint ensures that the finish is clean and refreshing, without this cocktail turning into a gin-based mojito.
I recommend using an herbacious gin for this cocktail – something like Hendricks or Money 47 – not a London dry. While I enjoy a good London dry, very juniper-heavy gins can overpower the mint and citrus easily. If you only have London dry, try increasing the mint and simple syrup a bit to temper it and bring those refreshing elements forward a bit more.
2 oz. Gin (such as Hendrick’s or Monkey 47)
1 oz. Lime Juice
3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
10 Mint Leaves
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, fill with ice and shake vigorously until very well chilled. Double strain into a coupe. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf.