Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

A taste of Spring


This weekend I hosted an Easter dinner for friends. It was a glorious, magical day. The weather was the warmest it has been all year, with not a cloud in the sky. I spent the afternoon gardening and cooking with friends and the evening dying easter eggs and eating delicious food in the sunshine.

That’s right. It was nice enough to eat outside. More on the dinner in later posts. For now, I want to tell you about the cocktail that I served before dinner. This gem came to me from a friend on Pinterest. It looked springy and yummy and I went for it. It was a keeper.

The taste of spring

This cocktail is known as an Ophelia and was created at Denver’s Olivea restaurant. Though personally, I think Ophelia is a depressing name for such a light and beautiful drink. For my purposes, I’m going to name it a “Gin and sun”, because that is what it tastes like. Once all the cooking was underway, I was able to sit in the yard with my friends, soak in the sun, and enjoy this fabulous drink. I just can’t believe that with all the pictures we took that day, we didn’t take any of my cute beverage station! Next time.

Now, I’m going to list out the original recipe and then afterwards I’ll tell you the changes I did. Read both and make your own decision.

Gin and Sun

For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:
◦1/4 cup ground rosemary (use an herb grinder, a coffee grinder or a small food processor)
◦1/2 cup water
◦1/2 cup of sugar

For the Cocktail:
◦1 and 1/2 oz of Tangueray Gin
◦3/4 oz rosemary syrup
◦3/4 oz fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon, squeezed)
◦Club Soda
◦Sprig of rosemary for garnish


1.Bring the water to a boil, add the sugar and rosemary and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and steep the mixture off heat for 45 minutes.
2.Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a container. (The color should be a light golden syrup).
3.Fill glass with ice.
4.Add gin, lemon and rosemary simple syrup and stir.
5.Top with club soda, stir briefly and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Ok. So I didn’t follow these directions exactly and think mine still worked well and was easier. I didn’t grind up my rosemary. Instead, I created a sachet with cheesecloth and put whole rosemary inside of it. Then I smashed my little packet to loosen some of the oils. I placed the sachet in the pan and let it steep. This saved me the trouble of straining tiny bits out later on. I still got a great rosemary flavor, but with less effort.

The sprig of rosemary garnish is totally worth it. Made the drinks beautiful.

And finally, I made a drink station so that I wouldn’t have to make a dozen cocktails one at a time. I premixed the syrup, gin, and lemon juice in one bottle and set it on a table with the club soda, ice, rosemary sprigs, and glasses. Then I was able to tell everyone to serve themselves. It was easy. I just said, “Put ice in your glass. Fill halfway with the gin mixture and top with club soda. Garnish with rosemary and you’re done. Now come hang out in the yard!”

Happy spring!


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