Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Queer Martini, for Everyone

Behold the Queer Martini: pink and beautiful, and delicious.
Pair with some salty snacks.

We’d like to share with you a new cocktail recipe that has consistently graced our palates over the past year. We’ve been drinking this cocktail with regularity because it’s so darn good, and because it’s easy to make, with only three ingredients, plus a garnish.

Created by Paul for The Scofield literary journal, the Queer Martini is an odd little fellow. The editor-in-chief, Tyler Malone, asked Paul to read “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” by mid-twentieth-century writer Conrad Aiken and to come up with a drink inspired by that tale of a young man, also named Paul, who hears and sees things no one else does, such as the snow in the title. It’s a much more complex tale, but the cocktail Paul came up with is quite simple: it’s pink and made with gin and Cocchi Americano Rosa, which gives it its blushing hue, plus a green olive, offering a queer-looking drink in all senses of the word. It looks a little on the sweet side, so what, you may ask, is an olive doing in this drink? Is it a martini? Why, yes, it is, and very old-school in its liberal use of a fortified wine, like the first martinis did back in the day. Regardless of the Queer Martini’s progenitors, what really matters is that it’s delicious and pairs well with little nibbles. Having one (or two) is a great way to unwind after a long day at work. (We speak from experience.) Bottoms up!

Queer Martini
(created by Paul Zablocki)

Ingredients
2 ounces gin (try Dorothy Parker)
1 ounce Cocchi Americano Rosa
1 dash orange bitters
1 green olive, as garnish

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktails glass or coupe. Add garnish.

❤ ❤ ❤

To read Paul’s essay how he came up with the cocktail—in the style of Aiken’s “Silent Snow, Secret Snow,” visit The Scofield.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

From Ginger to Cinnamon to Galangal: Traversing the Globe in Search of the Right Amount of Spice for Friday Night Drinks, Dinner, and Dessert

by Paul Zablocki

If we’re going to have a vodka cocktail, it better taste good, like this one. The Lemonade Ginger Fizz. Sweet, sour, and fizzy. 
Friday night is pizza night. You know the drill: one of you picks up four different slices from your local pizzeria; the other makes cocktails, which sometimes linger well into pizza time.

This Friday was different. Steve made, to my amazement, what could only be called a glorified vodka and soda.* Of course he had to make it special, or why bother?
* The following is a short rant against the vodka and soda, the most boring, stupid, worthless cocktail in the world: It means you want to get drunk and you don’t care how you get there. You might as well hammer a sign to your forehead saying I enjoy the taste of nothing. Why are you cock blocking your taste buds? You’re having a drink; why not actually taste and enjoy the spirits you are imbibing . . . okay, I’m done kvetching—for now.
Steve chose vodka as his base Friday night because he didn’t want to get whiskey-tired. It’s the perfect spirit to mix with when you still have dinner and dessert to contend with. So after he handed me the highball and I tried it, I said, “Wow, that’s really good. A little spicy. What did you put in it, besides the obvious?”

“A little ginger syrup we already had in the fridge and a lot of lemon juice.”

(So, It really wasn’t a vodka and soda. But I’m not sorry for the rant.)

Steve doesn’t like his drinks too sweet before dinner. But he does love sours, with just the right amount of sweetener so you still get that pucker after you take a sip.

Lemonade Ginger Fizz
(created by Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz)

Serves 2

Ingredients
3 ounces vodka
1 1/4 ounces lemon juice
1 ounce ginger syrup*
soda

Method
Shake the vodka, lemon juice, and ginger syrup in ice for 15 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with soda.

Enjoy with potato chips.

*Ginger Syrup
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
1 piece of fresh ginger, about 8 inches
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of water

Method
Wash then mandolin or thinly slice the ginger (no need to peel). In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water, and ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to bring to a roiling boil at this point as this will cause the syrup to harden. Allow to cool with ginger in syrup. Strain into jar. Press down on ginger to get all the syrup out. This keeps for about 1–2 weeks, and longer if you add a tablespoon of vodka or other spirit.

❤ ❤ ❤

The ginger stimulated our appetites, so after a few of those fizzes, we decided to make dinner. Steve found a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated, July/August 2016, for the classic Mexican dish tinga de pollo and riffed on it. Normally, you plop the shredded chicken—cooked with cinnamon, cumin, and chipotle chiles in adobo sauce—on a corn tortilla, but since we only had flour tortillas, tacos transmogrified into burritos. Each spice had its moment to shine, but ultimately the smoky adobo sauce makes the dish. You get addicted. Sour cream and lots of Cotija cheese are good foils for the piquant heat of the chiles in the adobo, so we added the sour cream for its cooling effect and the Cotija for its funk. As burritos, they are filling, so we stopped after one, knowing full well that dessert was just a belch and an expectant smile away.

And so dessert. I actually made something I had been pondering for several weeks: galangal ice cream. Just to make sure I wasn’t barking up the wrong tree, I googled galangal ice cream and found one recipe, on the New York Times Web site, then riffed (riffing is a common theme in our kitchen). For those of you new to galangal (pronounced GAL-in-GAL), it’s a rhizome similar to ginger but not as spicy. When you take a whiff of one of the gnarly bulbs, which look like the shiny, articulated segments of a giant insect, you instantly smell camphor, with an undertone of sweet mustard. How can this possibly make for a delicious ice cream? Well, when you add the divine Hawaiian lehua honey (I also used honey from its relative the New Zealand rata) and an udderful of cream and milk, you can’t lose. If you can find fresh galangal (look in Asian markets) and you own an ice cream maker, I say go for it. When you serve it, grab some gourmet—or, better yet, homemade—cookies and make some sandwiches.

Galangal and Honey Ice Cream
(adapted from William Grimes, New York Times)

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lehua or rata honey (or a combination of the two)
3 ounces or 1/2 cup fresh galangal, peeled (as much as you can) and chopped
6 large egg yolks

Method
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, honey, sugar, and galangal. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool, then transfer to a covered container. Refrigerate at least eight hours, or overnight, to infuse the flavor of the galangal.

Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl, whisk until blended, and set aside. Return the galangal mixture to a metal bowl placed over a pot of boiling water (make sure the water level does not reach the bottom of the metal bowl filled with your mixture; I like to use a medium-size “industrial” salad bowl that hangs well over the perimeter of the pot below, so I can easily manipulate the bowl; however, if you have a double boiler, use the double boiler) over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Slowly mix about a cup of the hot galangal mixture into the egg yolks. Add the yolk mixture to the bowl. Cook over low heat, stirring slowly, until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat.

Strain the custard into a mixing bowl, and place in a container of ice water to cool. When the custard is chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Galangal and honey ice cream is easy to make and unique. It's also delicious.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A “Brilliant” Cocktail Keeps a Roomful of Book Critics Happy

The “Brilliant” cocktail shines with the flavors of spicy ginger, lime, and Junípero gin. Make our spicy ginger syrup and you’re ready to dazzle your guests at your upcoming spring/summer party. Photo by Steve Schul.

We’re thrilled now that warm weather has returned — especially after such a long, cold winter. To combat memories of the abominable blizzards, we came up with a “Brilliant” solution. This drink was created for the National Book Critics Circle spring cocktail party 2015, held at the Center for Fiction, in East Midtown. Sarah Russo — a terrific publicist and advocate for the NBCC — gave us only one requirement for the cocktail: we must use Junípero gin, by Anchor Distilling Company of San Francisco. We love this juniper-heavy dry gin, laced with many other herb and bark flavors, and were thrilled to have it as a starting point. The evening’s forecast was warm and very humid, so a cool refreshing drink was in order. We started out with the French 75 as inspiration, and as the basis for the proportions. Lime juice with ginger sounded tropically thirst quenching—a good pairing for the gin. We mixed up a batch of our own Cocktail Buzz spicy ginger syrup, added gin, squeezed some fresh lime juice, shook it up with ice to chill, and topped it all with champagne. Delicious and refreshing—a new summertime favorite! We served it that night to the thirsty literary crowd of book critics and might have heard a murmur, or perhaps the review . . . “Brilliant!”

Paul and Steve mix up some “Brilliant” cocktails for the National Book Critics Circle spring cocktail party. Photo courtesy Sean Sime.
“Brilliant”
(created by Cocktail Buzz for the NBCC)

Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces Junípero gin (or one redolent with juniper)
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce Cocktail Buzz spicy ginger syrup*
2 ounces champagne

Method
Shake gin, lime juice, and ginger syrup in an ice-filled shaker for 15 seconds. Strain into a champagne flute or highball glass. Top with champagne. (You can add an ice cube or two if it’s a particularly close night.)

*Cocktail Buzz Spicy Ginger Syrup

Ingredients
6 ounces fresh, unpeeled ginger, washed and diced (or sliced with a mandoline or pulsed in a food processor)
3 cups of water
1 1/2 cups sugar
pinch salt

Method
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Strain mixture into a jar and store in refrigerator for about a week.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Two Tang Cocktails To Send You Into Orbit

Calling all Apollo 11 Aficionados! Try our orange, scotch, and amaretto cocktail,
A Midwinter Tang.

Our friends Sara Kate Gillingham and Penny de los Santos asked us to come up with a Tang cocktail, one that would kick off a dinner for six winners of a school raffle, who requested the menu be based on Tricky Dick Nixon’s White House dinner to honor the Apollo 11 astronauts. The reason they asked for such a cocktail was simple: one of the lucky recipients of Sara Kate and Penny’s feast—turns out it was his birthday—requested that the powdered mix, which was used to fuel the astronauts, fuel him as well.

The first question we asked was, Do they still make that stuff?

The answer, we discovered, was a resounding yes—although, we had to ask our checkout worker at the grocery store where to find it. There are two sizes: first, a jug that you can rest easily in the palm of your hand and second, a container four times the size of the jug, suitable only for overly large families. We opted for the former. But we discovered why those containers were so big: it takes two tablespoons of Tang to make one serving!

Both Penny, a photographer, and Sara Kate, founding editor of The Kitchn, love scotch, bourbon, and gin, so they asked us to use one of those spirits in the cocktail. We immediately reached for the bourbon, whipped up a small batch of Tang, and mixed the two. All it made were two sad faces. But like intrepid astronauts, we persisted, eager to explore unknown terrain. Although the bourbony Tang did not send us into orbit, the scotchy and ginny Tangs did. So we decided to make two separate drinks. Our goal was to keep them simple but make sure that orangey Tang-y essence made our mouths vibrate a little.

Here’s what we came up with:

A Midwinter Tang
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces light blended scotch whisky (we used Glendrostan)*
1 ounce Tang
1/2 ounce amaretto (we used Luxardo)
1 dash Angostura bitters

Method
Shake in ice for 15 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe (or on the rocks in a rocks glass, if you prefer). Serve with salty and spicy potato chips.

* Feel free to try any scotch on hand. We also tried A Midwinter Tang with Drumguish Single Highland Malt, and it made the drink delightfully tingly.

The Orbiter
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces London dry gin
3/4 ounce Tang
1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
1 dash Angostura bitters

Method
Shake in ice for 15 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe (or on the rocks in a rocks glass, with a splash of soda, if you prefer). Serve with salty potato chips.

❤ ❤ ❤

Sara Kate and Penny chose A Midwinter Tang to serve the winners. Asked if they liked it, Sara Kate responded, “Maybe too much.” Check out her writeup of the event on The Kitchn.

photo © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cocktail Recipes for You to Ponder (and Make) This Thanksgiving

The Biscotti Manhattan offers a hint of the famous Italian cookie, with notes of cocoa and cherries. Perfect with Bacon-wrapped Apricots.

We are the proud yet ashamed owners of cocktail recipes scribbled across stacks of mismatched scratch papers, napkins, business cards, index cards, menus, and the ubiquitous Post-Its. We call them strays. As Thanksgiving approaches, we decided to shed ourselves of things that do not or no longer give us joy. Scraps of paper are those things. So before tossing them into the wastebasket of thwarted dreams, we decided to publish a few recipes that actually sounded good. Invite one of these strays over for Thanksgiving. Feel free to substitute whatever you see fit, or better fits with what you have on your shelf. Don’t have Dubonnet rouge, then substitute a sweet vermouth or another quinquina. Try them all up or on the rocks with a splash of soda. We hope you enjoy experimenting behind the bar (and in the kitchen) as much as we do. Here’s to you and all the fun you bring to flavor.

Fall Pear Manhattan
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce pear liqueur
1/2 ounce Dubonnet rouge
dash whiskey bitters
1/4 teaspoon Velvet Falernum
pear slice, as garnish

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Add garnish.

Biscotti Manhattan
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce Faretti Biscotti Famosi liqueur
1 dash mole bitters
maraschino or brandied cherry, as garnish

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Add garnish.

The Biscotti Manhattan pairs perfectly with Bacon-wrapped apricots with fresh sage. So easy to make, yet the rewards are infinite.

Bacon-wrapped Apricots with Sage
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
package quality bacon
package unsulfured dried apricots
bunch fresh sage

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking tray completely with parchment paper, so that it hangs a little over the sides. If apricots do not seem bite-size, cut in half. Cut bacon slices into thirds. Wrap bacon slice around apricot piece and place on parchment, seam-side down. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bacon has reached desired doneness.

Pair them with any of the cocktails on this page, or with a William Tell All cocktail or a ’69 cocktail for a “Perfect Pairing.”

Maple–Rye Highball
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
1 1/4 ounces rye
1/2 ounce Sortilège maple liqueur
2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6
maple water, carbonated

Method
Shake for 15 seconds in ice. Strain into chilled glasses and top with maple water.

Dutch Negroni
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
1 ounce genever gin (we used Bols)
1 ounce Aperol
1 ounce sweet vermouth (we used Martini & Rossi)
dash camomile tincture
orange peel, expressed and rubbed around rim

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Add garnish.

Gin and Aperol
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces G’Vine Floraison gin
1 ounce Aperol
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce Galliano l’Autentico
1 dash Boker’s bitters

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Add garnish.


Golden Bees
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
1 ounce bourbon
1/ ounce Berentzen Bushel & Barrel
1/2 ounce goldwasser
dash Boker’s bitters

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Add garnish.

❤ ❤ ❤

Even if you never make any of these tantalizing concoctions or nibbles, we hope they inspired some of your own ideas. Share them with us.

photos © Cocktail Buzz

Monday, September 22, 2014

What’s More Apt Than Bourbon and Branch to Celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month?

Welcome the new season with simplicity itself: Bourbon and Branch.

Autumn in New York. A time for reflecting summer’s end as the days darken more quickly, and for completing old projects and starting new chapters. It’s also the time of year when our tastes turn to earthier, deeper-seasoned flavors. So we reach for bourbon when we want to satisfy our fall-lust for darker spirits. Serendipitous, since we celebrate America’s “native spirit” in a thirty-day celebration known as National Bourbon Heritage Month.

One of our new favorite bourbons, Four Roses Small Batch, blends “four original & proprietary Bourbons . . . to reward you with a mellow symphony of sweet, fruity aromas and rich, spicy flavors.” They’re not kidding. Deep, sweet-oak wood char, and rich caramel swirl around your nostrils upon first whiff. It’s seductive. Pour yourself a little and add a few drops of water to open up the spirit; let its esters do their magic when they hit your nose and tongue. Now add a splash of water and an ice cube. Give it a little swirl. You’re on your way to making one of the simplest drinks out there. Bourbon and Branch.

The “Bourbon” part of the name is obvious, but what, you ask, is “branch”? Branch is actually plain, still water added to a mixed drink. In the South, some folks call a stream or creek a branch, hence the simple leap for branch to mean plain water.

Bourbon and Branch

Ingredients
2 ounces bourbon (try Four Roses Small Batch, perfect at 90 proof)
3 ounces still water (filtered would be best)

Method
Add to an ice-filled highball or double-rocks glass. Stir. Note: Sometimes we prefer our Bourbon and Branch with just one ice cube or no ice at all if were looking to warm ourselves up from a crisp night on the town.

❤ ❤ ❤

A note about water: How important is water to cocktails? Without it, you would have a warm glass of whatever it was you were mixing. Dilution is the essential step. It comes from shaking or stirring ice that’s commingling with the other ingredients. Close your eyes and think of a bartender. What is she doing? Most likely, shaking the drink she’s making for you. Naturally, you think of ice when you think about making drinks. You hear that unmistakable sound of clinks and clanks; involuntarily, you start to shake your torso to the rhythm of the bartender’s forceful yet graceful movements. All performed to make your drink explode with flavors and aromas that lay dormant until H2O introduced itself to the game. Water, therefore, is the paramount ingredient in your drink.

According to the Ultimate Dallas Web site, “JR’s favourite tipple was bourbon and branch. It was his drink of choice after a long day at the office to help him unwind.”

J.R.’s Bourbon and Branch

Ingredients
2 ounces bourbon whiskey*
4 ounces mineral water

Method
Pour the bourbon and water into a highball glass almost filled with ice cubes.

For a neat twist on Bourbon and Branch, we decided to use BetterSweet maple water for the “Branch” portion of the drink. If you’re not familiar with maple water, it’s all the rage, and for good reason. Its texture caresses your palate like velvet and tastes like red velvet cake (but just a hint). BetterSweet is only one ingredient: 100% organic maple sap, “sweetened by nature.”

Maple Bourbon and Branch

Ingredients
2 ounces bourbon (try Four Roses Small Batch, perfect at 90 proof)
3 ounces maple water (try BetterSweet)

Method
Add to an ice-filled highball or double-rocks glass. Stir. Note: Sometimes we prefer our Maple Bourbon and Branch with just one ice cube.

❤ ❤ ❤

There will be times when you’ll want something fizzy added to your bourbon. So we experimented with the BetterSweet maple water and turned it into maple soda to make a Maple Bourbon Highball. Make sure you use a self-contained soda syphon that requires a disposable single-use charger. Soda Syphons, once a staple of the American household, can handle liquids that contain sugar. Soda chargers that require you to screw a canister to the device will result in disaster because sugar plus CO2 produces a megaton amount of carbonation. But if a SodaStream is the only device you have to carbonate water, and you are hellbent on making soda water with maple water, make sure you only charge it a bit. Once you see water squirting out the top, it’s time to let go of the plunger.

Maple Bourbon Highball
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
2 ounces bourbon
3 ounces carbonated maple water (read about it, above)
ice

Method
Add bourbon to an ice-filled highball or double-rocks glass. Top with carbonated maple water. Stir.

photo © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fruity Libations for a Long Labor Day Weekend

How about a red grape, strawberry, tarragon syrup in your highball this Labor Day weekend?

Ah Labor Day, the harbinger of summer’s end. Shindigs galore from sea to shining sea.

According to Wikipedia,
Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.
It’s also better known as a guaranteed day off for those who work zombie-inducing 9-to-5 jobs, most likely in a beige environment.

Although beige has its moments, that moment is not now.

We imagine that cocktails will be a part of your Labor Day Weekend festivities at some point, so we have an idea whereby colorful and fruit-flavored syrups shine as the key ingredient in a tasty and tantalizing highball. It’s easy to make and, when added to your favorite booze and topped with soda or seltzer, easier to imbibe. You like the color red? May we recommend a raspberry syrup. Magenta get you excited? Then look no further than blueberries. Purple best defines you? Well, concord grapes should be on your grocery list today. And because of the extra day off you definitely have the time.

Demand color in your Labor Day Weekend cocktails or you might end up feeling a little beige.

Over the years, we have made some delectable syrups that have become the bases for cocktail experiments, both wild and tame. Here a few uncommon suggestions:
  • red or black currant
  • gooseberry (okay, we admit this can be a pale, almost beige, syrup if using green ones, but the flavor is one-of-a-kind)
  • red grapes, strawberries, tarragon (use twice as many red grapes to strawberries, and a handful of tarragon)
Fruit Syrup
(adapted from the NY Times recipe for Raspberry Syrup)

This is a classic fruit syrup recipe that can be halved.

Ingredients
2 cups colorful fruit, in any combination (berries and stone fruits work well)
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
herbs and spices (use your judgment here; strong herbs such as thyme may be overwhelming in large quantities whereas lighter herbs such as tarragon may be used in wild abandon)

Method
Combine berries, 2 tablespoons sugar, and a cup of water in a heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring so that the fruit begins to break down and get mushy. (If you’re using a fruit with skins that resist easy breakup, such as grapes, you should mash them a little.) Now, to stop the cooking process, add a cup and a half of cold water to the fruit mixture. If you are using herbs and spices and lemon juice, now is the time to add them as well (for the lemon juice, you can just squeeze some from a half lemon into the fruit mixture). Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. If a lot of foam collects at the top, you can try to skim it off. Now is the time to separate the fruit mixture. You’ll best be served by a cheesecloth-lined strainer here, as a strainer alone may allow little bits of skin and seeds into your syrup. Trust us, you don’t want that. Pour the mixture carefully through the lined strainer into a bowl. You’ll want to get as much syrup out of the mixture as possible, so use a masher, muddler, or any implement you can find and press on the fruit until you’ve extracted every last sweet drop of fruit syrup. Return the liquid to the saucepan (make sure you’ve rinsed the saucepan throughly) and add 1 to 1/2 cups of sugar (depending on your sweet tooth). Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then turn up the heat until the liquid comes to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. (If you want a thicker syrup, cook for about 6 minutes.) Remove from heat. Let cool. Add vodka and stir to incorporate (vodka will make the syrup last longer). Refrigerate in a clean container with a good seal or screw cap. This should last for two weeks, and with vodka up to a month.

Makes between 2 to 2 1/2 cups.

Fruit Syrup Highball

Ingredients
1 to 2 ounces fruit syrup (less if you like a drier drink)
1 1/2 ounces your favorite spirit (brown spirits will make your drink darker)
3 to 4 ounces soda or seltzer
slice of citrus, brandied cherry, or the fruit you used in the syrup, as garnish (optional)

Method
Shake syrup and spirit for ten seconds in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Top with soda. Add garnish. Sip. Do not even think about that beige office.

Fruit Syrup Soda

Ingredients
1 to 2 ounces fruit syrup (less if you like a drier drink)
3 to 4 ounces soda or seltzer
slice of citrus, brandied cherry, or the fruit you used in the syrup, as garnish (optional)

Method
Add syrup to an ice-filled rocks glass. Top with soda. Stir. Add garnish.