Blush – A Sorrel Julep


Sometimes inspiration strikes you at unusual places. This was also the case with this cocktail: When I was passing the herb bed the other day I noticed some sorrel growing and instantly thought: “Why not use it in a cocktail?”. Consequently, it did not take me long to invented a drink using it and with the Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin I had just another culinary inspired product on hand that seemed just right for the task!


I cannot really tell you why I decided to make a Julep using the sorrel, but I guess I thought that otherwise its bitter and sour taste would overwhelm the cocktail. With the drink category set, the rest of the mix was inspired by a cocktail I had at the Goldene Bar in Munich. What stayed with me from enjoying the Gin On Gin Julep was the ingenious combination of genever and gin. In my mind combining two similar spirits is a very clever trick, because it creates a more complex and deeper flavour profile. Other great examples of this technique would be combinations of mezcal and tequila or dark and white rum.

For the Blush cocktail, I used a combination of Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin and Rutte & Zn Paradyswyn Genever. You could probably also try this with another gin, but I liked the culinary aspect of using saffron in this drink. The same thing applies for the Paradyswyn Genever, you could substitute it with another one, but the result definitely will be different. Another important aspect of preparing this drink is to just slightly press the sorrel and not to crush it. I do not know if you ever tried sorrel on its own, but it tastes sour in the beginning and then turns bitter. As mentioned above the goal here is just a slight sorrel taste and not an undrinkable mixture.

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3 cl Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin
3 cl Rutte & Zn Paradyswyn Genever
3 Dashes The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters
1 cl Simple Syrup
8 Leafs Sorrel
Add sorrel and simple syrup to julep mug – slightly press sorrel with barspoon – add crushed ice and gin – stir – add more crushed ice and the rest of ingredients – add more ice – stir until mug is covered with a slight layer of ice on outside;
Garnish: Sorrel Leaves
Song: Chet Faker – Blush

The first sip of the cocktail reminds me of a classic Mint Julep, but that might just be because of the Julep cup. After a while you will notice a flavour combination of gin and sorrel, with a somewhat sour aftertaste. With a little more temperature the genever makes its way through the mix and its malt notes become more prominent. Underneath it all lies a delicate savoury taste reminiscent of celery bitters and saffron. Be advised though, this one goes down fairly easily and you will be craving another one soon! Especially if it is a hot summer day. I know a lot of people already think of the regular Mint Julep as a summer drink. However, if you are a bartender, chances are high that you are used to making them with overproof Bourbon, which in turns makes it less suitable for hot weather conditions. Moreover, the combination of herbs, gin and genever is just awesome! If you can think of any further spirit matches made in heaven, please let me know!

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