Crisp and Cool
At the Bar
By Tom Hudgens
Photograph by Lane Hartwell
Gwyneth Hogarth approaches her craft with cheflike attention, infusing vodka and gin with organic fruit and herbs, sourcing artisan-quality sodas and natural cane-sweetened syrups, and respectfully reinventing classics like the Manhattan—Eagle Rare bourbon, Carpano Antica vermouth, barrel-aged bitters, and Amarena cherries.
Like any good Bay Area chef, she focuses on the integrity of her base ingredients. Case in point: the GBL cocktail, a blend of Boodles gin, Fever Tree Bitter Lemon soda, and lemon bitters. Hogarth says the drink is an homage to her grandmother, who drank gin. “You have to pay attention to the qualities of various gins,” she says. “Some are citrusy, others more herbal—it makes a difference in the cocktail.”
Bring Hogarth’s magic home with this cucumber gimlet:
Prima’s Cucumber Gimlet
1 liter bottle premium vodka
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 strip of each: lemon, orange, and lime zest (use a vegetable peeler)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
In a large glass jar, combine vodka, cucumber, and zest. Cover and let infuse for 1–2 days. Strain and chill. Meanwhile, bring sugar and water to a boil in small saucepan to make a syrup. Cool and chill. For each cocktail, put 2 ounces cucumber vodka, 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1/2 ounce (or to taste) sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake very well, strain into a martini glass, and enjoy.