The heat makes me lazy. Once summer comes around and I am freshly reminded of the fact that my home has no air conditioning, I find it hard to peel myself from the cool sticky leather of my basement’s sofa. I have to come across something really, really tempting to lure me away from the sweet solid 62 degree dampness of the cellar and a full netflix queue, and this gin citrus punch is one of the few things that qualifies. I love this recipe for several reasons; first, because of how easy it is so make (see heat = laziness), second, because of the refreshing flavors that are the essence of gin and citrus, and third, because of the mild but pleasing bubbly sensation that comes from the incorporation of tonic water.
If you’re unfamiliar with gin, it is a tasty liquor that’s made from juniper and herbs and has a wonderfully bright and pine-like flavor to it. It goes great with tart or spicy flavors like cranberries, ginger, and my personal favorite, citrus, which is what I use here. The great thing about gin is that pretty much any type of citrus goes with it, so I use whatever mixed citrus fruits I have laying around the house at the time and it always comes out tasty. For this one, I used a mix of lemons, limes, tangerines, and grapefruits. However, if you’re sticking solely to sour citrus like lemons and limes, you might want to add a teaspoon or two of sugar or honey to tone it down a little (although some people like the punchiness of pure sour citrus, and if so more power to you!)
Using a solid gin is important here, my personal favorite, Aviation, is made here in Portland, Oregon and has a uniquely crisp and herbal flavor to it that I love (plus the bottle is suuuuuper pretty). Using fresh-squeezed juice in this makes all the difference, and yes, I know that juicing citrus goes against my streak of heat-induced laziness, but you gotta trust me when I say that it’s worth the few beads of sweat on your brow. So, once you got your juice going on, you basically take 3 parts juice, 1 part gin, and 1 part tonic water and stir it together. That’s it. See, I told you it was easy!
The citrus combines with the refreshingly subtle pine flavor of the gin, and the tonic water muddles it all together and adds a light bubbliness to the mix that I just love in the summertime. I feel like it’s scrubbing away the heat every time I take a sip. And on top of all that flavor and ease, it looks really pretty, too! I love making this for summer parties because it’s easy to make in bulk (you can just buy those big mesh bags of citrus from the grocery store, a handle of gin, and a big bottle of tonic water) and when you serve it in pretty glass pitchers with a few sprigs of fresh herbs, everyone ooohs and aaahs over the color. There’s pretty much no reason not to make it, really.
On a side note, I’m writing this from Stockholm, where Carey and I are holed up in our airbnb, finishing up preparations for our Sweden photography workshop. It’s been quite an adventure, and we’ve had several ‘interesting’ rental car experiences that I’ll post about later, (one of which involved getting stuck in lava rock gravel on the side of the highway in Iceland, the other involved being unable to put the car in reverse in the heart of Stockholm, eeeeeek), but most things have gone smoothly and I really can’t wait to meet everyone this weekend.
And a few extra things to mention! Registration for my Croatia photography & truffle foraging workshop is open and I’d love to have you join. You can read more about it and register here. I’m also hosting a pop-up summer dinner series here in Portland, the first of which is Saturday July 18th. It’s $75 for a 5-course meal with wine and cocktails, and the food is going to be insanely delicious. You can join the party here and see some of the awesome event sponsors we have lined up.
Well, I’m off to get a good night’s sleep before our 9-hour day of driving through southern Sweden tomorrow, hope you’re all enjoying the summer and staying cool!
Gin Citrus Punch
- 3 parts mixed citrus juice
- 1 part gin
- 1 part sparkling water
- fresh herb sprigs for an optional garnish
- Combine ingredients in a punch bowl or pitcher and stir to combine. Serve with ice to keep it extra cool!