spirits

French 75: but make it art 

In honor of this month’s art theme, I thought I’d take things literally. I chose to utilize a product from Collective Arts, which is a distillery and a brewery operating out of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. While they have been brewing beer for nearly ten years, they only recently started distilling, beginning with a dry gin and a “one off” gin, distilled with rhubarb and hibiscus. 

And Collective Arts does more for art than have the word in its name. They support artists by rotating the designs on their beer cans to showcase different work from different people. This makes their cans as interesting, fun and cool as their contents! 

I chose to use their rhubarb and hibiscus gin, so that means that if you’re interested, get it while you can — this bottle won’t be available forever! You can find bottles right now at Nikki’s Liquors on Branch Ave in PVD. 

This month’s cocktail is a play off of a French 75: a lovely, refreshing gin-based cocktail that is perfect for this warmer weather. 

To make this, you will need about a teaspoon of dried hibiscus petals and twice as much of your choice of sugar (granulated, raw, whatever you like!). 

Combine the hibiscus petals and sugar and muddle until the hibiscus petals break up and become small, nearly as small as the sugar grains if you can. Mix the hibiscus and sugar thoroughly. Pour evenly onto a small plate. 

Collective 75

1 ½ ounce Collective Arts Rhubarb and Hibiscus Gin

¾ ounce lemon juice

¾ ounce simple syrup 

1 lemon wedge, scored

Hibiscus petal sugar

1 ounce cava (dry sparkling wine)

Run lemon wedge around the rim of a champagne flute to make it sticky. Discard lemon wedge. 

Put the flute upside down in the hibiscus sugar and rotate so that the sugar and petals stick to the rim. Place right side up. 

In a shaker with ice, combine the gin, juice, and simple syrup. Shake and strain into the champagne flute. Top slowly with cava.

The hibiscus sugar rim will have tart notes, like cranberry, and will be a sweet, tangy prelude to this dry sparkling cocktail. On the palate, the drink will be light with juniper-forward, summery notes from the Collective Arts gin and dry bubbles from the cava. 

Cheers to art! 

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