Rosé Wishes (and Caviar Dreams)
Total time: 5 minutes
Note: From Paul Sanguinetti of Ray's and Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. To make simple syrup, combine equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool before using. Lemon verbena can be found at select farmers markets and nurseries; fresh basil or mint leaves can be substituted.
1 ounce gin
1/2 ounce Aperol
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 to 3 dashes orange bitters
2 to 3 leaves lemon verbena (plus an additional one for garnish)
2 to 3 mint leaves
1 basil leaf
1/2 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
2 to 3 ounces rosé Champagne or dry sparkling rosé
Sturgeon caviar (optional garnish)
1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the gin, Aperol, simple syrup, lemon juice, orange bitters, mint, lemon verbena and basil. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
2. In a separate chilled cocktail coupe or Champagne flute, add the one-half ounce St. Germain, rinse the glass with it and discard, leaving a small amount of St-Germain to coat the glass.
3. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass and top with 2 to 3 ounces sparkling rosé. Garnish with a large leaf of lemon verbena draped over the glass; as an option, spoon a small amount of sturgeon caviar on top of the leaf.